History bears evidence to some of the greatest civilizations of the world. While some have stood out for noble causes, others are known for bringing about doom. Of course, the latter we choose not to remember, but it would be interesting to learn about how great empires broke and why. Here’s taking a look at some of the terrifying civilizations the world had to witness, and now recount!
Top 10 Terrifying Civilizations
10. The Nazis
Adolf Hitler, leader of Nationalist Socialist German Worker’s Party (NSDAP) and his Nazi Germany was no doubt one of the terrifying civilizations that wreaked havoc globally. Also known as the Third Reich in Germany, Hitler smoothly executed the task of turning a democratic Republic to a totalitarian state. So what if his tenure was brief? With 4 million dying in the Holocaust and the worst war to have happened in the history of mankind, World War II under the reign of this one dictator, nothing much was left. Even the party’s symbol, Swastika denoting this civilization is considered despicable throughout the world, and rightly so.
9. The Celts
One of the deadliest and terrifying civilizations known, the Celts as a group is perhaps unheard of for most people. Reputed head-hunters generally put the victim’s head in chariots or in front of their homes. Fearless and ruthless, these people had long iron swords as their tools for fighting with enemies, hung them on their chariots and kept singing out of victory. It might sound astonishing but fighting naked was their style, which was definitely odd for opponents. For them, valor was the hallmark. No wonder, many preserved their achievements (the head to be precise!) ad exhibited before the world with pride.
8. The Mongols
Akin to savages and barbarians, this terrifying civilization’s domination was mostly in Eurasia during the 13th and 14th centuries AD. It was the unification of Mongol and the tribes of Turks who ultimately became symbolic to bloodshed under the dynamic leadership of Genghis Khan. One would have been left absolutely spellbound the way these people organized themselves and achieved mastery in archery and horse riding. As per estimates, almost 30 million to 60 million people died for their conquests that started in 1207 and ended in 1472, thanks to their terror.
7. The Romans
The greatest empire to be ever known, Rome also had its share of fury. Think of some of the evil men in history and without a doubt, they turn out Romans. Caligula, Nero and few others made for one of the terrifying civilizations heard of. In fact, Emperor Nero in 64 AD persecuted Christians, with some thrown to starving dogs and others burnt alive. Initially ruled by divine emperors, the country soon became a Republic (their glorious days) and then an empire. Perhaps only legend can explain how a small group of people fending wolves gathered terrific military and administrative system and constituted Roman Empire or the very long ancient Rome. If you remember the deadly gladiator wars, it was the contribution of the Roman army. From England to Spain, France to Greece, Middle East to North African coastal regions, all came under the territory of Rome and lasted for a whopping 2214 years. Truly, Rome was never built in a day!
6. The Aztecs
A certain ethnic group of Central Mexico speaking the Nahuati language spread terror in large parts of Mesoamerica from the 14th to 16th centuries. Better known as the Aztecs, human sacrifices (make that cannibalism) formed their chief characteristic. Did you ask why? The belief that with the passing of every 52 years, the world is likely to come to an end if Gods weren’t strong enough had them sacrifice their human counterparts to ‘please’ the Sun God. Atop a hill, pounding hearts of humans were cut open or some were consumed in total. Drowning, beheading, dropping from heights and even burning were few other chosen methods of ending lives. Aside Sun, even the rain god was treated to children crying in pain, as that they held would bring in tears and induce rain! One of the most terrifying civilizations in the world, they defined torture perfectly.
5. Maori Civilization
Fear and Cruelty were pronounced aspects of Maoris, the indigenous Polynesian people who first settled in New Zealand before Europeans. Hardcore cannibals, this group of people literally consumed their enemies’ flesh or any outsider to their territory. For the unfortunate few victims to these savage warriors during one such attack, returning safe was impossible. What was disturbing for the horrified survivors who managed to flee but watched their shipmates being devoured by Maoris. This practice was believed to impart strength and other necessary skills to this terrifying civilization.
4. Apache Tribes
Comanches or ‘Apache’ tribes were basically Indians who hailed from a place called Comancheria (comprising New Mexico, southwestern Kansas, western Oklahoma, southeastern Colorado and most of Northwest Texas) and exhibited true fearlessness in battles. Compared to the ninjas of America, this group was skilled in primitive weapons made of bones, stones and skulls. From slitting throats to targeting with tomahawk or throwing ax, this terrifying civilization gave a tough competition to military-men. Adept in hit and run fighting, the trend carried on among their descendants who are known to teach modern day special forces the art of fighting in hand to hand combat.
3. The Vikings
North Germanic people, who raided, traded, plundered and eventually settled down in parts of North Atlanta and Eurasia in between the late 8th to mid 11th centuries, Vikings formed another terrifying civilization constituting the likes of ferocious warriors. Use of weapons like axes, swords and spears were so well known to them that no one proved a worthy match to these super-valiant people priding in their physical strength. The only terrifying civilization whose religious beliefs rested in war, Vikings were outstanding when it came to battlefields and fighting till the end of their lives.
2. Soviet Union
Official figures say that Communism had taken more lives than the Nazis. Blame it on Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Josef Stalin and several others who found solace in merciless killing. However, Soviet Union stands worst, with Stalin alone murdering about 10-60 million people. So horrifying was his reign that even the most average person shuddered at the thought of survival. One of USA’s strongest enemies, Stalin’s Soviet Union stands out for being one of the terrifying civilizations in the world. At least, Nazi Germany was safe thinking they supported Hitler and would hence be spared.
1. The Spartans
The word ‘Spartan’ describes simplicity and self-denial, values that were embraced by this ancient Greek state. Nothing can be more horrifying to parents than knowing that their babies belonged to the state more than them. No wonder, every single Spartan male was a soldier and retired exactly at 60. For those who died in battles that ended in victory got marked headstones but anyone losing the shield during a battle, was penalized. Graves of those were made whose heroism would be marveled by future generations. A strangely terrifying civilization, soldiers of this clan were hailed as legendary warriors.
As the saying goes, terrifying civilizations have occurred not “….due to external threats but because of internal weakness, corruption or a failure to manifest the values and ideals they espouse”.