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Twlfth-century Mongolia is as far back as a search for their origins need go A group of peopls speaking the languages of the family called Mongol who had long demanded the attention of Chinese governments then lived there Generally China played off one of them against another in the interests of its own security They were barbarians not much different in their cultural level from others who have already crossed these pages Two tribes among them the Tatars and that which became known as the Mongols competed and on the whole the Tatars had the best of it They drove one young Mongol to extremes of bitterness and self-assertion The date of his birth is uncertain but in the 1190s he became khan to his people A few years later he was supreme among the Mongol tribes and was acknoledged as such by being bgiven the title of Chinghis Khan By an Arabis corruption of this name he was to become known in Europe as Genghis Khan He extended his power over other peoples in central Asia and in 1215 defeated thought he did not overthrow the CHin state in northern CHina and Manchuria This was only the beginning By the time of his dead in 1227 he had become the greatest conquerer the world has ever knownHe seem unlike all earlier nomad warlords Chinghis genuinely believed he had a mission to conquer the world Conquest not booty or settlement was his aim and what he conquered he often set about organizing in a systematic way This lead to a structure which deserves the name empire more than do most of the nomadic polities He was superstitious tolerant of religions other than his own paganism and said a Persian historian used to hold in esteem beloved and respected sages and hermits of every tribe considering this a procedure to please God Indead he seems to have held that he was himself the recipient of a
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