Famous and Not So Famous Conquers

There have always been ambitious men who wanted to dominate the world, or at least the part of it that they knew.

Much of this page is a collection of scraps I found in my edit files and probably contains paragraphs lifted from sources that I did not record. As this is something of a dead end I will probably not fix it for some time, but adding it to the public tree will ensure that I will not lose it again. 1/15/12

Date Conquer In Brief
1479-1425 BC Pharaoh Thutmose III Of Egypt

Responsible for the obelisk known as Cleopatra's Needle on the bank of the Thames, Thutmose III never lost a battle in 18 summer campaigns. He was one of the first rulers to understand supply lines and sea power. Having inherited the throne of Egypt at age seven, he spent the first two decades as co-regent with his father's wife. When she died, he conquered lands in Palestine, Syria, Nubia and Mesopotamia.

It was Thutmose III who established Egypt as a major power in the eastern Mediterranean and his reign was a golden era of temple building and great riches (and he was humane in his treatment of the vanquished). He died aged 61.

580-529 BC Cyrus The Great Born to a minor royal family, Cyrus became the first emperor of Persia, uniting the tribal Medes and Persians. As well as the usual mountains of skulls, he created what may be the first charter of human rights, available to be seen at the British Museum. He freed the Jews in Babylon when he conquered that city. Despite his benevolent side, Cyrus spent years conquering lands, murdering his enemies and establishing a vast empire that stretched from India to Greece.
356–323 BC Alexander the Great Built Greek Empire. Alexander was born a prince of Macedonia and tutored by Aristotle. By the age of 22, he had conquered Greece and set sail to Asia Minor. Here, in what is now central Turkey, he cut in half the famous Gordian Knot, fulfilling a Greek legend that whoever unravelled it would rule the world. In Syria, he destroyed the armies of Darius III and gained control of the entire Eastern Mediterranean coast. He entered Egypt as a liberator. From there, he fought in India, where his legendary horse Bucephalus was killed. He was still on campaign at the age of 33 when a fever destroyed his health. At the time his empire stretched from Greece to northern India.
304 BC – 232 BC Asoka Popularly known as Ashoka the Great.  He was born to the Mauryan (ancient Indian) imperial house. When his father died, Ashoka killed all his brothers and went on a brutal rampage to expand the empire. It culminated in the slaughter by the Daya river, where more than 100,000 citizens were killed by his army. Afterwards Ashoka was appalled at the carnage and vowed then to embrace Buddhism. He was a changed man. The laws that followed were relatively just and he set up pillars with his edicts carved on them across India. He even promoted vegetarianism and treated all his subjects as equals regardless of caste. By the time of his death, he ruled India, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan.
259-210 BC CH'IN SHIH HUANG The boy known as Ch'eng inherited a minor throne in China at the age of just 13. As an adult, he was a superb organiser. His achievement was not just in conquering the different regions of China in just nine years, but unifying them as an empire. With two trusted ministers, he established a bureaucracy, taxation, standardised weights and measures and a system of ruthless punishments for lawbreaking. The first emperor of China is perhaps most famous for the terracotta army guarding his tomb. More than 8,000 life-sized warriors were created, as well as 600 horses and 130 chariots. In the centralised government he created, the emperor was almost a figurehead. The structure of government was so successful that when Shih Huang died at 49, his two most powerful ministers carried on without him for four years before they quarrelled and his death became public knowledge.
100 BC – 44 BC Julius Caesar Caesar's conquest of Gaul extended the Roman world to the North Sea, and in 55 BC he also conducted the first Roman invasion of Britain. These achievements granted him unmatched military power.
63 BC-14 AD Augustus Caesar

Born Octavian, the great-nephew of Julius Caesar was technically the first Roman emperor. He was made Consul after Caesar's death, then formed a triumvirate with Mark Anthony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. They secured their power in Rome by executing thousands. The title Augustus, meaning 'exalted', was granted by the senate. Octavian changed his name to Gaius Julius Caesar to honour his predecessor, creating a tradition that would last 2,000 years - to the German Kaisers and Russian Czars. Augustus was not a battle king. However, under his rule, the Roman empire expanded into Hungary, Croatia and Egypt as well as securing Spain and Gaul. He added more land than Julius Caesar and was worshipped as a god in Rome.

406–453 Attila the Hun

The man known as 'The Scourge of God' inherited his throne in modern day Hungary in AD 434. He began his rule by slaughtering Goth tribes in modernday Germany and Austria, then attacked the enfeebled Roman empire. At one point Atilla offered to marry the Western Emperor's sister, but made it clear that the dowry would be half her brother's lands. This offer was refused at which point most of Europe was invaded, and occupied and desolated, by the myriads of barbarians whom Atilla led into the field.  

Attilla was ruled what is known as the Hunnic Empire which stretched from Germany to the Ural River and from the Danube River to the Baltic Sea. During his rule, he was one of the most fearsome of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires' enemies: he invaded the Balkans twice and marched through Gaul (modern France) as far as Orléans before being defeated at the Battle of Châlons. He refrained from attacking either Constantinople or Rome. His story, that the Sword of Attila had come to his hand by miraculous means, was reported by the Greek writer Priscus.

In much of Western Europe, he is remembered as the epitome of cruelty and rapacity. However, in Hungary, Turkey, and other Turkic-speaking countries in Central Asia, he is regarded as a hero and his name is revered. Some histories and chronicles describe him as a great and noble king, and he plays major roles in three Norse sagas: Atlakviða, Völsungasaga, and Atlamál.

742-814 Charlemagne

Charles the Great, King of the Franks, ruled a European empire based mainly around France, Germany and parts of Italy. Although he could not write, he spoke Teutonic, Latin and Greek. He was 6ft 4in, a monstrous height for the period, which has since been confirmed by measurement of his skeleton. Oddly, his father was known as Pepin the Short and was around 5ft tall. Charlemagne's first campaign came at the age of 27, when the Pope sought his aid in repelling the Lombards of Italy. Charlemagne smashed them in the field and took the crown of Lombardy as his own. From his capital of Aachen in modern-day Germany, he went on to fight 53 campaigns, most of which he led himself. He defended a Christian Europe from Muslim Saracens and pagan Saxons, often beheading thousands in a single day. He died aged 72 from a fever.

On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as Emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe after more than three centuries. This began what is called the Holy Roman Empire. The title continued in the Carolingian family until 888, after which it was contested by the rulers of Italy in a series of civil wars until the death of the last Italian claimant, Berengar, in 924.

1162–1227 Genghis Khan The founder, Khan (ruler) and Khagan (emperor) of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death. From the most brutal beginning possible, Genghis survived to unite the Mongolian tribes and conquer territories as far apart as Afghanistan and northern China. He left a mountain of skulls that remained for years in China. Genghis Khan paved the way for his grandson Kublai to become emperor of a united China and founder of the Yuan dynasty. In all, Genghis conquered almost four times the lands of Alexander the Great. He is still revered in Mongolia and in parts of China.
1336 – 1405 Tamerlane

'Timur the Lame' was born in modern day Uzbekistan, about 400 miles north of the city of Kabul. He is considered the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived until 1857 as the Mughal Empire of India

He had a slight paralysis down one side as a child, which meant his early career was in politics. Despite being illiterate, he was highly intelligent. He spoke at least three languages and invented a variant of chess. He rose quickly to become senior minister to the Mongol khan.  Tamerlane overthrew the khan and began a reign of warfare, slaughter and, yes, mountains of skulls. Tamerlane revered Genghis and claimed to be descended from his second son. He used the city of Samarkand as his base, which Genghis himself had conquered. From there, Tamerlane conquered Persia, Armenia, Georgia and part of Russia.

Founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived until 1857 as the Mughal Empire of India

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1308014/Ten-greatest-Historical-conquerors.html 3/28/15