Genghis Khan: Environmentalist, homophobe

Updated: 2007-08-31 07:42

HOHHOT: Chinese researchers have republished Genghis Khan's code of laws, probably the world's first to ban homosexuality.

A portrait of Genghis Khan [baidu]

Genghis Khan's Code, published by the Beijing-based Commercial Press, contains Chinese and English versions of the code as well as interpretations of the laws based on research findings.

In article 48 of what is believed to be the world's first constitution, Khan bans homosexuality, saying, "Men who commit sodomy shall be put to death", according to experts with Inner Mongolia's research institute of ancient Mongolian laws and sociology who spent 14 months compiling the code.

Experts say this was because Khan wanted to expand the Mongolian population, which was about 1.5 million, compared with 100 million rivals of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) that dominated today's central China.

The code of laws also highlighted a concern for environmental protection, the researchers said.

It stipulated that the death penalty would be handed out to those who damaged the grassland with unauthorized excavations or caused fire. Meanwhile, it prohibited hand washing and drowning people in rivers.

The reproduction of the code is based on the findings of the researchers, who referred to literature on Mongolian history as well as other works such as Marco Polo's travelogue to determine its content. The original text was lost more than 600 years ago.

Genghis Khan, whose grandson Kublai Khan founded the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), unified Mongol tribes and conquered most of Eurasia.

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