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11 Of The Cruelest Tyrants From History

11 Of The Cruelest Tyrants From History

Picture of Sophia White
Updated: 16 December 2016
As a historical figure you can either be famous or infamous. The characters below can arguably fall into either camp – they were leaders after all – but they will certainly be remembered more for the bad than for the good. We are really spoiled for choice when it comes to cruel tyrants in the 20th century, so here are 11 of the cruelest tyrants from over 100 years ago.

Caligula (Roman)

We will start the list with one of history’s oldest, cruelest and most unpredictable tyrants. Caligula ruled from 37AD to 41AD, and in these four short years he restored treason trials, causing the death of many. Records show that the first six months of his reign were quite moderate, but after this, he worked manically to increase the unconstrained power of the emperor, attained new lands – both for himself and for the Empire – and led a campaign of sadism, extravagance and sexual perversity for the remaining three and a half years of his reign. He was murdered at the Palatine Games, which seems to be a point to karma.

Enver Pasha (Turkey)

Enver Pasha began his career as a Turkish military officer before rising to power, leading the Ottoman Empire in both Balkan Wars and the First World War. His army suffered a harsh loss at the Battle of Sarikamish, and this prompted his systematic destruction of Armenia, having chosen the Armenians as the scapegoats for his defeat. The term ‘genocide’ was created to describe this event, and the 2.5 million deaths are a testament to his evil. Arguably more impressive, however, was the cover up of the event by many of the history books of the 20th century. Say what you will about the Kardashians, but they have done quite a bit to bring attention to the Armenian genocide.

Oliver Cromwell (United Kingdom)

‘The grass is always greener on the other side.’ Oliver Cromwell led the Roundheads to victory over the Royalists in the English Civil War, and was one of the signatories of King Charles I’s death warrant in 1649; this was just the start of his autocratic behavior. History has not been kind to one of Britain’s few non-Royal leaders in nearly two millennia, with Cromwell being widely regarded as a regicidal military dicta