Genghis Khan, known for rampaging across much of Asia, Europe and the Middle East to create one of the world's greatest empires, also brought along the essence of Asian culture and promoted cultural progress in Europe, Chinese historians claimed today.
"Genghis Khan introduced papermaking and printing technologies to Europe and pioneered cultural exchanges between Asia and Europe," a specialist on Mongolian history at Beijing Union University, Prof Zhu Yaoting said.
"He brought cultural progress that helped liberate the Europeans from the bondage of theology -- in this sense, his expeditions served as catalyst for the Renaissance," he said at a seminar on Genghis Khan studies held in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Genghis Khan expanded from central China to northwest Xinjiang and Central Asia, a communication network with messengers commuting between many relay stations to send messages, Zhu was quoted as saying by the Xinhua. The Chinese, got in return drugs, knitwear and the Western calendar.
Between 1219 and 1225, Genghis's troop went on several expeditions to the Black Sea. "Despite the harm caused along the way, the expeditions were intertwined with some milestones of Chinese and world history," an Inner Mongolia University professor, Ma Ji said.
This year marks the 800th anniversary of Genghis Khan's Mongolian Empire. Genghis Khan was born in 1167 into an aristocratic family near the Onon River in Mongolia.
In 1206, he unified Mongol tribes and became the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. Conferred the title of "Genghis Khan", meaning the "universal ruler", he conquered most of Eurasia and fathered many children.