Chinese researchers have republished Genghis Khan's code of laws, considered the world's earliest legal ban on homosexuality.
Genghis Khan's Code, published by the Beijing-based Commercial Press, contains Chinese and English text as well as interpretations of the laws based on research findings.
In article 48 of what is believed to be the world's first constitution, Genghis Khan banned homosexuality, saying, "men who commit sodomy shall be put to death," according to experts with Inner Mongolia's research institute of ancient Mongolian laws and sociology after 14 months spent compiling the code.
Experts say this was because Genghis Khan wanted to expand the Mongolian population, which was around 1.5 million, to compete with the 100 million rivals of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) that dominated what is now central China.
Genghis Khan's code of laws also highlighted environment protection, the researchers have found. The code stipulated that the death penalty was applied to those who damaged the grassland with unauthorized excavations or caused fires.
It also prohibited hand washing or drowning someone in a river.
Reproduction of the code was based on the research findings of the experts, who referred to literature on Mongolian history as well as other classics including Marco Polo's travelogue to find the content of the code, as its original text was lost more than 600 years ago.
Genghis Khan, whose grandson Kublai Khan founded the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), unified the Mongol tribes and conquered most of Eurasia.
(Xinhua News Agency August 30, 2007)