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First Year Course on Genghis Khan (Chinggis Khaan)

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Blood

 

Blood in Mongolian script:

     

 
Here is blood in Cyrillic:

    цус

Here is blood in Latin:

    tsus

 

Literary Analysis

The word blood is used rather infrequently throughout the Secret History of the Mongols yet its significance to the history of the Mongol people and the life of Chinggis Qahan cannot be overstated. Blood is first mentioned during the story of the birth of Chinggis Qahan, where a mysterious blood clot appears in his clenched fist. The ambiguity that environs this event not only makes it difficult to conjure images of this scene, but it also empasizes the connotation between Chinggis Qahan and blood, further establishing its importance. Blood is also mentioned throughout the text in scenes of injury, the most crucial being the injury to Chinggis Qahan's neck after being struck by an arrow. In these instances blood merely is used to establish the seriousness of a battle situation.

Cultural Significance

The word blood within Mongolian culture in the 13th century is extremely important to aspects of spirituality. Blood is represented in the Secret History as the carrier of a Mongol's soul, which should never be unjusty spilt or disrespected. Its importance is exemplified through a scene in which Buri the Wrestler cut Belgutei's (one of Chinggis Qahan's sons) shoulder with a sword during a wrestling match. This act was so disrespectful in the eyes of Chinggis Qahan that he ordered for Buri to be killed. There is also a inherent fear of blood's presence within Mongolian culture, so much so that a bloody body will at times be left naturally where it falls rather than be handled.

Historical Significance

Blood carries a historical significance through the manner in which it shaped Chinggis Qahan's battle techniques. While the Mongolian war machine did kill thousands of their enemies during their conquests, contrary to popular belief, they were not unmerciful barbarians. Bloods spiritual connotations within Mongolian culture helped develop strategies such as only leaving the general population of a city unscathed while only killing its leaders. Mongolian leaders also made a concerted effort to never torture or publicly maim their enemies because of their beliefs.

 

 

 

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