They might not be as well known as the Spartans or the Romans, but the Mongols were warriors to be truly feared.  They built an empire of immense size that lasted four-hundred and thirty-two years. Their way of fighting was from the saddle of small ponies with the bow and spear.

The Reign of Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan.

It was because of Emperor Genghis Khan that the Mongols became known. He established the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, and it became the largest land empire ever, covering 9 million square miles.

After being declared the sole ruler of the Mongols, a loose confederation of tribes Genghis Khan did not waste time and proceeded with his plans of expansion and conquest from Poland to Egypt. They also raided Georgia, Armenia, and most parts of Caucasia.

He also brought the Eurasian trade route called the Silk Road under a unified political environment. This made trading between the West, Middle East, and Asia possible. He also introduced the Mongolian script and wrote the first Mongolian code of law. Genghis Khan was undoubtedly a brilliant leader, at least from the Mongol’s perspective, and those who benefited from his actions.

The Mongols Lived In The Saddle

Before we talk about the ruthless Mongolian warriors, we must first understand that the Mongols, in general, loved their horses and treated them like gold, as they played a huge role in their everyday lives. In fact, they had this saying that went like, “A Mongol without a horse is like a bird without the wings.”

Genghis Khan & Jebe. KoizumiBSCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

According to the book written by Morris Rossabi titled “All the Khan’s Horses“:

Genghis Khan and his descendants could not have conquered and ruled the largest land empire in world history without their diminutive but extremely hardy steeds. In some respects, these Mongolian ponies resembled what is now known as Przewalski’s horse. Mongols held these horses in the highest regard and accorded them great spiritual significance. For example, before setting forth on military expeditions, commanders would scatter mare’s milk on the earth to ensure victory. In shamanic rituals, horses were sacrificed to provide “transport” to heaven.

In warfare, “Horses could, without much exaggeration, be referred to as the intercontinental ballistic missiles of the thirteenth century.”