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Thread: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

  1. #181
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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    And cavalry in total war is extremely weak compared to real life.
    Cavalry in total war shows no fear, and when the enemy kills them via their charge, they fly over their heads like nothing. No enemies getting crushed like it would happen in real life. Even a small horse is extremely heavy compared to a human, and the momentum alone could kill someone.

  2. #182
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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    This may have been said in the thread already, but from the perspective of Mongolians and some other people from Central and Northeast Asia Chinggis Khan is really popular, and seen as a hero and nation builder. It's a Eurocentric perspective that marks him as "bad" while Caesar and Alexander are heroic figures.


  3. #183

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by drbehemothjr View Post
    Cavalry in total war shows no fear, and when the enemy kills them via their charge, they fly over their heads like nothing. No enemies getting crushed like it would happen in real life. Even a small horse is extremely heavy compared to a human, and the momentum alone could kill someone.
    Doing a bit of reading about how horses behaved in battle might save you from embarrassment.

    The horse is not only heavier than a man. It also has a mind of its own. Because of that it would not charge into a compact group of soldiers. Likewise, it would not step on a human body, out of fear of breaking its leg.

    During the 18th and 19th century the infantry recruits were trained not to fear a charging cavalryman in a very simple way: the training officer was facing a charging horse holding only a walking cane pointed at the head of the horse.

    The cavalryman could never steer the horse into riding over the man with the cane. The horse would turn before the impact.

    Infantry breaking and running away did so because of lack of training, not because the horses had actually smashed into their ranks.
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  4. #184

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    Doing a bit of reading about how horses behaved in battle might save you from embarrassment.

    The horse is not only heavier than a man. It also has a mind of its own. Because of that it would not charge into a compact group of soldiers. Likewise, it would not step on a human body, out of fear of breaking its leg.

    During the 18th and 19th century the infantry recruits were trained not to fear a charging cavalryman in a very simple way: the training officer was facing a charging horse holding only a walking cane pointed at the head of the horse.

    The cavalryman could never steer the horse into riding over the man with the cane. The horse would turn before the impact.

    Infantry breaking and running away did so because of lack of training, not because the horses had actually smashed into their ranks.
    I can confirm this, though it also can be pointed out that this behavior can be overcome with a great deal of training, my mother used to train police horses. They can be taught to go right at a group of people and not turn away. But it requires training them specifically for that exact behavior, so its not something many horses are going to get. Plus it also means the horse needs a rock steady temperament to begin with.

    Please rep me for my posts, not for the fact that i have a Pony as an Avatar.


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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Are you blind? Doing a bit of reading might save you from embarrassment. I specifically noted that cavalry on total war does not show any fear, and as such the bodies should crush the infantry upon impact. The Mongol lancers had no trouble charging head on.

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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Sigh, not this again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    Because of that it would not charge into a compact group of soldiers. Likewise, it would not step on a human body, out of fear of breaking its leg.
    Sure thing buddy, not like they charged pike formations or anything;

    http://i.imgur.com/XlGELcC.jpg?1


    A properly trained warhorse will trample you to death even without the riders instruction, and then bite your face off.

    There are accounts of them charging into wooden fortifications, let alone infantry formations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    During the 18th and 19th century the infantry recruits were trained not to fear a charging cavalryman in a very simple way: the training officer was facing a charging horse holding only a walking cane pointed at the head of the horse. The cavalryman could never steer the horse into riding over the man with the cane. The horse would turn before the impact.
    That is because that horse was a pathetic pussy.

    Not like these (completely untrained for war btw)horses;

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2e2_1448096893
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhTV1X-Y3EE
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI9g9ks6aUI


    Just to reiterate, this is what happens when you do not shelter and cuddle your precious racing horsie, but either train it, or leave it to grow up to be aggressive;

    NSFW(!);

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVj3LFHBKAk

    Now, imagine a large pack of such aggressive(actually trained to be agressive) horses running withers to withers, nose to tail, unable to turn, stop or coordinate their movements, 'decision' is taken out of the equation and you're just left with "forwards".

    Yes some horses would (if they were on the right foot) attempt to jump a mass of men, most likely causing major injuries to the horse(and ofc, everyone beneath it). This is backed up by historical records that detail how cavalry men could 'go through' several horses in a battle. Also remember that while the natural escape vector for a frightened soldier is backwards, the natural escape vector for a horse is forwards. Predators (mainly large cats) that historically ate horses attack from the rear and side, the only defense is to run forward. If you've ever seen a horse race you can see this in full effect. The rider uses the whip to create a frightening crack to the side and rear and the horse bolts forward. Surely a horse without a rider would rather maneuver around it if it could. But remember that in real battles a horse is controlled by its rider. Also cavalry - when striking enemy line - was usually charging in a tight formation, so called "knee to knee" (horses in each line were close to each other - that's why it's called "knee to knee").

    So in such formation horses were also unable to maneuver around - in such case they would fall into other horses which were charging on their right and left.
    They had to go forward and fall into what was in front of them. And actually for a charging horse, bumping into a man in front of it was often a better "choice" than bumping into a horse next to it. And even if it was not a better choice (for example if a man in front had a sharp pike) - its rider would still force it to do so.


    It is similar to the effects of a human stampede running in one directions and then, all the sudden, reaching the end of the platoe and starts heading off a cliff.

    Do you really believe that the front row of humans would be able to stop the push of all the humans in the back who could not see the cliff?

    Nope.
    There is only forward.
    Nothing but forward.

    That is the very essence of what us humans like to call "heavy cavalry charge" but is in actuality nothing but an organized and guided stampede of large animals.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    Infantry breaking and running away did so because of lack of training, not because the horses had actually smashed into their ranks.
    Myth - nothing more.

    For example let's look at the battle of Swiecino (1462) - Poland vs Teutonic Order.

    In that battle Polish cavalry used their horses as "battering rams" smashing through enemy palisade (!) in several places.

    There are also examples of horses used as "battering rams" to crush other obstacles (such as fences).

    As well as examples of breaking enemy pikes (probably by "jumping" on them from side) with chests of horses.

    A participant of World War 1 wrote this about cavalry engagement: "The fear of infantry was intensified by great resistance of horses to wounds. During a charge only killed horses or those which had crushed leg bones were falling immediately. Other horses, often wounded several times, even mortally, in a zeal of attack continued to run and with their entire mass - under riders or without them - were blindly bumping into the enemy, parting and trampling his lines. From distance this apparent lack of casualties of the charging unit was creating an impression of inefficiency of infantry fire. Infantry was confused enough, that most of bullets were starting to fly too high, and often in a decisive moment infantry was throwing their weapons and commencing a flight, which meant a certain annihilation for them."


    From "The Northwern Wars 1558-1721" by Robert I Frost has at the battle of Kircholm 27-7-1605 have Lithuanian hussars charging and overruning Swedish Pike and matchlock armed infantry.

    Also it mentions the battle of Klushino:

    "(...) our horsemen, after ramming fences, with which the enemies treacherously strengthened their defences, plunging into pikes with chests of horses, suffered a lot of damage."

    "(...) our lancers wipe out not only enemy cavalry, but also pikemen, as fresh examples from Livonia prove."

    Battle of Lubieszow, 1577 - German pikemen broken and defeated by Hussars;

    "6. On Left wing of Crown Army –when the foote on the right wing were fully engaged in close fighting, the Crown cavalry (200 hussars) attacked again. The attack smashed through the reiters. The reiters, fleeing, entangled with the formation of landsknechts standing behind them. The Hussars, after breaking through the reiters immediately pressed on and broke through the ranks of the German infantry."

    "The landsknechts held their ground before the enemy infantry but finally broke when another two companies of Polish hussars attacked them in the flank."

    - Smolensk 1633 - Hussars defeating Russian pikemen & musketeers
    - Mogilev 1655 - Hussars defeating Russian pikemen and then participating in street combats
    - Domany 1655 - Russian pikemen defeated by Hussars
    - Polonka 1660 - victorious combats vs Russian pikemen
    - Kutyszcze (near Pidkamin) 1660 - Hussars defeat Russian-Cossack forces (Cuirassiers & infantry)


    In the battle of Gaugamela, Persian and Indian cavalry armed with long spears managed to break through the line of Macedonian phalangites (pezhetairoi) at the point of contact of taxis (one taxis = "paper strength" of 2048 phalangites) under command of Simmias and taxis under command of Polysperchon:

    Arrian, Anabasis, III, 14 wrote: (...) Simmias and his brigade were not yet able to start with Alexander in pursuit, but causing the phalanx to halt there, he took part in the struggle, because the left wing of the Macedonians was reported to be hard pressed. In this part of the field, their line being broken, some of the Indians and of the Persian cavalry burst through the gap towards the baggage of the Macedonians; and there the action became desperate. For the Persians fell boldly on the men, who were most of them unarmed, and never expected that any men would cut through the double phalanx and break through upon them. When the Persians made this attack, the foreign prisoners also assisted them by falling upon the Macedonians in the midst of the action. But the commanders of the men who had been posted as a reserve to the first phalanx, learning what was taking place, quickly moved from the position which they had been ordered to take, and coming upon the Persians in the rear, killed many of them there collected round the baggage. But the rest of them gave way and fled. The Persians on the right wing, who had not yet become aware of the flight of Darius, rode round Alexander's left wing and attacked Parmenio in flank."


    David Eltis, "The Military Revolution in Sixteenth-Century Europe" on page 46 quotes Sir John Smythe, "An answer to contrarie opynions militarie", British Library, Harleian MS 135, f 11 - who wrote, that 1000 cavalry can easily defeat 3000 or 4000 infantry unless they are protected by pikes or favourable terrain.

    On the same page (46) Eltis quotes Matthew Sutcliffe, "The Practice Proceedings, and Lawes of Armies", STC 23468 (1593), page 109 - who in 1593 wrote that a cavalry charge against melee infantry with swords and shields is devastating for infantry, unless they are protected by pikes, ditches, hedgerows or forests.

    On next page - 47 - Eltis quotes Robbert Barret, "The Theorike and Practike of Moderne Wares", STC 1500 (1598), page 69 - who in 1598 wrote that missile infantry deployed in open field, unsupported by pikes and without protection provided by hedgerows, ditches, trenches or ramparts, are not able to hold on against cavalry for a long time, and especially are not able to hold on against lancers cavalry.

    Raimondo Montecuccoli in "Sulle battaglie" - basing on experiences from the Thirty Years' War (1618 - 1648) - on pages 106 and 150 wrote that cavalry can very quickly destroy musketeers deployed in dense formation (read: density of infantry formation formation is not an obstacle for cavalry in destroying this infantry), unless they are protected by pikes. He also wrote, that pike is "the only defence" of musketeers.

    Also Kampenhausen wrote in 1737, that it very rarely happens, that lancers cavalry sustain more damage than they inflict (i.e. lancers almost always inflict higher casualties upon the enemy than they suffer).

    Regarding infantry, Marcin Bielski(born 1495 - died 1575) wrote the following thing: "If you have infantry against enemy cavalry, deploy your men in rough terrain, deploy your men in wetlands, in thickets, in terrain surrounded by depressions. (...) infantry needs ditches, fences, rivers, hills."

    This and loads of other historical examples all point to the fact that horses can be trained to run into anything.
    Even horses without any military training often go forward regardless of threat and do not cower or bolt;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZ7td1vpBCk
    Last edited by +Marius+; February 13, 2016 at 11:55 AM.

  7. #187

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    I know the issue was discussed before and the same or similar arguments were brought in favor of the aleged superiority of cavalry...

    However there must be a reason why lancers stop representing the bulk of cavalry in mid 17th century everywhere in Western Europe and only the Poles kept using them in large numbers.

    Why do you think that happened? After all, the rate of fire say during the Napoleonic Wars was inferior to that of WW1, when your example seems to imply infantry still wasn't able to stop cavalry.

    So if infantry couldn't stop cavalry in WW1, it couldn't stop cavalry during Napoleon's time or during the 7 years war.

    Yet neither during the 7 years war nor during the Napoleonic wars we see very often lancers employed, not too many battles won by cavalry (though it did happen occasionally, if memory serves me well, there is a case of the French infantry losing to a Prussian cavalry attack in 1814).

    Also why exactly do you think the pikes worked? The first horses killed by the pikes would have in the same time disabled them. After the pikes were broken, what would the pikemen use for protection?

    The answer is the role of the pikes was to scare the horses, not to stop them by killing them. This is why if there were enough specially selected horses, the suicidal type, and those horses were trained to press ahead no matter what was in front of them, then cavalry would break through pikemen, like it did at Kircholm and in the other documented instances.

    However such horses are an evolutionary dead end. This means at any given moment in time there would be relatively few of them available. The Poles were the only nation who thought it was worth breeding them for another 40-50 years after everybody else in Europe has given up. And then they also gave up.

    Most of the horses one was likely to meet on the battlefield any time in history were the normal type, the one scared by anybody pointing something which looked sharp straight at it.

    Case in point: at Carrhae the famous Parthian cavalry could not break up the Roman formation led by Cassius Longinus. Neither the shock cavalry, nor the shock cavalry supported by archers whose bows were powerful enough to penetrate the shields (if we are to believe Plutarch's account). What did the Romans have instead of pikes? The rather short pila.
    Last edited by Dromikaites; February 13, 2016 at 04:41 PM.
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  8. #188
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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    I know the issue was discussed before and the same or similar arguments were brought in favor of the aleged superiority of cavalry
    It's not about its superiority, it is about their ability to charge formed infantry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    However there must be a reason why lancers stop representing the bulk of cavalry in mid 17th century everywhere in Western Europe and only the Poles kept using them in large numbers.
    Economics, firearms and a long period of battlefields filled with giant blocks of pikes.


    The moment pikes went away, here come the horsies again, and in larger numbers than ever before.

    Remember, one of the largest frontal cavalry charges in human history was done by Napoleonic forces at Eylau, 1807.

    Obviously it was not the same as before, but it was still shock cavalry none the less.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    Why do you think that happened? After all, the rate of fire say during the Napoleonic Wars was inferior to that of WW1, when your example seems to imply infantry still wasn't able to stop cavalry.

    So if infantry couldn't stop cavalry in WW1, it couldn't stop cavalry during Napoleon's time or during the 7 years war.
    It could stop cavalry if they engaged it properly, the argument was just that the cavalry was also able to engage infantry as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    Also why exactly do you think the pikes worked? The first horses killed by the pikes would have in the same time disabled them. After the pikes were broken, what would the pikemen use for protection?
    Sidearms and other pikemen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    The answer is the role of the pikes was to scare the horses, not to stop them by killing them.
    Tell that to the couple thousand dead horses at Kircholm that charged the Swedish pike formations.

    Or the dead horses at Marignano that charged the Swiss pikes 30 times until the Swiss were disintegrated.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    This is why if there were enough specially selected horses, the suicidal type, and those horses were trained to press ahead no matter what was in front of them, then cavalry would break through pikemen, like it did at Kircholm and in the other documented instances.
    There is your answer, the horses and the riders became different(weaker).

    After the the chivalric culture began to fade through the early 16th century, so did the men who(as their fathers before them) performed those tasks.

    Then you basically have decades of cavalry staring at pikes and rarely frontally charging anything.

    The Polish heavy Hussars were the only ones to remain as the cavalry of old, and precisely because they were the only ones of that nature on the fields, their success rate was mindblowing;

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lubiesz%C3%B3w

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kokenhausen

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Klushino

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Khotyn_(1621)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Martyn%C3%B3w

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Trzciana

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle...%C3%B3w_(1644)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Berestechko

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Polonka

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chudnov

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle...3%A1rk%C3%A1ny


    I apologize for the wiki spam, but look up those battles and see what I mean.

    This is the 17th century we are talking about...

    If someone managed to revive that form of cavalry during the post pike period, he would reign supreme on the field...until he went bankrupt because infantry is far cheaper.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    However such horses are an evolutionary dead end. This means at any given moment in time there would be relatively few of them available. The Poles were the only nation who thought it was worth breeding them for another 40-50 years after everybody else in Europe has given up. And then they also gave up.
    Well, that's what happens when mass usage of firearms renders you obsolete.

    As I said, economy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    Most of the horses one was likely to meet on the battlefield any time in history were the normal type, the one scared by anybody pointing something which looked sharp straight at it.
    I disagree, in that case, heavy cavalry would have never existed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    Case in point: at Carrhae the famous Parthian cavalry could not break up the Roman formation led by Cassius Longinus. Neither the shock cavalry, nor the shock cavalry supported by archers whose bows were powerful enough to penetrate the shields (if we are to believe Plutarch's account). What did the Romans have instead of pikes? The rather short pila.
    No stirrups.
    No really long couched lance.


    What happens when you have those two?

    Well, how about we ask princess Anna Comnena;

    "A Frank on horseback could drive a hole in the walls of Babylon"

  9. #189
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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    While I agree that it tends to be one's perspective I think the obvious answer is that Genghis and the Mongols killed way more people than Alexander or Caesar ever did (by people I mean civilian non-combatants). The Mongols wiped out entire chains of cities where as Caesar and Alexander killed inhabitants of some city here and there.
    That aside Genghis had some long term plans to rule a giant empire towards the end of his life and his successors to do likewise instead of running around sacking, pillaging and taking no prisoners.

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  10. #190

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Stainless Steel called, he wants his topic back

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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    People see Caesars and Alexander as hero not because they learn much about them, because of the holywood.I see Ghengis Khan as a hero, I'm so proud with him.He was military genius and conquered places easily, no western state will be mighty and dominating like him no matter how much they want to be.Not to mention he is biggest **** you to eurocentrists.

  12. #192

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by baselhun View Post
    People see Caesars and Alexander as hero not because they learn much about them, because of the holywood.I see Ghengis Khan as a hero, I'm so proud with him.He was military genius and conquered places easily, no western state will be mighty and dominating like him no matter how much they want to be.Not to mention he is biggest **** you to eurocentrists.
    I assume you have never heard of the Spanish or of the British empires.
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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    I assume you have never heard of the Spanish or of the British empires.
    I did, I still believe majority of people who believe caesar is a hero is manipulated by movies or """"""history"""""" channels.

  14. #194

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    I'm generally averse to labeling any military leaders as heroes due to the very bloody nature of their work. For that matter, I normally put Alexander, Caesar and Genghis in the same boat of 'intelligent strategists/tacticians', nothing more. It's very hard to for me to actually pick out a hero out of historical figures because it's almost certain that there will be flaws somewhere along the line. Like I respect George Washington, but I'm also aware that he was a product of his era when he owned slaves and was never decent to Native Americans. In fact, the only person I know from history who seems actually squeaky clean is Mr. Rogers.
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  15. #195

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?
    Because of Western bias, which blinds many people as to the fact that Alexander and Caesar where disruptive figures in world history with nearly zero contribution to humanity and civilisation. Alexander was a good military commander and he founded a few cities, but other than that, he was a delusional, worthless, destructive, drunken mass murderer and an abuser of women who caused the death of many local cultures and contributed to the destruction of an empire that had maintained order, diversity, and stability in the Near East for 230 years. Alexander is hailed as a hero simply because he is viewed by Westerners as a "Western champion who conquered the Asiatic hordes and spread the light of Western civilisation to their barbaric lands", which is an extremely nonsensical and chauvinistic view, a subjective basis for Alexander's epitaph. Caesar is even worse than Alexander in that regard. The guy was nothing but a glorified butcher and megalomaniac. Since these figures are considered as "Westerners", their actions are hailed as achievements whilst the actions of figures (such as Genghis Khan) who aren't regarded as Westerners are condemned as crimes.

    But if you think I'm going to spare Temujin my harsh judgement, think again. That Mongol son of a pig was a genuine scumbag who killed, raped, and destroyed just for the sake of it. His apologists, like the OP here, like to drone about how he established a religiously tolerant empire that connected East and West and maintained (through sheer terror) so strong an order as to render banditry virtually non-existent in his realm. But ask yourself this very important question: Was it worth the cost? As a result of the Mongol Conquests, millions of innocent men, women, and children lost their lives, countless others had their dignity and honour violated, hundreds of thousands were enslaved and deported, dozens of ancient and prosperous cities were wiped off the map, thousands of women committed suicide out of fear of getting raped, whole populations became traumatised, entire regions suffered from environmental degradation, and development of entire civilisations was severely disrupted in the long-term, causing civilisational stagnation and decline and the rise of nomadism at the expense of urbanism, leading Western civilisation to surpass the rest. The insignificant and short-term Mongol "achievements" often mentioned by their apologetic fanboys came with an extremely high price, a price paid by real civilisations and real people just like you and me, not merely figures you read in a history book. So before you open a thread in order to make an apologia for a subhuman who lived 800 years ago and whose heinous crimes are still negatively affecting us today, think about the people who perished and suffered at the hands of his barbaric hordes, and think about the people who are descended from those who suffered from Mongol aggression, because many of them have not forgotten Mongol atrocities, therefore your apologia might offend them.
    Last edited by Kardarigan; February 17, 2016 at 08:49 AM.

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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Well at least there is the argument for Caesar that he brought permanent peace to Gaul instead of constant inter-tribal warfare.

    Genghis and Alexander assaulted already thriving societies(far more advanced than their own in the case of the Mongols) while the Romans, as brutal as they were, at least entered a relatively "uncivilized" region and actually contributed massively to it by building entire road networks, cities and basically plunged the entirety of Gaul(also Britain and Spain) into centuries of relatively constant peace.

    You can argue their brutality in warfare, but in the end, it still rounds down to this;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWfh6sGyso

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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    like the OP here, like to drone about how he established a religiously tolerant empire that connected East and West and maintained
    I was arguing that all three should be viewed as brilliant tacticians and not more barbaric than the other. The Mongols may offend you but your tendency to jump to conclusions offends me.
    because many of them have not forgotten Mongol atrocities, therefore your apologia might offend them.
    Oh, really? Give me an example.

    Alexander is hailed as a hero simply because he is viewed by Westerners as a "Western champion who conquered the Asiatic hordes and spread the light of Western civilisation to their barbaric lands", which is an extremely nonsensical and chauvinistic view, a subjective basis for Alexander's epitaph. Caesar is even worse than Alexander in that regard. The guy was nothing but a glorified butcher and megalomaniac. Since these figures are considered as "Westerners", their actions are hailed as achievements whilst the actions of figures (such as Genghis Khan) who aren't regarded as Westerners are condemned as crimes.
    No, Alexander is hailed as a hero because of his tactical genius on the battlefield. Caesar as well. Genghis Khan should be too.

    That Mongol son of a pig was a genuine scumbag who killed, raped, and destroyed just for the sake of it.
    No, he did it to give himself a persona of fear to show off to his enemies, in which they would suffer decisive morale hits.

    entire regions suffered from environmental degradation
    Nope, Genghis Khan killed so many that Co2 levels dropped, good for the environment.

    development of entire civilisations was severely disrupted in the long-term, causing civilisational stagnation and decline and the rise of nomadism at the expense of urbanism, leading Western civilisation to surpass the rest.
    . The Ming at their height were far more advanced than Europe at that time, after the overthrow of the Yuan. After isolating themselves after finding nothing worth trading outside of their lands, they began advancing slower than Europe. Some say they managed to get to America. The Mongol conquest of the Middle East did not prevent the Safavids or Ottomans from taking power afterwards. Mughal India was far more advanced than India before.

    The only area you could argue suffered would be western Russia, and even then, you said

    leading Western civilisation to surpass the rest.
    It seems you managed to get everything wrong.

    whose heinous crimes are still negatively affecting us today,
    How so?

    a price paid by real civilisations and real people just like you and me, not merely figures you read in a history book.
    Too bad their generals were worthless, then. In the ancient world there was a lack of morals. You better be able to defend yourself or you will disappear. Like someone mentioned, the Polish and Hungarians were able to learn from their mistakes, and they were far less advanced than some of the other peoples the Mongols defeated.
    Last edited by bobtotalwar392938; February 17, 2016 at 06:29 PM.

  18. #198

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardarigan View Post
    Because of Western bias, which blinds many people as to the fact that Alexander and Caesar where disruptive figures in world history with nearly zero contribution to humanity and civilisation.
    Hold your [Persian] horses

    Both Caesar and Alexander were disruptive indeed. However:

    1) Caesar eliminated the Celtic threat to the Roman civilization for good. No more Allia after Caesar;

    2) Caesar pretty much eliminated the Germanic threat to Gaul for about 300 years. Caesar also eliminated the Gaulish threat from Gaul (before him, the greatest killers of Gauls were...the Gauls);

    To put things into perspective, when the empire failed to protect itself from the Germanic tribes, the Dark Ages happened. The Gauls might have done the same, had Caesar not taken care of them.

    3) Alexander eliminated the threat the Persian Empire represented to the part of the world which pretty much gave us the modern civilization. While doing that he also imported on purpose a lot of the Persian culture into the West. For instance the Europeans learned how to run empires because Alexander openly copied the Persian know-how. Likewise, his conquests spread Greek philosophy as far as India.

    To put it simply, the [Mediterranean] World and the Middle East were a better place when Caesar and Alexander ended their lives. And the price paid was reasonable by the standards of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardarigan View Post
    Alexander was a good military commander and he founded a few cities, but other than that, he was a delusional, worthless, destructive, drunken mass murderer and an abuser of women who caused the death of many local cultures and contributed to the destruction of an empire that had maintained order, diversity, and stability in the Near East for 230 years.
    First of all, Alexander did not tolerate the abusing of women. There are several documented instances in which he punished rape by death.

    Second, the empire which had maintained order, diversity and stability in the Middle East for 230 years was very close to wiping out the civilization upon which the modern world was built. The way it failed to wipe out the Athenians, the way Agesilaus II raided it, the way the 10,000 crossed it back and forth and the way it collapsed before Alexander shows that empire had some serious shortcomings. It was good at bookkeeping (so Alexander and everybody after him copied that) but very lax at everything else. What you call tolerance was laxity which came to bite the empire in the butt.

    The Romans left everybody worship whatever they wanted (tolerance) but knew the army regulations and the laws need to be the same everywhere in the empire. As a result their empire outlived two Persian ones and was still an empire long after the Arabs had conquered the Persians.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardarigan View Post
    Alexander is hailed as a hero simply because he is viewed by Westerners as a "Western champion who conquered the Asiatic hordes and spread the light of Western civilisation to their barbaric lands", which is an extremely nonsensical and chauvinistic view, a subjective basis for Alexander's epitaph.
    It did stop the Asian threat to Europe for good pretty much till the 6th century AD and it did export the [South-East] European civilization to Asia.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kardarigan View Post
    Caesar is even worse than Alexander in that regard. The guy was nothing but a glorified butcher and megalomaniac. Since these figures are considered as "Westerners", their actions are hailed as achievements whilst the actions of figures (such as Genghis Khan) who aren't regarded as Westerners are condemned as crimes.
    Caesar was openly mocked in Rome for his inflated after-action reports. If his contemporaries didn't believe his million of Gauls slaughtered, why would you?
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB MareNostrum

  19. #199

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    It may actually come as to what Alexander and Caesar contributed to future generations, as compared to what nomad cultures in general, and the Mongols in particular, did. Besides the fact that a lot of us could be descendants from Genghis.

    The Chinese felt they were doing quite well without getting constantly raided by nomads, and see it as a massive tragedy getting whomped twice during the Song Dynasty.

    Europeans see themselves as successors of the Empires and cultures forged by Alexander and Caesar.
    Eats, shoots, and leaves.

  20. #200

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by drbehemothjr View Post
    Nope, Genghis Khan killed so many that Co2 levels dropped, good for the environment.
    There are far more factors than just greenhouse gasses going into what's "good" for the environment and what isn't (it also depends on what kind of environment you actually want). Excessive nomadic herding isn't particularly good for bio-diversity, or for the soil.


    It seems you managed to get everything wrong.
    European civilization(s) surpassed the rest during the early modern age, and the Mongols are thought to be among the main causes for that. They kept the competitors of Western Europeans down, and at the same time facilitated the flow of foreign, e.g. Chinese, ideas and inventions to Europe. Most notably, Timur wiped the floor with the Ottomans when he ran amok throughout Asia, which was a welcome relief for the Ottomans' enemies in the West.

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