Two men caused an entire Empire to be wiped out by provoking Genghis Khan
In the 12th century, Genghis Khan, one of the most ruthless warlords of all time, who practically conquered most of Asia, sent a caravan to open trade deals with the Khwarazmian Empire (which lies in Iran today).
When the caravan reached the city of Otra, the city governor Inalchuq ordered his troops to slaughter everyone and loot their belongings.
Normally, any political leader of the time would be extremely pissed at this reaction to a friendly greeting, and one would expect such a reaction from someone with the reputation of Genghis Khan.
But in this case, Genghis Khan was extremely lenient.
He sent 3 ambassadors to the Khwarazmian Empire to negotiate and figure out a solution, while calling for punishment against the governor Inalchuq.
But Inalchuq was the Shah’s uncle.
The Shah Mohammad II proceeded to execute one of the ambassadors and cut off the other two’s beards, then sent them back to Genghis Khan for humiliation.
So understandably, Genghis Khan was absolutely pissed.
Genghis Khan proceeded to amass an army of 100,000 men and invaded the Khwarazmian Empire.
Naturally, the Khwarzemids stood no chance against the Mongols. Their armies were absolutely devastated. The Mongols looted and murdered and enslaved without brake wherever they went.
When the Mongolians conquered Otra, the city where their caravan was slaughtered, Genghis Khan poured molten silver onto the governor’s head, alluding to Viserys’ death from Game of Thrones.
The Shah fled to an island, where he died. When the conquest of the Empire was complete, Genghis Khan razed the cities and the entire Khwarezmid culture through the destruction of buildings and books, massacred most of the civilians, and according to certain accounts, ordered a river to be diverted through the remains of the Shah’s birthplace to wipe it from the map.
The damage of this conquest is still evident today. The Mongolians ruined the agriculture of the region that makes the situation difficult for the modern Iranians.
Baghdad was one of the leading cities in the world in terms of practically everything, but then it never recovered until the 1980s, aka a 700-year-long defunct state.