The Most Cruel Rulers In History

From tyrannical kings to high-handed dictators, history has witnessed several cruel rulers. While many rulers exhibited cruelty in order to achieve certain goals, some exercised cruelty just to show off their power over others. Some of these rulers were downright brutal, so much so that their actions were stranger than fiction! Take a look at the list below to see for yourself.
Also Known As: Vlad III, Vlad Dracula
Birthday: 1431
Born In: Sighișoara, Romania
Died On: December 1476

After Vlad the Impaler's death, many books describing his cruel acts became bestsellers in the German-speaking territories. It is said that he strengthened the central government with the aid of brutal punishments. His reputation for cruelty inspired the name of the popular character 'Count Dracula' as he was also known as Vlad Dracula.

Also Known As: Temüjin, Emperor Fatian Qiyun Shengwu
Birthday: 1158
Born In: Khentii Mountains, Mongolia
Died On: 18 August 1227

Often regarded as the greatest conqueror of all time, Genghis Khan's invasions often included large-scale massacres of the civilian populations. As a result, his bloody invasions have a fearsome reputation in history.

Also Known As: Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre
Birthday: 06 May 1758
Born In: Arras, France
Sun Sign: Taurus
Died On: 28 July 1794
Century: 18th Century

A period of the French Revolution, when Maximilien Robespierre was an important member of the 'Committee of Public Safety,' was called the 'Reign of Terror.' During this period, numerous public executions and a series of massacres took place.

Also Known As: Ivan IV Vasilyevich, Ivan the Fearsome, Ivan Vasilyevich
Birthday: 25 August 1530
Born In: Kolomenskoye, Moscow, Russia
Sun Sign: Virgo
Died On: 28 March 1584
Century: 16th Century

Ivan the Terrible was prone to episodic outbreaks of mental instability, paranoia, and rages. The later years of his reign were marked by the massacre of Novgorod, an infamous attack launched by him on the city of Novgorod, Russia.

Also Known As: Leopold II, Leopold Lodewijk Filips Maria Victor
Birthday: 09 April 1835
Born In: Brussels, Belgium
Sun Sign: Aries
Died On: 17 December 1909
Century: 19th Century, 20th Century

Leopold II's administration was characterized by atrocities, such as torture and murder. Millions of the Congolese people died under his rule. After a hike in the price of natural rubber, he forced people to harvest and process rubber. The hands of men, children, and women were cut off when they failed to produce the amount of rubber desired.