special project


Chinggis Khan, or Temüjin, was the son of Yesugei of the Borjigin clan. He conquered half the world, dreamed of reaching the Last Sea, created the Yassa (a great code of laws for his army and the inhabitants of the conquered territories), and left a lineage so numerous that 16 million people, or 0.5 per cent of the men in the world today, carry his genes. Consider this: if you have only 150 acquaintances (known as Dunbar's number, a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships), then a dozen of them are Chinggisids! And you may well be a descendant of the mighty Mongol conqueror yourself./n But think about it — would you have been able to handle his role? Would you have been able to live and rule according to his laws? Although the complete text of the Yassa has not reached us, excerpts from it have been preserved in the works of Persian, Arabic, and Armenian authors of the thirteenth century. Take our test based on these excerpts and find out if you are up to the job!

Genghis Khan. Modern illustration/from open access

Genghis Khan. Modern illustration/from open access


Let’s start with something simple. A nöker (soldier) has stolen a bridle from another nöker. What should be done with the thief?

Cut off his hand and make him a slave if he survives.
Let him give the bridle to the master and pay a ten-fold fine.
Give him fifty lashes to make him think twice before doing it again!
Cut him in half!

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