The Big Yellow Book

Seeing the World from Both Oculars-- a Bananaslug's Journal


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Where did liberty come from?
bigbananaslug
bigbananaslug
I went to the Field Museum of Natural History today, to see the Genghis Khan exhibit. It is, of course, much more than an exhibit about history's greatest conquering general and one of the greatest rulers of all time.

A contemporary portrait of Genghis Khan

Individually I knew all these things...but one of the exhibits had a list of concepts and ideas that were introduced during or just after the Great Khan's life:

--religious toleration and religious freedom
--passports
--postal/pony express service
--broad-based representative democracy (Yes. It wasn't only the Romans and Greeks!)
--regulated money supply
-- meritocracy for promotion in the army and civil service
--modern mobile warfare strategy and tactics

Lots of these things we think of as "Western" accomplishments, when, in fact they came to us through the Mongol domination of the Silk Road in the 13th and 14th centuries. It wasn't just silk and spaghetti.

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The Great Khan, and Freedim...

(Anonymous)
Walt: The really interesting part of the Nomad Civilization, was how they managed to use the skills of the settled folk to improve their moving ways.

Neil Frandsen
Lethbridge, Alberta
(who learned a bit about the moveable life, during 30 years of Seismic Surveying)

just an interesting thought for you: we speak of Alexander the Great spreading Hellenic wisdom and leadership throughout Eurasia and the Mongol Hordes invading and destroying from the East...yet both were doing the exact same thing.

I went and saw that exhibit when it was in the Dallas area last year. I greatly enjoyed it.

yes, rosencrantz23, I do find that interesting. And Alexander did his plundering and killing just as the Mongols did. They may have done it a lot more, however, as with the conquest of Kwaresm and Iraq, "They made a desert and called it peace." But it is clear that both were cultural imperialists as well as militarists.

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