Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Genghis: Lords of the Bow

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Genghis: Lords of the Bow

By Conn Iggulden

Genghis: Lords of the Bow
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  • Hardcover: Mar 2008,
    400 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2009,
    528 pages.

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Beyond the Book

The Yasa of Genghis Khan

As Genghis Khan consolidated the nomadic tribes of the Asian steppe, he realized that a consistent rule of law was necessary to maintain order. He accomplished this by creating his "Yasa" (or "Yassa"), a comprehensive set of rules governing nearly all aspects of Mongolian life and culture. The original Yasa ("decree" or "order") is thought to have been written on scrolls bound into volumes, and kept in a secret archive to which only the khan and his advisers had access, but the rules were widely known and observed, and in many cases were adopted by rival cultures. They codified religious tolerance and social equality, which helped promote peace between the diverse peoples who made up the Mongol Empire*.

Some examples:

  • An adulterer is to be put to death without any regard as to whether he is married or not.
  • Whoever takes goods (on credit) and becomes bankrupt, then again takes goods and again becomes bankrupt, then ...

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