History News Network
1. He was a one-dimensional tyrant of a ‘right wing’ kind
A close study of the principal sources (in Mongolian, Arabic and Persian) reveals a personality of the utmost complexity. Depending on mood or context he could be all of the following: shrewd, far-sighted, just, generous, stoical, restrained, iron-willed, multitalented, a man with all the gifts of a great ruler and cowardly, treacherous, devious, ruthless, ungrateful, vengeful and even stupid.
Usually an uncannily sharp reader of men, he could be naïve, as when he was taken in by a Chinese charlatan called Chung Chan, who became his guru and spiritual adviser. But in this respect he was not so very different from those eminent personalities in modern times who…
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