The Height of Genghis Khan – Separating Fact From Fiction

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Genghis Khan, one of history’s most notorious empires, stands as a legendary figure in modern history. While engaged in war that killed millions innocent civilians, Temujin nonetheless held many other qualities that earned him widespread respect from his fellow humans.

He eliminated inherited aristocratic titles, conducted regular national censuses, and allowed religious freedom for all. Furthermore, he established an army composed of highly-trained warriors he could count on for protection against threats to national sovereignty.

Exaggeration and embellishment

Genghis Khan was unquestionably an outstanding military commander and brilliant strategist, known for identifying enemies’ weak points before ambushing them with surprise attacks. Additionally, his revolutionary war tactics used fast, agile cavalry units to outmaneuver numerically superior opponents on the battlefield. Furthermore, his ruthlessness when besieging cities by throwing bombs over walls or damming streams to flood their towns was legendary.

Genghis Khan may have been known for his brutality, yet legends surrounding his height tend to exaggerate it. This may be due to cultural significance of physical characteristics as symbols of power and authority; or because people attribute desirable characteristics for leadership positions they want in someone they already know.

Temujin had an extremely difficult early life as he was born into a warring nomadic tribe on the harsh steppe of central Asia. While young, he managed his family’s herds and often served on military missions before eventually joining Mongol dynasty ruling as part of Mongol Dynasty as Genghis Khan (Chinggis Khanghg or Universal Ruler). Genghis Khan took his title of universal ruler during an assembly meeting of 1206 to complete their transformation into one of its finest leaders dynasties ever.

Physical description

Hardly can anyone envision how Temujin, later known as Genghis Khan (or Chinggis Khan), came to embody the monstrous image associated with his name; nevertheless, this ruthless conqueror from Asia and Eastern Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries united civilizations for the first time ever in history.

Revolutionizing warfare by creating quick and agile units of cavalry that outwitted numerically superior but slower opponents on the battlefield and by employing cunning to lure enemy forces into traps. He laid siege to cities with cruel cruelty; catapulting diseased animals over walls, flooding streams with dammed waters to flood them and starving populations into submission [source: Field Museum].

Genghis Khan had an extraordinary childhood on the Mongolian steppe; rival clans poisoned his father at age 9 and abducted his mother and six siblings to steal their inheritances; yet still became an incredible leader and diplomat, persuading tribes to form allies and imposing his rule with surgical precision upon their subjects; at times crushing any civilization which stood against his authority ruthlessly.

But what did he look like? This question remains unknown as few contemporary Mongol sources provide any details of Genghis Khan’s physical appearance. Most sources that provide details suggest he wasn’t quite as tall as imagined in myth.


Genghis Khan was an extraordinary leader, so it is likely his legend will grow larger over time due to cultural biases or even just associating him with symbols of power and authority.

Genghis Khan’s life can be found through several primary sources. A key source is The Secret History of the Mongols, an illuminated 13th-century manuscript which provides details about his mythical ancestry, humble birth and teenage adventures, gradual unification of Mongolian tribes, as well as successful conquest campaigns.

Temujin, later Genghis Khan, was born in 1162 on the steppe and legend has it that he emerged with a blood clot clutched tightly in his hand as an omen of things to come.

Once he had united the nomadic tribes of the steppe, he set about expanding his empire. Through a series of brutal conquests that stretched as far east as Adriatic Sea and west as China, his armies reached across vast distances and expanded further his dominion.

Genghis Khan took a more liberal approach than most empire builders to religious practices in his newly conquered territories, permitting people of various faiths to practice their religious practices freely and granting tax exemptions to places of worship. His tolerance proved useful to his followers who were less inclined towards rebellion. Furthermore, Genghis introduced written language and implemented a uniform set of laws.

Cultural bias

Genghis Khan has long been depicted as a towering giant, yet this may more be attributable to his military success than size. A master warrior, from humble and seemingly insignificant beginnings he united all nomadic tribes of Mongolia into an organized military state before conquering kingdom after kingdom and expanding his empire right up to Adriatic Sea and beyond.

Genghis was known for being cruel towards his enemies, slaughtering millions in campaigns of terror that redefined war as an all-out game of death and destruction. Temujin — later given the name Genghis — revolutionized warfare by attacking from behind larger, slower-moving armies using quick units of agile cavalry that outmaneuver their opponents during battle and devastating cities with devastating campaigns that included using diseased animals to blow themselves up, catapult bombs over walls, flood cities with streams to overwhelm populations and starve populations into submission.

Genghis Khan stands as an iconic figure who transcends time and culture, embodying strength, leadership, conquest and mystery. Even today he remains an object of fascination for many cultures around the globe; therefore it will likely remain impossible for anyone to truly grasp his height.