The Secret History of the Mongols

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Genghis Khan (1165-1227)


Although Genghis Khan (more properly known as Chinggis Khan), is mainly thought of in negative terms in the West, he is one of history's more charismatic and dynamic leaders. During his lifetime, he conquered more territory than any other conqueror, and his successors established the largest contiguous empire in history. Even today his legacy continues in Asia, for without Genghis Khan there would not be a Mongolia.

The fact that Genghis Khan was able to command a place in history is perhaps more amazing than the deeds that earned him fame as much of his life prior to 1200 was fraught with hardship. Born to the noble family of Yesugei and Ho'elun, Genghis Khan was first called Temuchin. At an early age, he was betrothed to Borte who belonged to another tribe. After leaving Temuchin with Borte's family, Yesugei was returning to his own camp when he was poisoned by Tatars. After his father died, Temuchin returned to his family, still a boy. According to the primary source of information on Temuchin's life, The Secret History of the Mongols, he endured many hardships, including the kidnapping of his wife Borte, but slowly recruited supporters and assumed a mantle of leadership among the Mongols.

After rising to power in 1185, Temuchin experienced numerous setbacks and, eventually, victories. A key to his success was an alliance with his father's and a or blood brother, Toghril Ong-Khan, Khan or King of the Keraits, which were another tribe. With Toghril's support, Temuchin regained Borte and slowly became the paramount power in the steppe. Eventually, relations between Temuchin and Toghril soured and led to a war that left Temuchin victorious. By 1206 Temuchin dominated Mongolia and received the title Genghis Khan (thought to mean Oceanic Ruler or Firm, Resolute Ruler). The years between 1185 and 1206 were, without doubt, the most difficult years for this feared and respected man.

Although Genghis Khan now ruled Mongolia and had united the various tribes into one tribe (the Mongols), he was not content to remain there. Scholars have proposed several reasons why Genghis Khan embarked on a career of conquest, including the demand for booty, revenge for past offenses and megalomaniacal greed for territory and riches. However, as with most wars, there was never a single reason; and, certainly, a variety of factors came into play.

In 1207, the Mongols began operations against Xi-Xia, which comprised much of northwestern China and parts of Tibet. This campaign lasted until 1210 with the Xi-Xia ruler submitting to Genghis Khan. During this period, the Uighurs also submitted peacefully to the Mongols and became valued administrators throughout the empire.

Peace did not last long. In 1211, after a great quriltai or meeting, Genghis Khan led his armies against the Chin Dynasty that ruled northern China. War continued against the Chin until 1234, well after Genghis Khan's death. Perhaps he would have succeeded against them, but he was pulled away from the campaign because of an incident in central Asia. In 1219 a caravan under the protection of Genghis Khan had been massacred in Otrar, a city of the Khwarazm Empire, which consisted of all or parts of modern Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan.

With his armies engaged in China, Genghis Khan attempted to find a peaceful solution, but Muhammad Khwarazmshah, the ruler of the Khwarazm Empire, forced the issue, unaware of the might of Genghis Khan. After the execution and humiliation of his envoys, Genghis Khan left a trusted general, Muqali, to battle the Chin while he led an army to central Asia. Mongol armies had clashed with those of Khwarazm earlier in 1218 when Genghis Khan's son Jochi and a general (Jebe) completed the conquest of Qara-Kitai, which was to the northeast of Khwarazm.

From 1219 to 1222, the Mongols waged a war in central Asia and destroyed the Khwarazmian Empire. Striking from several directions, Genghis Khan-accompanied by his four sons: Jochi, Ogodei, Chaghatai, and Tolui-carried out a campaign that remains strategically remarkable. Though a few Khwarazmian princes escaped, the defeat was complete; but Genghis Khan still had a matter of revenge to settle.

The ruler of Xi-Xia, who had submitted in 1210, had not provided troops for the campaign. Although this act of rebellion gravely insulted Genghis Khan, for the time being the defeat of Muhammad Khwarazmshah was much more important. After the conquest of the Khwarazmian Empire, however, Genghis Khan turned his armies once again against Xi Xia.

In 1226, his armies invaded Xi-Xia. During the campaign, Genghis Khan fell from his horse when it startled while the emperor hunted. Although he eventually died from internal injuries as a result of the fall, he did not allow his followers to halt the campaign. They continued the siege of the capital of Xi-Xia even after his death. When the conquest was complete, Genghis Khan was buried in a secret location that remains a mystery although several modern expeditions have attempted to find it.

Even today the legacy of Genghis Khan remains impressive. His wars were often a matter of retaliation as well as bids for territory or riches. As an organizational and strategic genius, Genghis Khan created one of the most highly-disciplined and effective armies in history; this same genius also gave birth to the core administration that ruled it. Even after he died on campaign in 1227, the Mongol armies dominated the battlefield until the empire stretched from the Pacific Ocean to the Adriatic Sea.

His non-military achievements include the introduction of a writing system based on the Uighur script (still used in Inner Mongolia today), the idea of religious tolerance throughout the empire, and the achievement of tribal unity among the Mongols. Genghis Khan's greatest accomplishments, however, cannot be counted in terms of territory or victories, but in the presence of a Mongol nation and culture. Mongols today venerate him as the founding father of Mongolia.

st. john the baptistJohn The Baptist

St. John the Baptist

Mary, the mother of Jesus was a relative of Elizabeth, the mother of John. After the angel appeared to Mary telling her of the coming of Jesus, she went to see Elizabeth and learned that she, too, was expecting a child.

Now Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah were advanced in years and their child was a very special child. He had been chosen by God for a special mission. That mission was to prepare the hearts of the people for the coming Messiah.

The prophet Isaiah spoke of John as "the voice of one crying in the wilderness" telling the people to get ready for the coming of Jesus. John told them that Jesus would be greater and mightier than he, and that he was not worthy to loosen the straps or even carry the sandals of the Lord.

He was dressed in clothes made of camel's hair and had a leather belt around his waist. He lived in the desert and ate locusts and wild honey.

He went through all the country around the Jordan preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Crowds of people came confessing their sins and he baptized them in the Jordan River.

He told them that they must live right. They asked him what they should do. He said that if they had two coats, they should share with a person who did not have a coat, and if they had food, they should share with those who did not.

The tax collectors asked what they should do, and he told them to be honest in their collection of taxes and to not collect more than they were required to.

The soldiers asked what they should do, and he told them to not take money from people illegally, to always tell the truth and not falsely accuse people. They were to be content with their pay and not grumble about it.

John always spoke the truth, even when people didn't want to hear it. He fearlessly confronted King Herod with the evil things he had done. Eventually, this stand for the truth cost John his life.

John's purpose was to prepare the people to accept Jesus. Could you help someone to accept Jesus when they see His love living in You?

John told the people to be generous with the things they owned. Do you have something you could share? Do you have clothes that you could give to a child who needs clothes? Maybe you and your family could even buy new clothes for those who need them.

Does your church or school sometimes ask you to bring canned food for the poor? Go with your parents to the store to buy food for them. You will be blessed if you do, and it will give you great happiness.


King Arthur - The Legend

Arthur was the first born son of King Uther Pendragon and heir to the throne. However these were very troubled times and Merlin, a wise magician, advised that the baby Arthur should be raised in a secret place and that none should know his true identity.

As Merlin feared, when King Uther died there was great conflict over who should be the next king. Merlin used his magic to set a sword in a stone. Written on the sword, in letters of gold,  were these words: "Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone is the rightwise born king of all England." Of course all the contenders for the throne took their turn at trying to draw the sword, but none could succeed. Arthur, quite by chance, withdrew the sword for another to use in a tournament. Following this he became King.

He gathered Knights around him and fought back against the Saxons who, since the Romans left Britain, were slowly but surely taking the country over. After many great battles and a huge victory at Mount Badon the Saxons' advance was halted.

Arthur's base was at a place called Camelot. Here he built a strong castle. His knights met at a Round Table. They carried out acts of chivalry such as rescuing damsels in distress and fought against strange beasts. They also searched for a lost treasure, which they believed would cure all ills - this was the 'Quest for the Holy Grail'.

Under the guidance of Merlin, Arthur had obtained a magical sword from The Lady Of The Lake. This sword was called 'Excalibur" and with this weapon he vanquished many foes.

Queen Guinevere, Arthur's beautiful wife brought romance to the story while his equally beautiful half sister Morgan le Fay added a dark side.

Unfortunately, as peace settled over the country things turned sour within the court of Camelot and civil war broke out. In the final battle at Camlan both Arthur and Mordred, Arthur's traitorous nephew, were mortally wounded. Arthur was set upon a boat and floated down river to the isle of Avalon. Here his wounds were treated by three mysterious maidens. His body was never found and many say that he rests under a hill with all his knights - ready to ride forth and save the country again.

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
The famous story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table is well known. King Arthur is the figure at the heart of the Arthurian legends but the Knights of the Round Table play an important part in the story and legend of King Arthur. The Arthurian legend revolves around the Code of Chivalry followed by King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The basis for the code of Chivalry followed by King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table were Honour, Honesty, Valour and Loyalty. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table were ' Brothers in Arms'.

King Arthur
The Legend of King Arthur
The Real King Arthur

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table - the concept of Equality
The significance of the Round Table was that no one person, not even King Arthur, would be able to sit at the head of such a table. A round table enforced the concept of equality. The legend states that King Arthur ordered the Round Table to be built in order to resolve a conflict among his knights concerning who should have precedence. The Round Table was therefore built to ensure that all the Knights of the Round Table were deemed equal and each of the seats at the Round Table were highly favoured places.


Uncle Sam

This article is about the national personification of the USA.

J. M. Flagg's 1917 poster, based on the original British Lord Kitchener poster of three years earlier, was used to recruit soldiers for both World War I and World War II. Flagg used a modified version of his own face for Uncle Sam, and veteran Walter Botts provided the pose. The face also bears resemblance to the real Samuel Wilson.[1]

Uncle Sam is a common national personification of the American government originally used during the War of 1812.[citation needed] He is depicted as a stern elderly man with white hair and a goatee beard. Typically he is dressed in clothing that recalls the design elements of the flag of the United States—for example, a top hat with red and white stripes and white stars on a blue band, and red and white striped trousers. The name aspect being is purportedly attributed to a meat inspector named Samuel Wilson from Troy, New York.[2] The first use of Uncle Sam in literature was in the 1816 allegorical book The Adventures of Uncle Sam in Search After His Lost Honor by Frederick Augustus Fidfaddy, Esq.

Earlier representative figures of the United States included such beings as "Brother Jonathan," used by Punch magazine. These were overtaken by Uncle Sam somewhere around the time of the Civil War. The female personification "Columbia" has seldom been seen since the 1920s. The well-known "recruitment" image of Uncle Sam was created by James Montgomery Flagg, an illustrator and portrait artist best known for commercial art. The image of Uncle Sam was shown publicly for the first time, according to some, in a picture by Flagg on the cover of the magazine Leslie's Weekly, on July 6, 1916, with the caption "What Are You Doing for Preparedness?"[1][3] More than four million copies of this image were printed between 1917 and 1918. The image also was used extensively during World War II.

During this time America was codenamed 'Samland' by the German intelligence agency Abwehr.[4]

There are two memorials to Uncle Sam, both of which commemorate the life of Samuel Wilson: the Uncle Sam Memorial Statue in Arlington, Massachusetts, his birthplace; and a memorial near his long-term residence in Riverfront Park, Troy, New York.


Daniel Pearl (October 10, 1963 – February 1, 2002) was an American journalist who was kidnapped and killed by Al-Qaeda.

At the time of his kidnapping, Pearl served as the South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, and was based in Mumbai, India. He went to Pakistan as part of an investigation into the alleged links between Richard Reid (the "shoe bomber") and Al-Qaeda. He was subsequently beheaded by his captors.[1][2]

In July 2002, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British national of Pakistani origin, was sentenced to death by hanging for Pearl's abduction and murder.[3][4]

Daniel Pearl

Pablo Neruda

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pablo Neruda


Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto
July 12, 1904(1904-07-12)
Parral, Chile


September 23, 1973(1973-09-23) (aged 69)
Santiago, Chile


Poet, Diplomat

Notable award(s)

Nobel Prize in Literature


Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet and politician Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after Czech poet Jan Neruda.

Neruda wrote in a variety of styles such as erotically charged love poems as in his collection Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair, surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once called him "the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language."[1] Neruda always wrote in green ink as it was his personal color of hope.

On July 15, 1945, at Pacaembu Stadium in São Paulo, Brazil, he read to 100,000 people in honor of Communist revolutionary leader Luís Carlos Prestes.[2] During his lifetime, Neruda occupied many diplomatic positions and served a stint as a senator for the Chilean Communist Party. When Conservative Chilean President González Videla outlawed communism in Chile in 1948, a warrant was issued for Neruda's arrest. Friends hid him for months in a house basement in the Chilean port of Valparaíso. Later, Neruda escaped into exile through a mountain pass near Maihue Lake into Argentina. Years later, Neruda was a close collaborator to socialist President Salvador Allende. When Neruda returned to Chile after his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Allende invited him to read at the Estadio Nacional before 70,000 people.[3]

Neruda was hospitalized with cancer at the time of the Chilean coup d'état led by Augusto Pinochet. Three days after being hospitalized, Neruda died of heart failure. Already a legend in life, Neruda's death reverberated around the world. Pinochet had denied permission to transform Neruda's funeral into a public event. However, thousands of grieving Chileans disobeyed the curfew and crowded the streets.


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