When most people are asked to name the most brutal and murderous leaders in history, they will first mention the names of recent dictators like Hitler and Stalin. Going back further, many people will talk about the Norse raids, the British Empire, Attila the Hun, and so many of the most vicious Roman Emperors. However, going back before any of them came to power, Genghis Khan and the Mongols permanently reshaped an enormous portion of the world, and changed the culture and genetic makeup of the region forever. The khan was a master strategist and his brutal warriors left a path of destruction in their wake.
10. Genghis Khan Had Molten Silver Poured Into an Enemy Leaders’ Eyes and Ears
There are many stories about the legendary brutality of Genghis Khan and his murderous exploits. Most of them tell a similar story of the khan asking enemies to surrender, and then completely annihilating them and their families and friends if they refused. The khan was proud of his murderous rampages and felt that the terror they inspired should be helpful in causing more enemies to join his side without him losing any men. While these campaigns of terror were business as usual for the khan, many people didn’t realize that if you made him feel personally insulted, he could be even more brutal and punishing than you could imagine.
A large city led by a noble named Inalchuq was in the way of the khan’s conquest, and the khan was in a very, very incensed mood. Years before, he had sent a large caravan of 500 men in the hopes of creating more trade routes in the region. Inalchuq had had the entire caravan decimated and spurned the khan’s peace offering completely. So it was that the khan killed the entire civilian population, utterly wrecked all remnants of the city, and killed the hated leader by having molten silver poured into his eyes and ears. This is perhaps one of the oldest examples of someone being brutally punished for shooting the messenger — something the khan clearly would not tolerate.