Ep 35 – Subutai

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Late in the 12th century a young nomadic tribeswoman goes into labor under on the Mongolian Steppe.  Some claim that this woman’s child came into our world gripping in his fist a ball of coagulated blood, foreshadowing the millions of deaths that would soon follow.  Upon his birth, the child was given the name, Timujin.  If that name seems unfamiliar to you, it is probably because this child would eventually come to have a different name, a name rivaled maybe only by Jesus of Nazareth in terms of its attributed misery and murder.  This child would come to be known as Genghis Khan and his birth marks the beginning of an era that, that by its end, would bring about the violent death of more than 10% of the Earth’s population.

On this episode, our focus is not on Genghis Khan himself.  Instead, we’ll be talking about the man who served as the Khan’s right hand.  A general in the Mongolian army who was unnaturally gifted in the arenas of war and wartime subterfuge.  A man who, when unleashed, would chase his marks to the ends of the earth pillaging everything along the way and leaving mountains of the dead behind him. Like a ghost or a killer from a late 80s horror movie, this man’s targets would often flee terror, only to run directly into his blade. 

All those upon whom this man was set came to learn the hard way, that much like the Wu-Tang clan of our own time, Subutai ain’t nuth’n to fuck with.

Artwork for this episode was provided by Kevin “from Groveport” Edwards.  Thanks Kevin!  Check out more of his artwork on Instagram @ https://www.instagram.com/blackmoth7g


Carlin, Dan. The Wrath of the Khans.  Dancarlin.com. Published 2020. Accessed January 20, 2021. https://www.dancarlin.com/‌

Gabriel, Richard A. Great Generals of the Ancient World : The Personality, Intellectual and Leadership Traits That Made Them Great. South Yorkshire, Pen & Sword Military, 2017. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), libdata.lib.ua.edu/login?url=search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1638941&site=edslive&scope=site.

Subotai the Valiant : Genghis Khan’s Greatest General. Praeger, 2004. University of Alabama Libraries’ Classic Catalog, libdata.lib.ua.edu/login?url=search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat00456a&AN=ua.1677394&site=edslive&scope=site.

“The RIGHT HAND of KHAN.” Military History, vol. 25, no. 2, May 2008, pp. 42–49. Military & Government Collection, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mth&AN=31706812&site=ehostlive&scope=site.

Guzman, Gregory G. “European captives and craftsmen among the Mongols, 1231-1255.” The Historian, vol. 72, no. 1, 2010, p. 122+. Gale Academic OneFile, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A221917893/AONE?u=tusc49521&sid=AONE&xid=fba6c52c. Accessed 12 Jan. 2021.

Hildinger, Erik. “Mongol Invasion of Europe.” Military History, vol. 14, no. 2, June 1997, p. 38. Military & Government Collection, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mth&AN=9704244063&site=ehostlive&scope=site.

Montalbano, Kathryn A. “Misunderstanding the Mongols: Intercultural Communication in Three ThirteenthCentury Franciscan Travel Accounts.” Information & Culture, vol. 50, no. 4, 2015, pp. 588–610, doi.org/10.7560/IC50406, 10.7560/IC50406. Accessed 12 Jan. 2021.

Pow, Stephen, and Jingjing Liao. “Subutai: Sorting Fact from Fiction Surrounding the Mongol Empire’s Greatest General (with Translations of Subutai’s Two Biographies in the Yuan Shi).” Journal of Chinese Military History, vol. 7, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 37–76. Historical Abstracts with Full Text, libdata.lib.ua.edu/login?url=search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=30h&AN=130077190&site=edslive&scope=site, 10.1163/2212745312341323.

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