39. Feasting Atop the Living Bodies of Captive Enemies
The Mongols’ reputation for cruelty and bloodthirstiness was well deserved. While those who chose to surrender immediately often found the Mongols to be decent rulers, woe betide those who resisted. It is estimated that the wars of Mongol conquest might have killed up to 60 million people.
The Mongols relished making examples out of their defeated foes. After their victory at the Battle of Kalka River, captured enemy commanders were laid on the ground. A huge board was then laid over their bodies, over which the victors sat to eat, drink, and celebrate their triumph, while slowly crushing and suffocating the men beneath to death.