The name Genghis Khan probably makes many people think of conquering warriors on horseback leaving burning cities and piles of dead bodies behind them. While there is no doubt that Genghis Khan was the leader of a highly efficient killing machine, there was much more to him than military skill. He was also a talented politician with excellent diplomatic abilities.
In the 1160s, the tribes of the Central Asian steppes were almost constantly at war with one another. In the middle of the chaos, one of the tribal leaders had a son named Temujin. When the boy was nine years old, his father was poisoned by enemies. The tribe then abandoned the family, leaving them to survive by eating rats and insects.
Despite his difficult chi1dhood, Temujin grew up strong enough to claim his hereditary position as tribal leader. He became adept at forming alliances, as well as fighting battles. By 1206, all the Mongol tribes were ready to recognize him as supreme leader. They gave him the title Genghis Khan, which means "emperor of all emperors."
Having united the tribes of Central Asia, Genghis Khan turned his attention elsewhere. His ambition was world conquest, and he advanced at an astonishing rate. By the time of his death in 1227, he had created an empire that stretched from the Pacific coast to the Caspian Sea.