Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum in Izvara
Nicholas Roerich
Estate Museum
in Izvara



A Song

When Chingiz-Khan was born his mother was no longer a favorite of the Khan and therefore the child found no love in the heart of his father, who sent him to a far-off estate. There, when he had grown into manhood, Chingiz-Khan gathered round him others who were unloved and began to lead an aimless life. He seized arms and bond-maids, went hunting and sent no reports about his life to his father, the Khan.

One day, when perhaps drunk with kumiss, Chingiz-Khan made a pact with his friends that they should follow him in all things till death parted them. Then he ordered a whizzing arrow to be made, and commanded his servants to lead out the horses. They mounted—and this is how Chingiz-Khan began his work.

He rode into the steppes and approached his droves of horses. Suddenly he sped his whizzing arrow, striking his best and fleetest horse. A horse is valued as a treasure among Tartars. Some of his friends hesitated to kill their horses and they were beheaded.

Once more Chingiz-Khan went to the steppes and again let fly his whizzing arrow. This time he struck one of his wives. Not all would follow his example. Then those who were afraid were immediately beheaded. The friends were frightened. But he had bound them by an oath to follow him till death. Truly clever, was Chingiz-Khan.

Then rode Chingiz-Khan toward his father’s droves of horses. He sent his whizzing arrow into his father’s horse and all his friends did the same. Thus Chingiz-Khan prepared his friends to work with him and tried his men. Not loved, but feared was Chingiz-Khan. Truly clever was Chingiz-Khan!

One day Chingiz-Khan planned great doings. He rode to his father’s camp and sent a whizzing arrow into his father’s heart. All the friends of Chingiz-Khan followed his example. The old Khan was killed by all the people! And Chingiz-Khan became the Khan of the Great Horde. Truly clever was Chingiz-Khan!

The khans of the Neighboring Empire were not pleased with Chingiz-Khan. They looked disdainfully on the young man and sent an arrogant messenger demanding all his best horses, all the arms set with precious stones and adorned with gold—all the treasures of the Khan. Hearing these demands Chingiz-Khan bowed to the messenger.

Then Chingiz-Khan summoned all his men to a council. His counselors argued together loudly: it was impossible to fight over horses. And all that was demanded of him Chingiz-Khan sent to the neighboring khans. Truly cunning was Chingiz-Khan!

Swollen with pride, the khans of the Neighboring Empire now demanded that all Chingiz’ wives should be sent to them. The counselors protested loudly, they pitied the wives of the Khan and threatened to start war. Again Chingiz-Khan dismissed these counselors and sent all his wives to the Neighboring Empire. Truly cunning was Chingiz-Khan!

The khans of the Neighboring Empire were proud beyond measure. They considered the men of Chingiz-Khan cowards; they insulted and abused the people of the Great Horde; and in their pride they took the guards away from the frontier. The khans amused themselves with Chingiz’ wives and rode his horses while wrath against them grew stronger and stronger in the Great Horde.

Suddenly, Chingiz-Khan rose up by night, ordered his men to follow him on horseback, and attacked the khans of the Neighboring Empire, taking captive all their people. He took all the treasures, the arms and the horses back again; back he took all his wives.

The victory of Chingiz-Khan was praised by his counselors. And Chingiz-Khan said to his eldest son Otokay: “Know how to make people proud, and pride will make them stupid. Then wilt thou master them!” Throughout the Great Horde the Khan was praised. Truly clever was Chingiz-Khan!

And Chingiz-Khan enjoined the Great Horde eternally to keep these precepts: “He who covets a wife—shall be beheaded. He who blasphemes—shall be beheaded. He who takes others’ property—shall be beheaded. He who kills a peaceful man—shall be beheaded. He who passes over to the enemy—shall be beheaded.” Thus, for every one Chingiz-Khan appointed a punishment.

Soon the name of Chingiz-Khan was honored everywhere. All the princes feared Chingiz-Khan. As never before the wealth of the Great Horde grew. Each man had many wives. They dressed in silk cloth, and ate and drank exceeding well. Truly, always clever was Chingiz-Khan!

Chingiz-Khan saw far ahead. He ordered his friends to tear the silken cloth, to feign that they were ailing from good eating. Let the people, as of old, drink milk; let them dress in skins as of old; so that the Great Horde might not weaken! Truly clever was our Chingiz-Khan!

The Great Horde was always ready for battle. And Chingiz-Khan would suddenly lead it into the steppes. He conquered all the steppes of Taourmen. He took possession of all the deserts of Mongolia. He vanquished all China and Tibet. He seized all land from the Red Sea to the Caspian. Such was Chingiz-Khan!

Museum Address: 188414, Izvara Village, Volosovo District, Leningrad Region, Russia.
Phones: +7-813-73-73-273 (group tours); Phone/Fax +7-813-73-73-298 (general)
Museum Director: Cherkasova Olga Anatolievna E-mail: