Large statue of Genghis Khan that sits in the central square of Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have signed an agreement with the Mongolian government which will see them explore the legacy of the legendary figure Genghis Khan - or Chinggis Khaan as he is known in Mongolia.

Under the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding, Cambridge’s Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit (MIASU) will work together with the Mongolian government to promote and further academic links, including the possibility of a programme for visiting research fellowships and travel grants to promote the study of Chinggis Khaan.

The agreement was signed during a visit to the UK by Mongolian Culture Minister Nomin Chinbat, a former media CEO who brought the TV show Mongolia’s Got Talent to the Asian country. The visit adds to a growing awareness of Mongolian culture in the UK, with historic art and precious artefacts from the early years of the nomadic Mongol Empire set to be displayed at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and the opening of The Mongol Khan theatre production at the London Coliseum.

Professor David Sneath, Director of the Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit at the University of Cambridge, said:

 “This is all about exploring the historical reality behind the myth… We are interested not just in the man himself, Chinggis Khaan - although of course he is of great historical interest - but in his legacy. We are trying to encourage a deeper study of Chinggis Khan and his impact.”

Minister Chinbat said: “Of course Chinggis Khaan is primarily known for his warriorship, but he was also a great diplomat, innovator and ruler.  How many people know he invented the postal service, the first passports? That he showed great religious tolerance, and he himself was a peacemaker?

“That’s why we look forward to working with the University of Cambridge to foster the next generation of Mongolian academics and strengthen understanding of the Mongol Empire’s impact across the world.”

MIASU’s Professor Uradyn E Bulag added: “Because in Mongolia we didn’t have a written tradition as strong as our neighbours, to some extent our history – and the history of Chinggis Khan – was written by others… This will be a chance to hopefully reset the balance.”

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