Talk:Genghis Khan

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Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable, precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to Genghis Khan. --Antiquary 17:46, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

  • One arrow alone can be easily broken but many arrows are indestructible.
    • His speech to unite the Mongol tribes.
  • I will rule them by fixed laws so that rest and happiness shall prevail in the world.
    • Said after being named Khan.
  • Those who were adept and brave fellows I have made military commanders. Those who were quick and nimble I have made herders of horses. Those who were not adept I have given a small whip and sent to be shepherds.
  • All who surrender will be spared; whoever does not surrender but opposes with struggle and dissension, shall be annihilated.
  • Heaven grew weary of the excessive pride and luxury of China... I am from the Barbaric North. I wear the same clothing and eat the same food as the cowherds and horse-herders. We make the same sacrifices and we share our riches. I look upon the nation as a new-born child and I care for my soldiers as though they were my brothers.
    • (Alternate translation) Heaven has abandoned China owing to its haughtiness and extravagant luxury. But I, living in the northern wilderness, have not inordinate passions. I hate luxury and exercise moderation. I have only one coat and one food. I eat the same food and am dressed in the same tatters as my humble herdsmen. I consider the people my children, and take an interest in talented men as if they were my brothers. We always agree in our principles, and we are always united by mutual affection. At military exercises I am always in front, and in time of battle am never behind. In the space of seven years I have succeeded in accomplishing a great work, and uniting the whole world in one empire.
  • As my calling is high, the obligations incumbent upon me are also heavy; and I fear that in my ruling there may be something wanting.
  • If the great, the military leaders and the leaders of the many descendants of the ruler who will be born in the future, should not adhere strictly to the Yasa, then the power of the state will be shattered and come to an end, no matter how they then seek Genghis Khan, they shall not find him.
  • I am the punishment of God.If you had not commited great sins, god would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.
    • (Alternative translation) It is the great among you who have committed these sins. If you had not committed great sins, god would not have set a punishment such as me upon you.
With Heaven's aid I have conquered for you a huge empire. But my life was too short to achieve the conquest of the world. That task is left for you.
  • Say ye unto the Khwarezmians that I am the sovereign of the sunrise, and [he is] the sovereign of the sunset. Let there be between us a firm treaty of friendship, amity, and peace, and let traders and caravans on both sides come and go.
    • Expressing his intention for peace with Khwarezmian Empire
  • Heaven has appointed me to rule all the nations, for hitherto there has been no order upon the steppes.
  • If there is no means to prevent drunkenness, a man may become drunk thrice a month; if he oversteps this limit he makes himself guilty of a punishable offence. If he is drunk only twice a month, that is better — if only once, that is more praiseworthy. What could be better than that he should not drink at all? But where shall we find a man who never drinks? If, however, such a man is found, he deserves every respect.
  • Despite all expectations, the time of my last campaign and of my passing is near. I wish to die at home. Let not my end disarm you, and on no account weep for me, lest the enemy be warned of my death.
  • How can you say this about Jochi? Jochi is my eldest son, is he not? Do not ever say this again.
    • Expressing his opinion when Chagatai said that Jochi is not his son and should not succeed him.
  • With Heaven's aid I have conquered for you a huge empire. But my life was too short to achieve the conquest of the world. That task is left for you.
    • Said to his sons at the end of his life.
  • It is not sufficient that I succeed — all others must fail.
  • The merit of an action lies in finishing it to the end.
  • I had no place to hide from thunder, so, I am not afraid of it anymore.
  • If lies can show the truth, they can be the truth, they can cause the truth, so I may build an empire on lies, but they are the truth.
    • As translated from early Mongolian literature related to the form of the empire.
  • Turks never can be defeated; if they married with their own nation
    • An epigraph in Buhkara


A cleaner variation of the drinking quote:

  • If there is no means to prevent drunkenness, a man may become drunk thrice a month; if he oversteps this limit he makes himself guilty of a punishable offence. If he is drunk only twice a month, that is better — if only once, that is more praiseworthy. What could be better than that he should not drink at all? But where shall we find a man who never drinks? If, however, such a man is found, he deserves every respect.

is attestable by a number of sources to the Jami' al-tawarikh, and I've added a version of it to the main quote page with links. To me it seems as good a source as there's likely to be for such quotes.