He was one of the most fearsomewarlords who ever lived,
waging an unstoppable conquestacross the Eurasian continent.
But was Genghis Khan a vicious barbarian
or a unifier who paved the wayfor the modern world?
We’ll see in”History vs. Genghis Khan.”
“肃静 肃静 今天被告是谁？可汗！”
“Order,order.Now who’s the defendant today?Khan!”
“I see Your Honor is familiarwith Genghis Khan,
这个十三世纪的军阀 军队四处征战 杀人无算
the 13th century warlord whose militarycampaigns killed millions
and left nothingbut destruction in their wake.”
“反对 首先 其发音是成吉思汗”
“Objection.First of all,it’s pronounced Genghis Kahn.”
“在蒙古 确实如此 不管怎么说
“In Mongolia, yes. Regardless,
he was one of the greatestleaders in human history.
孛儿只斤•铁木真 孩提时代就没了父亲 生活贫苦
Born Temüjin, he was left fatherlessand destitute as a child
but went on to overcome constant strife to unite warring Mongol clans
and forge the greatest empirethe world had seen,
eventually stretching from the Pacificto Europe’s heartland.”
“And what was so greatabout invasion and slaughter?
Northern China lost 2/3 of its population.”
“The Jin Dynasty had long harassedthe northern tribes,
paying them off to fight each otherand periodically attacking them.
Genghis Khan wasn’t aboutto suffer the same fate
as the last Khan who triedto unite the Mongols,
and the demographic change may reflectpoor census keeping,
not to mention that many peasants were brought into the Khan’s army.
“You can pick apart numbers all you want,
but they wiped out entire cities,along with their inhabitants.”
“The Khan preferred enemiesto surrender and pay tribute,
but he firmly believed in loyaltyand diplomatic law.
The cities that were massacred were onesthat rebelled after surrendering,
or killed as ambassadors.
His was a strict understanding of justice.”
“Multiple accounts show his army’sbrutality going beyond justice:
ripping unborn childrenfrom mothers’ wombs,
using prisoners as human shields,
or moat fillers to support siege engines,
taking all women from conquered towns–” “Enough! How barbaric!”
“Is that really so much worsethan other medieval armies?”
“That doesn’t excuseGenghis Khan’s atrocities.”
“But it does make Genghis Khanunexceptional for his time rather than some bloodthirsty savage.
In fact, after his unificationof the tribes abolished bride kidnapping,
women in the Mongol rankshad it better than most.
她们操持家务 可以与丈夫离婚 而且是值得信赖的贤内助
They controlled domestic affairs, could divorce their husbands, and were trusted advisors.
Temüjin remained withhis first bride all his life,
even raising her possiblyillegitimate son as his own.”
“Regardless, Genghis Khan’slegacy was a disaster:
在其子嗣的征服（过程中） 贯穿欧亚大陆 有超过4000万人被杀
up to 40 million killed across Eurasiaduring his descendents’ conquests.
10% of the world population.
That’s not even countingcasualties from the Black Plague
brought to Europe bythe Golden Horde’s Siege of Kaffa.”
“Surely that wasn’t intentional.”
“Actually,when they saw their own troops dying of the Plague,
they catapulted infected bodiesover the city walls.”
“The accounts you’re referencing were written over a hundred yearsafter the fact.
How reliable do you think they are?
Plus the survivors reaped the benefits of the empire Genghis Khan founded.
“The Mongol Empire practicedreligious tolerance among all subjects,
they treated their soldiers well,
promoted based on merit, rather than birth,
established a vast postal system,
and enforced universal rule of law,
not to mention theircontribution to culture.”
“You mean like Hulagu Khan’sannihilation of Baghdad,
是时代的文化资本？图书馆 医院 烧掉的宫殿 埋掉的灌溉渠呢？”
the era’s cultural capital? Libraries, hospitals and palaces burned,irrigation canals buried?”
“Baghdad was unfortunate,
but its Kalif refused to surrender,
and Hulagu was later punished by Berke Khan for the wanton destruction.
It wasn’t Mongol policyto destroy culture.
通常 他们会从占领区拯救医生 学者及工匠
Usually they saved doctors, scholarsand artisans from conquered places,
and transferred themthroughout their realm,
spreading knowledge across the world.”
“What about the devastation of Kievan Rus,
leaving its people in the Dark Ages
even as the Renaissancespread across Western Europe?”
“Western Europe was hardlypeaceful at the time.
The stability of Mongol rule made the Silk Road flourish once more,
allowing trade and cultural exchangebetween East and West,
and its legacy forged Russia and Chinafrom warring princedoms
into unified states.
In fact, long after the Empire,
Genghis Khan’s descendants could be found among the ruling nobilityall over Eurasia.”
“Not surprising that a tyrant would inspirefurther tyrants.”
“Careful what you call him.You may be related.”
“今天 有1600万人是成吉思汗的后代 即200个人中就有1个是他的后裔”
“16 million men today are descendedfrom Genghis Khan. That’s one in ever 200.”
For every great conqueror,there are millions of conquered.
Whose stories will survive?
And can a leader’s historicalor cultural significance
outweigh the deathsthey caused along the way?
These are the questions that arise when we put history on trial.