It seems curious that the most well-known leaders throughout our history are the ones that provoked the most harm and fear. While it is true that people like Hitler or Stalin achieved terrible feats, the past had special men that united many nations or managed to become true conquerors and build immense empires. The following extremely dangerous leaders in history all have a special aspect that differentiate them from all other emperors, kings and rulers. They could not have achieved their extraordinary feats without their ambition that knew no limits, and their harsh and strong personalities.
1. Genghis Khan
No one could predict that little Temujin would one day become the ruler of a vast empire. The one who would become Genghis Khan (Universal Ruler) lost his father and half-brother when he was young and was denied the leadership of his clan. As a result, he married into another clan and built a large army of 20,000 men. He managed to unite the nomad Mongol clans and thus become one of the most extremely dangerous leaders in history. Genghis Khan managed to conquer Northern China, the Kingdom of Georgia, Central Europe and Volga Bulgaria. In the end, they were forced to retreat back to the east, which put an end to his violent reign in many countries.
2. Alexander the Great
Another great conqueror was Alexander the Great. His father, King Philip II of Macedonia conquered large parts of Greece, but he was nowhere near as dangerous as Alexander. After Philip died, the Greeks tried to start a rebellion in order to recover their lost land. However, Alexander managed to successfully crush the revolution, and went on to conquer another empire: Persia. At first, his armies subdued Egypt, Syria, Tyre and Phoenicia. The Battle of Gaugamela was decisive and ended with the defeat of the Persians and the destruction of their empire. Alexander occupied Persepolis, Babylon and Susa and pressed onward, stopping close to India. His life was ended when he contracted a fatal fever.
3. Attila the Hun
Another threat for Europeans also came from the east, in the form of a nomad tribe. Attila, one of the extremely dangerous leaders in history, was the one who attacked and occupied countries from Europe, starting with Germania. The residents fled to other regions, which permitted the Huns to continue in their endeavors by invading Roman Gaul. Little by little, their territory grew larger. Some Huns were hired as mercenaries by the Romans. For quite some time, Attila turned his attention to another territory: the Sassanid Empire. However, they soon returned and conquered Constantinople, Illyricum and Carthage. Soon after, Attila disregarded the good terms he had with the Western Roman Empire and attacked them too. This was the beginning of the end for the Huns, who were defeated at the Battle of Chalons.
4. Vlad the Impaler
The Ottoman Empire was very successful in its conquests. However, there was one man that inspired them great fear, and that was Vlad III or Vlad Dracul, widely known as Vlad the Impaler. Before becoming the ruler of Wallachia in Eastern Europe, Vlad and his brother lived in the Ottoman Empire as political hostages. While he was on the throne, as the Ottoman envoys came to demand tribute, Vlad decided to refuse for the first time in forever and killed Sultan Mehmed II’s envoys. As a result, the sultan sent a whole army to deal with Vlad, but the result was the same. This was followed by many battles between the two, and all defeated Turks ended up impaled by one of the most extremely dangerous leaders in history.
5. Gaius Julius Caesar
Lastly, the most famous ruler of the Roman Empire, Julius Caesar is truly the best example of a dangerous leader. Furthermore, he was an excellent general as he led the expedition to Gaul, a territory which is now split between France and Belgium. As some of you might have seen in the Asterix and Obelix series, the Gallic tribes were always restless, which led to quite a strife in 58 BC. Caesar spend eight years fighting them, and then went on to many victories against migrating tribes, such as the Suebi and the Helvetti. The ambition of the emperor had no bounds, as he led other military campaigns in Britain and Germania. However, the Gallic Wars remain defining for Julius Caesar, as he finally emerged victorious in the Battle of Alesia. Furthermore, even his own Roman peers knew he was not to be trifled with and this has possibly led to his assassination.