Genghis Khan's code of laws published

Updated: 2007-08-30 15:03

HOHHOT - Chinese researchers have republished Genghis Khan's code of laws, probably the world's earliest that banned homosexuality.

"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, Genghis Khan banned homosexuality, saying "men committed 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 to compile the code.

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

Genghis Khan's code of laws also highlighted environment protection, the researchers have found.

The code stipulated that death penalty was applied to those who damaged the grassland with unauthorized excavations or caused fire. Meanwhile, it prohibited hand washing or getting drowned in rivers.

Reproduction of the code was based on research findings of the experts, who referred to literatures on Mongolian history as well as other classics including Marco Polo's travelogue to find content of the code, as its 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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