Genghis Khan statue at Tsonjin Boldog, 54 km (33.55 mi) east of the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar.
The Khans' ruthless tactics and loyal horde swept across Asia. One territory after another fell under the overwhelming force of the Mongol Empire, which would eventually stretch from the eastern shores of China. A series of successful forays in Hungary and Poland made even Europe seem within reach of conquering.
But this unstoppable wave of victories in Europe suddenly ended. Almost as soon as the Mongols set their sights set on Austria, they abruptly returned to Asia.
Historians could only guess why until now, since written accounts from the point of view of Mongol military leaders are sparse. But a new study in the journal Scientific Reports looked at a different kind of record to solve the mystery of the horde's abrupt exit from central Europe: tree rings.
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The Murder of Caesar
1. Khwarazmian Shah Beheads Genghis Khan’s Ambassador.
2. An Open Gate Leads to the Fall of Constantinople.
3. Alexander the Great Doesn’t Name a Successor.
4. Caesar Is Assassinated to Save the Republic.
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10 Forgotten Female Warriors Who Shocked The Ancient World, (#1: Fu Hao 婦好)
#10. Cynane (Greek: Kυνάνη, Kynane or Κύνα, Kyna; killed 323 BC) was half-sister to Alexander the Great, and daughter of Philip II by Audata, an Illyrian princess. (Wikipedia: Cynane)
#9. Mavia (Arab warrior-queen) (Wikipedia: Mavia (queen))
#8. Lu’s Mother 呂母 (died 18 AD) was a rebel leader against the Xin dynasty (新朝) in ancient China. She started a peasant uprising after her son Lü Yu was executed by the government for a minor offence, and became the first female rebel leader in Chinese history. After she died of an illness, her followers became a major force of the Red Eyebrows Rebellions which played a significant role in the downfall of the Xin dynasty and the restoration of the Han dynasty by Liu Xiu, enthroned as Emperor Guangwu of Han. (Wikipedia: Mother Lü)
#7. Rhodogune was the daughter of the Parthian king Mithridates I (171 BCE-138 BCE), and sister of Phraates II (ruled 138 BCE-127 BCE). (Wikipedia: Rhodogune of Parthia)
#6. The Trung Sisters (c. 12 – c.43 CE) were Vietnamese military leaders who ruled for three years after rebelling in 40 AD against the first Chinese domination of Vietnam. They are regarded as national heroines of Vietnam. Their names were Trưng Trắc (徵側) and Trưng Nhị (徵貳). (Wikipedia: Trưng Sisters)
#5. Lady Trieu Lady Triệu (Vietnamese: Bà Triệu, Sino-Vietnamese: 趙嫗 Triệu Ẩu; 225–248) was a female warrior in 3rd century Vietnam who managed, for a time, to successfully resist the Chinese state of Eastern Wu during its occupation of Vietnam. She is also called Triệu Thị Trinh, although her actual given name is unknown. She is quoted as saying, "I'd like to ride storms, kill sharks in the open sea, drive out the aggressors, reconquer the country, undo the ties of serfdom, and never bend my back to be the concubine of whatever man." She has also been called the Vietnamese Joan of Arc. (Wikipedia: Lady Triệu)
#4. Amanirenas (also spelled Amanirena) was a queen of the Meroitic Kingdom of Kush. (Wikipedia: Amanirenas)
#3. Princess Pingyang (Chinese: 平陽公主 Píngyáng Gōngzhǔ), formally Princess Zhao of Pingyang (平陽昭公主) (598 - 623) was the daughter of Emperor Gaozu of Tang (Li Yuan), the founding emperor of the Tang Dynasty. She helped him to seize power and eventually take over the throne from Sui Dynasty by organizing an army of women (娘子軍), commanded by herself, in her campaign to capture the Sui capital Chang'an. (Wikipedia: Princess Pingyang)
#2. Hydna of Scione (alternately called Cyana) (fl. 480 BCE) was an ancient Greek swimmer and diver given credit for the destruction of the Persian navy around 480 BCE. (Wikipedia: Hydna)
#1. Fu Hao (Chinese: 婦好 Fù Hǎo; died c. 1200 BC) or Lady Hao, posthumously Mu Xin (母辛), and sometimes Lady Fu Hao, was one of the many wives of King Wu Ding of the Shang dynasty and, unusually for that time, also served as a military general and high priestess. (Wikipedia: Fu Hao)
Left: Statue of Fu Hao (婦好) at Yinxu, Henan, China
Right: Tomb of Lady Fu Hao, Yinxu, Henan, China 中國河南殷墟婦好古墓
Fu Hao (simplified Chinese: 妇好; traditional Chinese: 婦好; pinyin: Fù Hǎo; died c. 1200 BC) or Lady Hao, posthumously Mu Xin (母辛), and sometimes Lady Fu Hao, was one of the many wives of King Wu Ding of the Shang dynasty and, unusually for that time, also served as a military general and high priestess.
Her tomb was unearthed at Yinxu, by archaeologist Zheng Zhenxiang intact with treasures such as bronzes and jades. Inside the pit was evidence of a wooden chamber 5 meters long, 3.5 m wide and 1.3 m high containing a lacquered wooden coffin that has since completely disintegrated.
What is known is that King Wu Ding would cultivate the allegiance of neighbouring tribes by marrying one woman from each of them. Fu Hao (who was one of the king's 60 wives) entered the royal household through such a marriage and took advantage of the semi-matriarchal slave society to rise through the ranks. Fu Hao is known to modern scholars mainly from inscriptions on Shang dynasty oracle bone artifacts unearthed at Yinxu.
In these inscriptions she is shown to have led numerous military campaigns. The Tu-Fang had fought against the Shang for generations until they were finally defeated by Fu Hao in a single decisive battle. Further campaigns against the neighbouring Yi, Qiang and Ba followed; the latter is particularly remembered as the earliest recorded large-scale ambush in Chinese history. With up to 13,000 soldiers and important generals Zhi and Hou Gao serving under her, she was the most powerful Shang general of her time. This highly unusual status is confirmed by the many weapons, including great battle-axes, unearthed from her tomb.
Although the Shang King exercised ultimate control over ritual matters, which were the most important political activity of the day, oracle bone inscriptions show that Wu Ding repeatedly instructed Fu Hao to conduct special rituals and offer sacrifices. This was very unusual for a woman of that time, and shows that the king must have had great confidence in his wife. The sacrificial bronze vessels and tortoise shells inscribed prepared by Fu Hao discovered in her tomb further evidence her status as high priestess and oracle caster.
She also controlled her own fiefdom on the borders of the empire, and was the mother of Prince Jie (oracle bone inscriptions show concern for her well-being at the time of the birth). She died before King Wu Ding, and he constructed a tomb for her on the edge of the royal cemetery at his capital Yin. The King later made many sacrifices here in hope for her spiritual assistance in defeating the attacking Gong, who threatened to completely wipe out the Shang. The tomb was unearthed by archaeologists in 1976 and is now open to the public.