Every history buff is familiar with the great Khwarezmian Empire. No? The Khwarezmian Empire under the stewardship of Shah Ala ad-Din Muhammad reached the height of its glory during the early 13th century. It also reached its nadir during the early 13th century. The story of the Khwarezmian Empire is a cautionary tale about the  genghisimportance of peace, friendship and good manners and as such would be uplifting in its own special way were it not for all the bloodshed and gore.

Khwarezmia was a neighbor to Mongolia whose benevolent commander-in-chief was none other than Genghis Khan, who had a bit of a bad reputation throughout the East. Nevertheless Genghis offered an olive branch to the shah by sending him a rather lavish fruit basket with the Hallmark words of friendship: ‘You are the ruler of the land of the rising sun and I of the setting sun.’

Comes a watershed moment in the history of Khwarezmia and possibly the reason it doesn’t trip off our tongues today. Genghis sent a delegation of several hundred men to deliver the fruit basket, but the shah, in an admittedly bad start to a relationship, had them tossed into a dungeon. He kept the fruit basket.

Genghis was irked, but thought maybe the shah misunderstood his intentions (his being a foreigner and all). So he sent three royal ambassadors — two Mongols and a Muslim interpreter –to make inquiries. The shah, in what we can all agree was a doozie of a tactical blunder, had everyone in the first delegation killed, shaved the heads of the two Mongol ambassadors, and sent them back with the head of the interpreter as his answer to Genghis.

Genghis Khan sent no further pleasantries. On September 21, 1219, he personally visited Khwarezmia, along with thousands of his best cutthroats. Khwarezmian cities fell like dominoes. The shah’s army was decimated and four million Khwarezmians were killed. Genghis even diverted rivers to erase the shah’s birthplace. The empire ceased to exist.

Inspirational Quote for 9/21/16



5 thoughts on “September 21, 1219: I’m-a Gonna Give You Apple and a Plum and an Apricot or Two

  1. And I thought they just disbanded the empire because no one could find words to rhyme with “Khwarezmian” for their national anthem.

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