Yesugei Baghatur or Yesükhei (Traditional Mongolian: ᠶᠢᠰᠦᠭᠡᠢ ᠪᠠᠭᠠᠲᠤᠷ; Modern Mongolian: Есүхэй баатар, Yesukhei baatar, [ˈjosuxɛː ˈbaːtər]; Chinese: 也速該; pinyin: Yěsùgāi) (b. 1134 – d. 1171) was a major chief of the Khamag Mongol confederation and the father of Temüjin, later known as Genghis Khan. He was from the Borjigin family, and his name means "like nine", meaning he had the auspicious qualities of the number nine, a lucky number to the Mongols.

ᠶᠢᠰᠦᠭᠡᠢ ᠪᠠᠭᠠᠲᠤᠷ
Yesugei Bagatur
De facto ruler of Khamag Mongol
Reignc. 1160 – 1171
PredecessorHotula Khan
SuccessorGenghis Khan
Bornc. 1134
Mongolian Plateau
Diedc. 1171
(aged 36–37)
Mongolian Plateau
IssueGenghis Khan
Yesugie Bagatur
Posthumous name
Emperor Shényuán (神元皇帝)
Temple name
Liezu (烈祖)
FatherBartan Bagatur

Life edit

Yesügei was the son of Bartan Baghatur, who was the second son of Khabul Khan. Khabul was recognized as a khagan by the Jin Dynasty. Khabul Khan was, in turn, the great-grandson of the Mongol chief Khaidu, the first to try to unite the Mongols. Yesügei's first and chief wife, Hoelun, a daughter of the Olkhunut forest people, was abducted by Yesügei with the help of his elder brother Negün Taishi and younger brother Daritai Otchigin, from her newlywed husband Chiledu of Merkits.[1] Yesügei abducted Hoelun because of her beauty and indications of fertility.[2]

After the Khamag Mongol confederation khan Hotula died, the confederation had no elected king, but de facto Yesügei ruled the confederation. Yesügei had a bloodbrother, or anda, Toghrul Khan (later known as Wang Khan and Ong Khan). Yesügei helped Toghrul to defeat his uncle Gurkhan. After Yesügei's death, Toghrul initially helped Temüjin in arranging his marriage to Börte and uniting the tribes, but later defected to Genghis' anda and rival, Jamukha.

In 1171 Yesügei died when his son Temüjin was nine years old. The Secret History of the Mongols records that he was poisoned by Tatars while sharing a meal at a wedding[3] on the way home after leaving Temüjin at the home of Dai Setsen, a noble man of Khongirad tribe, when two fathers, Yesügei and Dai Setsen, agreed that their children, Temüjin and Börte, would marry.[3]

When Yesügei was on his way home after leaving Temüjin with Börte's family, he noticed an encampment where the Tatars were celebrating a feast. The Secret History explains that he wanted to join their feast, but he knew he could not reveal his identity since he was known among the Tatars as the person who killed their relative (called Temüjin Uge) in a battle eight years earlier.[4] Yesügei tried his luck but someone recognized him and offered him poisoned food under the guise of hospitality. Although ill, Yesügei managed to escape back to his family's camp.[4]

Yesügei died three days later at home.

Legacy edit

During the reign of the Yuan dynasty, he was given the temple name of Liezu (Chinese: 烈祖; lit. 'Ardent Founder') and the posthumous name Shenyuan Huangdi (Chinese: 神元皇帝; lit. 'Supernaturally Prime Emperor').[5]

Family edit

Yesügei and Hoelun had four sons Temüjin, (later known as Genghis Khan), Hasar, Hachiun, Temüge and a daughter, Temülen. Yesugei had two sons by his second wife Sochigel: Behter and Belgutei. The Secret History of the Mongols records that in his youth Temüjin killed his brother Behter in a fight for food. His other half-brother, Belgutei, however was a good friend, and later became a general under Genghis.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Waley, Arthur (2013-05-13). The Secret History of the Mongols: And Other Pieces. Routledge. pp. 222–225. ISBN 978-1-136-74824-0.
  2. ^ Broadbridge, Anne F. (2018-07-18). Women and the Making of the Mongol Empire. Cambridge University Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-108-63662-9.
  3. ^ a b Cleaves, Francis Woodman (1982). The Secret History of the Mongols: Translation. Harvard-Yenching Institute. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-674-79670-6.
  4. ^ a b Weatherford, Jack (2005). Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. Crown Publishing Group. p. 18.
  5. ^ Atwood, Christopher P. (2012). "Six Pre-Chinggisid Genealogies in the Mongol Empire". Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi (19): 5–58.

External links edit

  •   Media related to Yesugei at Wikimedia Commons