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Temüge (1168 – 1246) was the youngest full-brother of Genghis Khan, fourth son of Yesugei and Oelun. The Secret History of the Mongols tells that "when Temujin was 9 years of age, Temuge was three years old." Being the youngest boy in the family, he received a prefix to the name "otchigin" (diminutive form of "отгон" or “otgon” meaning "junior"), who in the family is always a "guardian of the family and home"), and therefore is often referred to as Temuge-otchigin or simply Otchigin. In childhood and adolescence was somewhat spoiled by his mother and older brothers, inclined to luxury, but was "courageous, powerful and quick in battle" that was recognized even by the family's enemies; when the shaman Kokochu (Teb-Tengri) started dragging the power over the Mongols to his own family, Genghis khan sanctioned Temuge to kill Kokochu in a staged wrestling match.

As the youngest male sibling, Temüge and his mother, by Mongol traditions, were allotted the most land and people by Genghis Khan during his coronation. Although he seems to have been the least warlike of the brothers, and was criticized by Genghis himself for being lazy and shiftless, Temüge proved himself to be a skilled politician and capable ruler, who, alongside his mother Hoelun, ruled the Mongol heartland in his eldest brothers' absence being engaged in war campaigns, he appears to have had intellectual leanings, first coming under the influence of the conquered Xia and Jin cultures and then taking an active interest in the other cultures encompassed in the vast Mongol empire.

Temuge attempted to enter the main political arena after the death of Ögedei Khan, his nephew and son of Genghis Khan, in 1241. At that time, Ogedei’s son Güyük Khan was engaged in so-called "Western campaign" in Russia and Europe, so Temuge-otchigin tried to seize the throne, but he was intervened by Töregene, Ogedei’s widow and Güyük’s mother. After the 1246 kurultai elected Güyük as great khan, Temuge was executed.


Yesugei Baghatur
Temüjin (Genghis Khan)