Tim Cope on the Trial of Genghis Khan Tim Cope

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The relationship between man and horse on the Eurasian steppe gave ride to a succession of rich nomadic cultures. Amongst them were the Mongols of the thirteenth centry Ė a small tride, which, under the charismatic leadership of Genghis Khan, created the largest contiguous land empire in history. Inspired by the extraordinary life the nomads still lead today, Tim Cope embarked on a jounrye that hadnít been successfully completed since those times: to travel on horseback the entire length of the Eurasian steppe, from Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia, through Kazakhstan, Russia, Crimea and the Ukraine to the Danube River in Hungary.

From novice rider to travelling three years and 10,000 kilometres on horseback, accompanied by his dog, Tigon, Tim learnt to fend off wolves and would-be horse-thieves, and grapple with the extremes of the steppe as he crossed sub-zero plateaux, the scorching deserts of Kazakhstan and the high-mountain passes of the Carpathians. Along the way, he was taken in by people who taught him the traditional was and told him their recent history: how Stalinís push for industrialisation brought calamity to the steppe, with forced collectivisation in Kazakhstan along leading to the loss of several million livestock and the starvation of more than a million nomands. Today Cope bears witness to how to traditional ways hang precariously in the balance in the post-Soviet world.

A story of adventure, endurance and eventual triumph, On the Trial of Genghis Khan is at once a celebration of and an elegy for an ancient way of life.