Weird History
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In Terms of Sheer Influence, Genghis Khan Had The Most Successful Love Life In Human History

Updated December 19, 2019 75.7k views10 items

Genghis Khan's sex life was as extensive as his Mongol Empire. The Mongol leader took full advantage of his position and left a vast genetic legacy. As the Mongols moved through the steppe regions of Central Asia to the east and west, riding their magnificent warhorses along the Silk Road, Genghis Khan used military and administrative tactics - and his sexual prowess - to leave his mark. 

Sex for Genghis Khan was as much a tool of power as a right of conquest and he used it to his advantage during the 13th century. Genghis Khan's children, grandchildren, and beyond carried on the great conqueror's DNA as well as Mongol traditions

  • Genghis Khan Slept With Other Men

    Genghis Khan slept with his best friend, Jamukha, when he was a young man. While they shared a blanket, there's no indication anything sexual took place. Temujin, Genghis Khan's given name, was a less powerful leader at the time and eventually left Jamukha's clan because he didn't trust him. When Temujin left, many of Jamukha's followers went with him, contributing to Temujin's growing prestige and authority.

    Jamukha, once considered by Temujin to be a brother, became one of Genghis Khan's biggest rivals and was executed by his former friend. Legend has it that Genghis Khan broke his friend's back to prevent his blood from being spilled.

  • Photo: Rashid al-Din / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Each Time He Defeated A Rival Tribe, He Took A Wife, But Not Always For Himself

    Genghis Khan had four wives who were considered more important than the others, but he took a woman from each tribe he conquered as his own. When he conquered the Tanghut, he got a wife named Chakha, the daughter of the clan leader. When he threatened the Jin dynasty in China, they offered him one of the emperor's daughters along with other riches.

    Genghis Khan kept some of the women given to him but married off others to his commanders and subordinates. He used women as tools of diplomacy between clan groups and negotiated the marriages of his own children to keep the peace.

  • Genghis Khan Is Related To 8% Of The Men Living In The Former Mongol Empire

    Just because Genghis Khan didn't marry every woman given to him doesn't mean he didn't have plenty of sexual relations. Genetic evidence indicates at least 8% of men living in the former Mongol Empire men can trace their DNA back to Genghis Khan.

    That's roughly 16,000 million males, or about 0.5% of the planet's male population.

  • His Oldest Son May Not Have Been His But He Was Okay With It

    Virginity was not held in high regard or taken for granted in the Mongol Empire. One of Genghis Khan's wives, Borte, was captured during the early years of her marriage to Temujin. When he got her back, Borte was pregnant. The exact parentage of his firstborn son, Jochi, was never known but Genghis Khan always treated him as his own. 

    Despite acknowledging Jochi as a rightful heir, Genghis Khan's eldest son perished a year before he did. This left the next-oldest son, Ogedei, to be his father's successor.