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6 The Transformation of a Myth of Origins, Genghis Khan and Timur

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyzes the tales that include Genghis Khan's origin myth, as they appear in the Mongol and Islamic traditions up to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It also examines how the myth's symbolic structure was gradually brought into line with the religious and cultural universes of the conqueror's heirs: the variations and omissions reveal more as to each historiographer's personal approach than do the similarities between different versions of the myth. Two Arabic inscriptions in Timur's mausoleum, the Gūr-i Amīr in Samarkand, mention a genealogy that links him to Genghis Khan and his ancestors through a certain Amīr Budhunjar who is said to have lived in the second half of the tenth century. The Mongols found the Turkic myth alive in East Eurasian and they turned it to their own use.

Keywords: genealogy; Genghis Khan's origin myth; Islamic tradition; Mongols; Samarkand; Timur; Turkic myth



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