“Le conquérant du monde : vie de Gengis-Khan” by René Grousset

This article is also available in: Italiano

One of the most interesting texts ever concerning the life of Genghis Khan, able to combine the mere historical tale with the charm of narration. A must-have work for anyone interested in the Mongolian epic.

Le conquérant du monde

The scenario is one of the most contrasted and dazzling in Upper Asia, the story of Temüjin, better known as Genghis Khan. A story that René Grousset reconstructs going back to its remote mythical springs – the coupling between the Gray-blue Wolf and the Wild Fawn, progenitors of what will become the “iron race” of the Mongols – and tells with a fast pace, without this leave out any telltale details. Thus we witness the events of the ancestor of Temüjin, Qutula, a sort of Mongolian Heracles whose voice echoes “like thunder in the mountain gorges”, and of the father, Yisügei the Brave, already fighting with that Chinese court that treats the enemies with exemplary cruelty, impaling them on wooden donkeys.

The legendary Khan Tengri

Then at the birth and growth of a child with “fiery eyes”, “his face lit by a mysterious glow”, who does not hesitate to get rid of the young half-brother before joining the beautiful Börte, “warned and authoritative adviser”. Then again to the long theory of victorious clashes against the Merkits and the opposing Mongol princes, up to the conquest of the undisputed hegemony through the “battle in the storm” (against the intriguing blood brother Jamuqa) and that of the “Seventy felt cloaks” ( against the latest Tatars resistances). And finally to the expansion of an almost limitless kingdom that lapped the imperial palace of Beijing and the Silk Road.

No less full of episodes, the epilogue of Genghis Khan’s life corroborates the traits of a personality that is both monolithic and contradictory, combining ferocity and wisdom, high diplomacy and brutality, amoralism and sudden sentimental ignitions.

All Gengis Khan

“The conqueror of the world” by René Grousset remains absolutely one of our favorite history books, able to combine the charm of storytelling with historical story. Reading it we will not only be technically informed of the deeds of the great leader (which however is not obvious in Italy), but we will be able to get in touch with what Genghis Khan’s experience has been.

Gengis Khan
Gengis Khan ‘s warriors

Published for the first time back in 1944, this text remains one of the most authoritative sources in our language for Mongolians and the like. The narrative does not in fact prejudice the events, reconstructed with the best texts of the time, but should make it more pleasant for the reader, meeting every type of need. If you are interested in getting to know one of the most decisive men in history better, this is the book for you.

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