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Genghis Khan was born Timujin c. 1167 to a noble Mongol family. His father was poisoned when Genghis was ten, and, as he had some claim to leadership, he was often targeted by those who had murdered his father. He was even imprisoned in a wooden cage for a time, but managed to escape. He became well versed in Mongol diplomacy, which called for bravery in battle and loyalty, although loyalty was secondary in importance; if one could better himself by betraying others, he was expected to do so. By 1206, he had managed to united all the Mongol clans into a single unit under his leadership and he was accordingly declared to be "universal leader," or in the Mongol tongue, Genghis Khan. He escaped his father's fate by having his warriors fight in units comprised of men from different clans, so they would not unite and dispose of him. By virtue of his leadership, the Mongol Empire soon became the largest the world had seen.
Although Genghis was a mighty warrior, he was not interested in administering an Empire, and employed others to do this for him, His primary interest was tribute from those he had conquered. He died in 1227 at which time his Empire was divided by four of his heirs.
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