The Legendary Mongol Khans: The Lives and Legacies of Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan, and Tamerlane

The Legendary Mongol Khans: The Lives and Legacies of Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan, and Tamerlane

Narrated by:
Jim Walsh
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Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
April 2024
3 hours 34 minutes
Though history is usually written by the victors, the lack of a particularly strong writing tradition from the Mongols ensured that history was largely written by those who Genghis Khan vanquished. Because of this, Genghis Khan’s portrayal in the West and the Middle East has been extraordinarily (and in many ways unfairly) negative for centuries, at least until recent revisions to the historical record. Certainly Genghis Khan was not a peaceful man, or a particularly merciful one, and he famously boasted to the Khwaremzids that he was “the flail of God, come to punish you for your sins”. However, the image of him as a bloodthirsty barbarian is largely the result of hostile propaganda. 

As Great Khan, Kublai Khan ruled the Mongolian Empire from his capital in modern-day Beijing, with a court that included Mongolians, Arabs, and Persians from throughout his empire. While Genghis may have been a warrior, Kublai was a man of culture, intellect and curiosity, and his court was a luxurious one rich in art, music, and goods. Under his reign, trade along the Silk Road was both easier and more efficient than ever before. 

Aside from Genghis and his grandson Kublai Khan, the most famous Mongol conqueror was Tamerlane, who dominated Eurasia in the 14th century. He was known by the name Timur in Asia, while the Europeans used the name Tamerlane, which came from the Persian Timur-i-Leng, meaning “Timur the Lame. Tamerlane came from a Turkicized Mongol tribe, the Barlas, which had several constituent sub-clans. A number of original Mongol tribes had migrated west, where the majority of the population was Turkish, and over time, the Mongols blended with the Turks. However, due to his many conquests and his expansive empire, Tamerlane is closely associated with the Mongols today, and while he styled himself a pious leader, his main aim was to reestablish Genghis Khan’s vast Mongol Empire.
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