bigbananaslug (bigbananaslug) wrote,
bigbananaslug
bigbananaslug

Where did liberty come from?

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.
Tags: @fieldmuseum #genghiskhan
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