Was it ok for an ancient ruler to behave badly than today?

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chris1989
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01 Dec 2022, 7:57 pm

When I say okay I mean the norm. As someone who is into history, I have a book on the most ''evil'' dictators in history and it includes obvious examples such as Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot but it does it also include figures from older history such as Herod, Genghis Khan and Shaka Zulu. In the introduction it stated that for rulers such as Herod, Khan and Shaka behaved in a way that they had to as they were ''men of their times''. I remember a historian saying that about Vlad the impaler that he was a man of his time who did what he had to in order to survive. Its made me realise that even figures that were admired in history did some appalling things such as western conquerors like Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great which we seem to idolise more than eastern conquerors like Genghis Khan or Tamerlane which still sometimes more loathed than those two western conquerors. Both tsars Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great killed their own sons and King Henry VIII of England executed thousands more people (both catholic and protestant) than his daughter Queen ''Bloody'' Mary I did. I don't know if its because in today's world we have international laws and human rights laws which countries and their leaders have to abide by now whereas in ancient times for example, a country could invade another country whenever it wanted to and that empire-building was just the norm in those days.



naturalplastic
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02 Dec 2022, 5:25 am

Some of those ancient rulers were considered evil even in their own times, like Vlad the impaler, Genghis, Atilla, because they more depraved (like Vlad), or mass murdered even more folks than average (like Genghis).

But yes...the short answer is that the kings of old could do things that democratically elected heads of state cant do today.



Sweetleaf
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02 Dec 2022, 6:08 am

chris1989 wrote:
When I say okay I mean the norm. As someone who is into history, I have a book on the most ''evil'' dictators in history and it includes obvious examples such as Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot but it does it also include figures from older history such as Herod, Genghis Khan and Shaka Zulu. In the introduction it stated that for rulers such as Herod, Khan and Shaka behaved in a way that they had to as they were ''men of their times''. I remember a historian saying that about Vlad the impaler that he was a man of his time who did what he had to in order to survive. Its made me realise that even figures that were admired in history did some appalling things such as western conquerors like Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great which we seem to idolise more than eastern conquerors like Genghis Khan or Tamerlane which still sometimes more loathed than those two western conquerors. Both tsars Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great killed their own sons and King Henry VIII of England executed thousands more people (both catholic and protestant) than his daughter Queen ''Bloody'' Mary I did. I don't know if its because in today's world we have international laws and human rights laws which countries and their leaders have to abide by now whereas in ancient times for example, a country could invade another country whenever it wanted to and that empire-building was just the norm in those days.


Idk does not seem any amount of international laws are helping women and men in Iran who are fighting for the right to not have to have it mandatory for woman to wear hijabs. Sure more countries now abide by more international standards but there are still dictatorships and authoritarian governments willing to kill their own citizens if they resist.

Unfortunatly power hungry wealty/resourceful folk did not die with Ghengis Khan and the other ancients like him....It is still very much around these days. Seems today if you had enough money you could act just like Ghengis Khan and if you get enough goons to follow you than you wont have to worry about any consequences.


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ToughDiamond
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03 Dec 2022, 8:38 pm

I don't know either. It's always seemed strange to me that in ancient times people didn't seem to question authority however violent it was. Maybe it's safer to call it out these days, depending on where you live.



DeathFlowerKing
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03 Dec 2022, 8:43 pm

Well back in those days, especially in rural communities, people werent living under a literal surveillance state like we are today thanks to the internet.