Genghis Khan was always be known as the fiercest war general and one of the most tyrannical leaders to ever plague the planet. Through brute force, he conquered and united Mongolian tribes, creating a nation that would go on to ravage the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
While his name is cemented in history books around the world, his great-granddaughter, Khutulun, has pretty much remained below the radar. However, she was just as fierce and unforgiving as her fearsome great-grandfather, as well as a seasoned veteran and undefeated wrestling champion.
In fact, her wrestling reputation had not only brought her riches beyond anyone’s wildest dreams at the time, but she even made a point not to tie the knot with a man who couldn’t beat her at her own sport.
Every time a potential suitor came knocking on her door to ask for her hand in marriage, she had them prepare horses, which were used as betting chips at the time, in case they lost. Man after man, Khutulun knocked them down and out, collecting as many as 10,000 horses at one point.
Khutulun was a wrestling champion who had donned men’s clothing in order to participate. She inherited the height and body tone from her great-grandfather, which helped her knock her opponents down easily and swiftly. She was a successful competitor until her teenage years when her father began looking for a suitor.
Although it was tradition for a father to find a husband for his daughter, Khutulun was against the idea of marrying someone who would undoubtedly be physically weaker than she was. Their tradition also allowed men to have as many wives as they wanted while keeping a harem of concubines nearby. Needless to say, love and respect weren’t considered very important at the time.
Being a powerful and outspoken warrior princess, she flat-out told her father about her refusal to have an arranged wedding. After her father relented, Khutulun issued a royal decree, letting all men know she was available if they could beat her in wrestling. An eligible suitor had to prepare a 100-horse wager.
Eventually, a handsome prince in his 20s would try his luck in the ring against his potential fiancé. In the beginning, it appeared that he had bested her, but Khutulun ended up slamming the prince hard onto the floor. The cheering crowd who had gathered for the spectacle left disappointed and thinking that their princess would never find a husband.
In Mongolian tradition, the successor to the throne is not the eldest son or daughter, but rather, the strongest among all of the emperor’s children. On her father’s deathbed, he mentioned that his only regret was not appointing Khutulun to become the next ruler before his final moments. However, out of jealousy and anger that they had lost the throne to their sister, her brothers had her assassinated before she became the official ruler of the empire.