Chinggis (Genghis) Khan was born probably in 1167, though
Mongol tradition has it that he was born in 1162. Because
much of his early life is not described, except in myth, reliable
knowledge of Chinggis's early life is very limited.
What we do know is that his father was assassinated when
Chinggis was nine years old, and that this event left his
family extremely vulnerable. Chinggis's mother appears in
the traditional Mongol sources as a savior and great heroine.
Chinggis's mother kept her family together, even after many
of her retainers left when her husband, the family patriarch,
was killed. She kept the family going in the harsh desert
lands of Mongolia, surviving on nuts and berries or whatever
else they could find. She taught Chinggis the basic skills
of survival, particularly those needed for survival in the
steppelands and in the desert.