Great Yasa

of Genghis Khan (A.K.A Chingis-Khan)

A code of honor, dignity and excellence

Genghis Khan
  1. An adulterer is to be put to death without any regard as to whether he is married or not.

  2. Whoever is guilty of sodomy is also to be put to death.

  3. Whoever intentionally lies, or practices sorcery, or spies upon the behavior of others, or intervenes between the two parties in a quarrel to help the one against the other is also to be put to death.

 
  1. Whoever urinates into water or ashes is also to be put to death.

  2. Whoever takes goods (on credit) and becomes bankrupt, then again takes goods and again becomes bankrupt, then takes goods again and yet again becomes bankrupt is to be put to death after the third time.

  3. Whoever gives food or clothing to a captive without the permission of his captor is to be put to death.

  4. Whoever finds a runaway slave or captive and does not return him to the person to whom he belongs is to be put to death.

  5. When an animal is to be eaten, its feet must be tied, its belly ripped open and its heart squeezed in the hand until the animal dies; then its meat may be eaten; but if anyone slaughter an animal after the Mohammedan fashion, he is to be himself slaughtered.

  6. If in battle, during an attack or a retreat, anyone let fall his pack, or bow, or any luggage, the man behind him must alight and return the thing fallen to its owner; if he does not so alight and return the thing fallen, he is to be put to death.

  7. No taxes or duties should be imposed upon fakirs, religious devotees, lawyers, physicians, scholars, people who devote themselves to prayer and asceticism, muezzins and those who wash the bodies of the dead.

  8. All religions are to be respected and that no preference was to be shown to any of them.

  9. It's forbidden to eat food offered by another until the one offering the food tasted of it himself, even though one be a prince and the other a captive; it is forbidden to eat anything in the presence of another without having invited him to partake of the food; It is forbidden for any man to eat more than his comrades, and to step over a fire on which food was being cooked or a dish from which people were eating.

  10. When a wayfarer passes by people eating, he must alight and eat with them without asking for permission, and they must not forbid him this.

  11. Don't dip your hands into water, use some vessel for the drawing of water.

  12. Don't wash your clothes until they are completely worn out.

  13. Don't say anything that is unclean.

  14. It is forbidden to show preference for any sect, to pronounce words with emphasis, to use honorary titles; when speaking to the Khan or anyone else simply his name is to be used.

  15. Commanders should personally examine the troops and their armament before going to battle, to supply the troops with everything they needed for the campaign and to survey everything even to needle and thread, and if any of the soldiers lacked a necessary thing that soldier was to be punished.

  16. Women accompanying the troops should do the work and perform the duties of the men while the latter are absent fighting.

  17. All people should present all their daughters to the Khan at the beginning of each year that he might choose some of them for himself and his children.

  18. A leader, if he had committed some offence, should give himself up to the messenger sent by the sovereign to punish him, even if he was the lowest of his servants; and prostrate himself before him until he had carried out the punishment prescribed by the sovereign, even if it be to put him to death.

  19. Permanent postal communications are to be established in order that the Khan might be informed in good time of all the events of the country.

  20. The man in whose possession a stolen horse is found must return it to its owner and add nine horses of the same kind: if he is unable to pay this fine, his children must be taken instead of the horses, and if he has no children, he himself shall be slaughtered like a sheep.

  21. Lies, theft and adultery are forbidden. Don't give false witness, don't be be a traitor. Everyone should love of one's neighbor as one's self; men should not hurt each other and forget offences completely. Countries and cities which submit voluntarily are to be spared. Temples consecrated to God are to be freed from taxes. Old people and beggars are to be respected. Whoever violates these commands is to be put to death.

  22. A man who chokes on food must be driven out of the camp and immediately killed; and whosoever puts his foot on the threshold of the tent of the commander of an army shall also be put to death.

  23. If unable to abstain from drinking, a man may get drunk three times a month; if he does it more than three times he is culpable; if he gets drunk twice a month it is better; if once a month, this is still more laudable; and if one does not drink at all what can be better? But where can I find such a man? If such a man were found he would be worthy of the highest esteem.

  24. Children born of a concubine are to be considered as legitimate, and receive their share of the heritage according to the disposition of it made by the father. The distribution of property is to be carried out on the basis of the senior son receiving more than the junior, the younger son inheriting the household of the father. The seniority of children depends upon the rank of their mother; one of the wives must always be the senior, this being determined chiefly by the time of her marriage.

  25. After the death of his father, a son may dispose of the father's wives, all except his mother; he may marry them or give them in marriage to others.

  26. All except the legal heirs are strictly forbidden to make use of any of the property of the deceased.

 

"If the great, the military leaders and the leaders of the many descendants of the ruler who will be born in the future, should not adhere strictly to the Yasa, then the power of the state will be shattered and come to an end, no matter how they then seek Genghis Khan, they shall not find him."

~ Genghis Khan


Genghis Khan (1162? 1227), born Temujin, was the founder and Great Khan (emperor) of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his demise.

Beyond his military accomplishments, Genghis Khan also advanced the Mongol Empire in other ways. He decreed the adoption of the Uyghur script as the Mongol Empire's writing system.

Genghis Khan also felt that education was important and scholars were to be treated with dignity and respect. They were encouraged to teach others whatever they wished.

He also promoted religious tolerance in the Mongol Empire, and created a unified empire from the nomadic tribes of northeast Asia. Present-day Mongolians regard him as the founding father of Mongolia.

 

Yasa is Mongolian for a code of honor and was basically the laws and regulations put in place by Genghis Khan, a conqueror and statesman of great skill during the 1200's.

The Great Yasa of Chingis Khan was, among other things, a collection of Chingis Khan's maxims, regulations and instructions. At his acquisition of supreme power in 1206, he already had prepared his Great Yasa, which continued to be developed during his lifetime.

The Yasa was written, but no complete copies exist, only fragments that have been recorded by others over time.

 

 

"The Great Yasa was not a mere book of laws. Naturally, it also was that, since it contained codification of ancient Mongol customs. The Yasa was however much more than this. It was the philosophical and spiritual content of the work that gave it its impact. This work was, in addition to being a guide in practical matters, also a magical work of great power, a talisman, and contained secret magical formulas as well as philosophical and ethical guidelines for the Mongol people. For this reason it was only a small, select group of people who was allowed to read it directly."

~ Per Inge Oestmoen