Greatest conquerors in history

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Xonen
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Xonen » Mon 21 Oct 2013, 00:47

CatDoom wrote:
eldin raigmore wrote:Else "Old Age".
Only in relatively recent times.
And even then, I don't think anyone has actually had "old age" listed as an official cause of death yet. It's always some kind of infection, trauma or organ failure; older people are just progressively more and more susceptible to such things.

EDIT: FWIW,
Wikipedia wrote:Old age is not a scientifically recognized cause of death; there is always a more direct cause although it may be unknown in certain cases and could be one of a number of aging-associated diseases.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Lambuzhao » Mon 21 Oct 2013, 03:35

eldin raigmore wrote:
Lambuzhao wrote:I nominate Bubonic Plague, Syphilis and Yellow Fever. Chickenpox/Anthrax, too.
"Common Cold" beats out all of those IMO.
Else "Old Age".

Ooh. This reminds me of a great little story:
http://www.hurstwic.org/history/article ... utgard.htm

L'il olde Elli
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by eldin raigmore » Mon 21 Oct 2013, 21:40

Thanks! I remember that one.


[hr][/hr]

CatDoom wrote:
eldin raigmore wrote:Else "Old Age".
Only in relatively recent times. For most of history a lot more people probably died as infants than as geriatrics.
Then again, epidemic disease didn't really become a major problem until the most recent 5% of the history of the human species. Before that, some combination of accidents, predation, and violence probably accounted for most deaths.
Well, if it only has to make people sick, not kill them, then "Common Cold" beats every other contagious disease AFAIK.

Real "conquerors" don't exterminate their conquered populations; rather, they get the vanquished to serve them (in addition to going about their daily lives). It's often important for the tribute/tax/share taken by the conqueror to go almost unnoticed by the vanquished. Often, also, the conqueror must be seen as assuming the duties and functions of the conquered's upper class, for instance protecting the conquered commoners from other possible conquerors; those crustaceans that replace the tongues of fishes might be examples of that.
Last edited by eldin raigmore on Mon 21 Oct 2013, 21:46, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by cybrxkhan » Tue 22 Oct 2013, 03:03

eldin raigmore wrote: Real "conquerors" don't exterminate their conquered populations; rather, they get the vanquished to serve them (in addition to going about their daily lives). It's often important for the tribute/tax/share taken by the conqueror to go almost unnoticed by the vanquished. Often, also, the conqueror must be seen as assuming the duties and functions of the conquered's upper class, for instance protecting the conquered commoners from other possible conquerors; those crustaceans that replace the tongues of fishes might be examples of that.
This is a pretty important point. Successful conquerors were smart enough to know if they didn't legitimize their rule somehow, people would rebel against them eventually. Oftentimes, legitimizing meant on taking aspects of political and religious legitimacy employed by previous rulers in the region as well as employing native elites. For instance:
  • Ottoman Sultans declared themselves Roman Emperors (of the Third Rome), Caliph, and Persian Shanhanshah, among other things. They thus claimed to continue the legacies of the Roman/Byzantine, Arabic, and Persian Empires. The Sultans also employed natives via the Janissary system, and a lot of Ottoman bureaucrats and soldiers were of non-Turkish origin (such as Albanians, Greeks, and so on).
  • Nomadic conquerors in China (such as the Mongols/Yuan, Khitan, Manchu/Qing, Tuoba Wei, and countless others) often declared themselves Emperors in the Chinese fashion and trying to support the Confucian elite. The most interesting case of this were the Kara-Khitan, an offshoot of the Khitan/Liao dynasty who fled to Central Asia following their defeat by the Jurchen in the 12th century. They conquered several Muslim territories, but instead of becoming more Islamicized, they strongly kept their Sinicized traditions - it doesn't make sense at first until you realize that Muslims in the medieval world thought that China was one of the greatest civilizations ever, so the Khitan essentially conned their Muslim subjects into thinking they were China, this just, urbane, sophisticated civilization, and who doesn't want to live in such a place, infidel or not?
  • As mentioned before, Alexander took on many aspects of the Persian Empire he conquered. In fact, as my professor of Iranian history argues, Alexander essentially just usurped the Empire and continued it in a sense.
  • Later conquerors of the Iranian plateau also drew on Achaemenid and Sassanid ideas - up to the early modern and modern era. The concept of Shahanshah is evidence of this.
  • The whole HRE schtick of the Franks.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Lambuzhao » Tue 22 Oct 2013, 08:06

I nominate Merlin.

Woops, wrong thread.
Edit: Greatest conjurersin History
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Artaxes » Wed 11 Dec 2013, 23:33

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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Plusquamperfekt » Fri 13 Dec 2013, 08:09

Solarius wrote:Who, in your opinion, are the greatest conquerors in history?

I would say that Genghis Khan (of course), Pachacuti, and maybe Pizzaro. I may add to this post later!
Sorry, but IMO it's really absolutely inappropriate to talk about conquerors as if they were heroes. Francisco Pizarro for example killed thousands of people and destroyed every indigenous culture which he came across, so nowadays we would not call that "conquest" but genocide. He's just the 15th century equivalent of HITLER and it really disappoints me that there are still people who seem to admire him for his massacres and other horrible contributions to mankind.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by MrKrov » Fri 13 Dec 2013, 10:21

When I hear or read "greatest conquerors", I just hear or read someone was really good at their job.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Xonen » Fri 13 Dec 2013, 14:49

Plusquamperfekt wrote:
Solarius wrote:Who, in your opinion, are the greatest conquerors in history?

I would say that Genghis Khan (of course), Pachacuti, and maybe Pizzaro. I may add to this post later!
Sorry, but IMO it's really absolutely inappropriate to talk about conquerors as if they were heroes. Francisco Pizarro for example killed thousands of people and destroyed every indigenous culture which he came across, so nowadays we would not call that "conquest" but genocide. He's just the 15th century equivalent of HITLER and it really disappoints me that there are still people who seem to admire him for his massacres and other horrible contributions to mankind.
I see your HITLER and raise you a [}:D] STALIN! [}:D].

Seriously, though, "great" might not be the best adjective to use here, since it does tend to have rather positive connotations - but still, I think "great conqueror" in this context is just meant to be a reference to people who were efficient at taking over territory, without necessarily taking any kind of stand on the morality of their actions. Thus, it doesn't necessarily imply any hero-worship, either.

However, it's true that at least some conquerors do often seem to be portrayed as heroes and their conquests as somehow positive achievements. Caesar, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, etc. I don't think I've ever heard a modern person seriously defend Pizarro, though.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Torco » Thu 26 Dec 2013, 15:43

What is great?
baby don't hurt me
don't hurt me
no more
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Micamo » Sun 29 Dec 2013, 07:00

Xonen wrote:I see your HITLER and raise you a [}:D] STALIN! [}:D].

Seriously, though, "great" might not be the best adjective to use here, since it does tend to have rather positive connotations - but still, I think "great conqueror" in this context is just meant to be a reference to people who were efficient at taking over territory, without necessarily taking any kind of stand on the morality of their actions. Thus, it doesn't necessarily imply any hero-worship, either.

However, it's true that at least some conquerors do often seem to be portrayed as heroes and their conquests as somehow positive achievements. Caesar, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, etc. I don't think I've ever heard a modern person seriously defend Pizarro, though.
If Hitler had been an american then he'd be regarded as a hero.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by eldin raigmore » Mon 30 Dec 2013, 19:45

Micamo wrote:If Hitler had been an american then he'd be regarded as a hero.
Not by all Americans. Not even George Washington is regarded as a hero by all Americans.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Micamo » Tue 31 Dec 2013, 12:54

eldin raigmore wrote:Not by all Americans. Not even George Washington is regarded as a hero by all Americans.
True. I guess what I meant to say is he'd be regarded as a hero by the cultural zeitgeist, much like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and FDR.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by eldin raigmore » Fri 03 Jan 2014, 00:00

Micamo wrote:True. I guess what I meant to say is he'd be regarded as a hero by the cultural zeitgeist, much like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and FDR.
I understand and I disagree. I think he would be regarded more like the various men who kidnapped and bought and sold and mistreated Solomon Northup; or like Elizabeth Bathory; or like the culprits in these incidents.
Remember Hitler is not regarded as a hero by modern-day Germans.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Egerius » Fri 03 Jan 2014, 00:37

eldin raigmore wrote:Remember Hitler is not regarded as a hero by modern-day Germans.
*Screams, runs up the wall, speaks in mysterious tongues* He was indirectly responsible to the death of 50 million + individuals, my great-grandfather included (brought to you by a 1/8th German).

What did he conquer? His army raided Poland, wreaked havoc on the way to Stalingrad and lost the war (like Napoléon, thanks to the awesome freezing Russian winter). Sorry for this rage, but that's a part of WWII history (and thus demonstrating eldin's point).

Nothing else would be said about the British Empire, Hernán Cortés (except maybe less victims and a non-fascist motif).

Djugwili/Stalin exterminated people, Mao Tse-Dong evaporated people, even the Romans slayed some Celts on their way to Lutetia (or Catharge).
There is nothing great about killing people, even for the crown/empire/republic/religion.

But for me, the greatest emperor would be... Trajan. The Roman Empire influenced us all in our favourite domain (languages) and this guy made Romanian possible.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Torco » Fri 03 Jan 2014, 17:54

eldin raigmore wrote:
Micamo wrote:If Hitler had been an american then he'd be regarded as a hero.
Not by all Americans. Not even George Washington is regarded as a hero by all Americans.
if Hitler had won the game of Civilization he got himself into he'd be regarded as a hero, you mean. We'd be here conlanging and conworlding and talking about how great it is to be racially pure and having been ridden of ugly capitalism, usury, and all that decadence that was miscegenation, homosexuality, gypsies, etcetera just like we celebrate the french revolution as the dawn of freedom. We would speak of National Socialism the way people speak of Liberalism and Democracy, and of Dignity and Purity the way we now speak of Liberty and Privacy.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Egerius » Fri 03 Jan 2014, 19:15

Torco wrote:if Hitler had won the game of Civilization [...]
I'd be dead, or rather, my whole family wouldn't exist, as his policy would probably have eradicated all Poles, Sinthi/Roma, Jews and not totally healthy and strong people from the Reich's surface.

I think a country's strength lies in diversity, not in authoritive, streamline uniformity. People need a certain choice, not a chain.

The US, as far as I know, are capitalism par excellence, with little social aid programs coming from the Capitol.

Germany today is an example of social market economy, with help programs (with Hartz IV as the famous example) to prevent your personal financial desaster (not having money at all while unemployed).
Or the fact that employees are protected from being fired when they are disabled or when they have worked for a long time, which is written into German law.

And as Romanians stream into Germany since New Year's day, I've got another reason to learn Romanian.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Xonen » Sat 04 Jan 2014, 01:18

eldin raigmore wrote:Remember Hitler is not regarded as a hero by modern-day Germans.
That's largely because he lost the war, though. Had he won, German (and many other) history books would probably portray him in a rather different light. There are still plenty of people in the former USSR who think quite highly of Stalin. And even in the West - which you'd expect to have an extremely negative opinion of Soviet leaders in general - Godwin's law is still all about Hitler and the Nazis (as evidenced in this very thread...). Despite the fact that Stalin was actually worse than Hitler in several respects, including number of innocent people killed.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Lambuzhao » Sat 04 Jan 2014, 04:04

Cheese has been constipating innards and concretizing colons for 5,000~8,000 years ...in one long, pretty continuous curd.


Cheese sure conquers me on a regular basis.
[xP]
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by eldin raigmore » Sat 04 Jan 2014, 18:55

Lambuzhao wrote:Cheese has been constipating innards and concretizing colons for 5,000~8,000 years ...in one long, pretty continuous curd. Cheese sure conquers me on a regular basis. [xP]
Pretty? :?: Regular? :?:

[:P] [;)]
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