6. It Was Unwise to Deliberately Insult History’s Scariest Conqueror
Genghis Khan (1162 – 1227) was not somebody a rational person would deliberately seek to insult. He once stated: “Life’s greatest joy is to rout and scatter your enemies, and drive them before you. To see their cities reduced to ashes. To see their loved ones shrouded and in tears, and to gather to your bosom their wives and daughters“. Somebody who says stuff like that is probably not somebody a wise ruler should go out of his way to offend. Yet that is precisely what Shah Muhammad II, ruler of the Khwarezmian Empire from 1200 to 1220, did.
As if to double down on the stupid, Shah Muhammad then dared Genghis Khan to do something about it. Needless to say, it backfired and invited a serious dose of bad karma. Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire, the world’s largest contiguous empire, and was one of history’s scariest figures. His conquests were often accompanied by widespread massacres and genocide. As a percentage of global population, the estimated 40 million deaths of the Mongol conquests he initiated would be equivalent to 278 million deaths in the twentieth century: more than double the fatalities of WWI and WWII combined.