Sep 23, 1165
BirthA boy is born to a Mongol family living near the Onon River. He is named Temujin, which means “blacksmith.”
Dec 21, 1180
Temujin kills his half brother.Bekhter, an older half brother, torments Temujin and a younger brother by stealing the prize each time the younger boys fish or hunt. Enraged, Temujin and his brother stalk Bekhter and slay him with an arrow, the Mongol weapon of choice.
Feb 1, 1183
Borte, Temujin’s wife, is kidnapped.When the Merkit, another tribe of the steppe, hear the news that Temujin has married, they see a long-awaited opportunity for revenge against his father, who stole a Merkit bride.Borte is captured. Temujin and his allies gather several hundred soldiers and rescue her.
Aug 13, 1200
Temujin emerges as local strongman.Temujin himself reportedly said, “My strength was fortified by Heaven and Earth.” The Mongols and several neighboring tribes have hailed him as their khan, or leader.
May 30, 1206
Temujin is enthroned as Genghis Khan.At a kuriltai (great assembly) Temujin is lauded as Genghis Khan, the “strong ruler".At about the age of 40, Genghis is master of all the tribes in what is now Mongolia, an expanse about the size of Alaska.
Jan 9, 1215
Genghis destroys Zhongdu (Beijing).Several years of sparring with the Jin dynasty in northern China yield an outright attack in 1214. Genghis surrounds their capital, Zhongdu (located where Beijing now stands).The Jin emperor, Xuanzong, beseeches Genghis to withdraw, a plea sweetened with gold, silver, horses, slaves, and a princess (who became one of Genghis’s many wives). Genghis agrees.
Oct 22, 1220
Genghis takes Samarkand and Bukhara.Making his way across Central Asia, Genghis crushes the great cities, Samarkand, Muhammad’s own capital, surrenders to the Mongols. So does Bukhara, a metropolis in what is now Uzbekistan.
Mar 24, 1227
DeathIn 1227, when Genghis Khan died.He had lived about 60 years. The cause of death is a mystery, possibly because of Genghis’s order to shroud his passing with secrecy. His descendants expanded into Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and all of China.