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How A Poor Mongolian Soldier Became A General After Almost Killing Genghis Khan With An Arrow

The almighty Genghis Khan, the emperor of emperors, the man made of flesh and blood just like you and me.

Whenever we fully admire somebody that we have not really met, we tend to make an image in our head that they are not like us, that they are different, and sometimes inhuman. Genghis Khan is no exception to this, yet he is a man who like all of us had to earn his stripes. Before Temüjin became the great Khan he battled for control and unity of Mongolia, and it’s tribes.

A young Genghis Khan (Nobody actually knows how he really looked like)
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In “The Battle of the Thirteen Sides” Genghis had to fight against the chief of the Tai’Chiyud tribe, which was under the control of Targhutal Kiriltugh. During the battle, one of the Tai’Chiyud horsemen shot and injured Genghis himself, where most sources claim that he was hit in the neck. After the battle was victoriously over, Genghis gathered the remaining men of the opposing tribe.

In an attempt to not show weakness, Genghis commanded the man who had shot his horse to confess. A young warrior stepped forward and confessed that it was him who shot the arrow that hit Genghis, not the horse. That warrior’s name was Zurgadai, and he also added that he did not fear death, and that his fate lied in the hands of Genghis. But should he receive mercy, then he would be the most loyal soldier to ever serve him.

Genghis valued the bravery and loyalty that the young man showed, and he also liked the answer. He pardoned the soldier, and gave him a new name under which he can serve… “Chepe” meaning “Arrow” in Mongolian. Chepe gradually turned into Jebe, and this new general gradually became one of best in the empire.

Jebe (on the ground) alongside Genghis (on the horse)


He became so good, that with time The Khan started fearing a rebellion led by him. Upon hearing this, Jebe returned to Genghis with a generous gift to show loyalty, 100 white horses. The Great Khan never doubted him again.

This young marksman who later turned general led the Mongol army to victory in “The Battle of the Kalkha River”, 20 years after trying to kill the Khan himself. Honesty, loyalty and bravery can take you a long way…

Jebe victorious in “The Battle of the Kalkha River”
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