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: Temüjin
Birthday: 1162
Born In: Delüün Boldog
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: Shihuangdi
Birthday: 259
Born In: Handan
Died On: 210

Whenever Qin Shi Huang captured people from other countries, he castrated them and made them his slaves. He also killed several scholars who disagreed with his ideas and ordered the burning of many important books.

Also Known As: Vlad III, Vlad Dracula
Birthday: 1431
Born In: Sighişoara
Died On: January 1477

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: Ivan IV 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.

5. Timur

Also Known As: Timūr Gurkānī, Amir Timur, Tamerlane
Birthday: 09 April 1336
Born In: Kesh, Chagatai Khanate, Shahrisabz, Uzbekistan
Sun Sign: Aries
Died On: 19 February 1405

It is said that Timur's military campaigns wiped out 17 million people, about five per cent of the world population at the time. Hence, his armies were feared throughout Africa, Europe, and Asia.