Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ Mobile

Genghis Khan has many wives. Source: Hui / Adobe Stock.

The Sad Truth about Genghis Khan's Wives (Video)


Genghis Khan, the famed Mongol leader, is known not only for his vast empire but also for his unique approach to marriage. In an era where alliances and politics played a crucial role, Khan's marriages were strategic. He preferred women with specific physical attributes, including cute noses, rounded hips, and long hair, often abducting them from rival tribes to strengthen his own clan group. One of his most notable wives was Empress Börte, married to Khan at a young age to solidify an alliance. She played a significant advisory role during his conquests, ruling wisely in his absence. Despite Khan's many marriages and affairs, Börte remained steadfast.

Women during the Mongol conquests often faced hardship. The most beautiful women were spared from abuse but paraded in front of Khan, while those not meeting his beauty standards suffered a different fate. In a society without male monogamy, Genghis Khan had numerous wives, with only the sons of his first wife considered legitimate heirs. The rest were marginalized by history. Genghis Khan's approach to marriage reflects the challenges faced by women in his era. His legacy, as both a conqueror and husband, remains a complex and controversial topic in history.

Top image: Genghis Khan has many wives. Source: Hui / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

Next article