“she’d make a dash at the host of the enemy, and seize some man there out”

Khutulun, Wrestler Princess of the Mongol Empire


The great-granddaughter of Genghis Khan, she was the youngest sibling of 14 brothers and grew up to be fiercer than all of them. Within the context of a society that valued physical aptitude and strength (including in women), she became a trusted warrior that inspired confidence in war and politics and represented a symbol of luck – a talis(wo!)man.

Everyone worshipped her. Marco Polo wrote about her unorthodox war capturing strategy, she’d “make a dash at the host of the enemy, and seize some man there out, as deftly as a hawk pounces on a bird, and carry him to her father.” She refused to marry anyone who couldn’t beat her in a wrestling match. She always won and became known as the “princess of 10,000 horses” (losing opponents gave her their horses).

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