6 Evilest Rulers of Ancient History

Statue of Genghis Khan at Marble Arch


Attila the Hun was the leader of the Hunnic Empire in 434-453 AD. His methods of conquering new lands, from Germany to the Ural Mountains, are believed to be some of the most brutal, savage and cruel in history. Even his death was barbaric – he drowned in his own blood. He didn’t really discriminate between his own people and his enemies – murder was his business card. He was also believed to be into drinking women’s blood.

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What do you think?

  • Josh

    What about Vlad Tepes 🙂 ?

    • We haven’t covered him in this list, but he definitely deserves a spot in there 🙂

    • Alfa

      He was christian knight of Dragon order, together with Serbian ruler Despot Stefan and Hungarian Hunyadi Janos. The main thing was not to allowed Turks to rule over Balcany. Vlad Tsepes was cruel, of course, but when he was ruler, there are not Turks there. Turks called him to make agreement of peace, and when he came, they beheaded him. Why not Suleiman the Great, or Hitler? Why Romanian knight?

  • Don Wegrzynowski

    Some serious mistakes in the Genghis Khan “bio”….

    The ONLY time he execute anybody by pouring molten metal into his eyes and ears, was Inalchuq, the Governer of Otrar, Uncle to Sultan Muhammad II of Khwarezmia. in 1219 Inalchuq had executed a 450 person trade and diplomatc party sent by Genghis Khan. One Mongol escaped and reported the event. Next he sent a 3 person diplomatic directly to the Shah, who killed the Muslim diplomat, then shaved the heads and beards of the Mongol diplomats( Never mess with a Mongols head!). When after about a five-month seige of Otrar, he took Inalchuq alive, took him into the city’s Square and had all the gold and silver from the Citadel melted down and poured it into his eyes,ears, and mouth.

    He then went on to defeat the Shahs 450,000 man army, with an army of around 70,000(he WAS laying seige to China, after all).
    For the record, the Mongol “Horde” never had more than 125,000 Mongols in it.

    Fratricide: He and his Brother Kasar indeed did kill his half-brother Begter when he was 13. His family was esstially homeless, the clan that his father had led having abandoned them on the steps, taking their cattle and horses. They had to scrounge for food, eating rats, mice, birds and fish. His half brother Begter had caught fish and ate them himself, thereby depriving his Mother and the rest of his family of food. A “killable” offense in those days.
    The 50 million death toll is an almost impossible number, exagerated by mostly European and Muslim historians used to demonize the Mongols. Juvainni, in the case if Otrar for instance, wrote that there were over 2 million people killed there. No record of more than 100,000 -150,000 population.
    And as for being an “evil ruler’, his people loved him, ( how, otherwise , would the 10 tribes elect him as “Genghis Khan”?). If you were Mongol, under his rule, you experienced an freedom and wealth that were un-imaginable.
    So in my humble opinion, he has no business in the “evilest rulers” catergory.The other 5 in this list ALL did something/things Heineous to their own people. Temujin Boorjigenis still revered as a saint in Mongolia. The others on this list probably dont have shrines in their respective countries to them, do they?
    Genghis Khan, perhaps, may have been a ruthless conquerer, but certainly not an evil ruler.

    • Detective Rust Cohle

      Fair points but in modernity, a ruthless conqueror is still considered evil by most. There’s no distinction between harming your own people and setting out to harm/conquer others. Gengis Khan just happens to be one of the more famous of the many ruthless conquerors in history and thus probably makes this list based more on popularity than being more ruthless than other lessor known conquerors.

  • Detective Rust Cohle

    Close but Nero’s final words were “What an artist dies in me”

  • TaylorKA

    The only two who can definitively be called evil are Agrippina and Caligula. The others are a matter of perspective and opinion.

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