Genghis Khan, the Mongol leader who forged an empire stretching from the east coast of China west to the Aral Sea, died in camp during a campaign against the Chinese kingdom of Xi Xia. The great Khan, who was over 60 and in failing health, may have succumbed to injuries incurred during a fall from a horse in the previous year.
Genghis Khan was born as Temujin around 1162. His father, a minor Mongol chieftain, died when Temujin was in his early teens. Temujin succeeded him, but the tribe would not obey so young a chief. Temporarily abandoned, Temujin’s family was left to fend for themselves in the wilderness of the Steppes.
By his late teens, Temujin had grown into a feared warrior and charismatic figure who began gathering followers and forging alliances with other Mongol leaders. After his wife was kidnapped by a rival tribe…
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