Mighty & Literate

by Nathan Hamm on 8/23/2004

Apparently, Genghis Khan was not illiterate as was previously assumed:

Tengus Bayaryn, a professor at China’s Inner Mongolia University, announced he had found an “autographic edict” written by Genghis Khan in 1219 inside a book sent to a Chinese Taoist priest, it said.

“The original message, in Mongolian, was written in a unique style and tone and could only have been drafted by the great ruler himself,” Bayaryn was quoted as saying.

A later note penned to the same Taoist scholar read: “I’ve ordered the ministers to compile a handbook of your lesson and will read it personally,” Xinhua said.

“That ‘I will read it personally’ suggests clearly Genghis Khan could read the Mongolian version of the sermon,” Bararyn said.


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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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