The twentieth century witnessed slaughter and death on an unprecedented scale. The last century was a violent era – the Holocaust, World War I, World War II, and the communist, fascist and Nazi military dictatorships that resulted in the deaths of over 100 million people.
Unpopular regimes and the wars they started were frequently ended by wide-scale public opposition, often violent too. Each and every time one of the world’s most notorious political dictators died, the suppressed details of the things he had done came to the surface.
In a conceptual form, dictatorship and the use of systemic persecution and force over political opponents to maintain supreme power originated from Ancient Rome and the Roman civilization; though modern history dictators twisted the meaning of the term “dictator” into a synonym for gross brutality and human rights violations. Here are 7 of the world’s most cynical and ruthless dictators of all time.
Also known as the perverted “Caesar” of the Roman Empire, Roman Emperor Caligula ruled from 37 AD until 41 AD, and his motto was “let them hate me, as long as they’re afraid of me”.
Caligula’s predecessor, Tiberius, used to say that he would turn into “a snake for his people”; and he was right. Caligula’s extravagance, sexual perversities and cruelty led his contemporaries and subjects to regard him as the craziest tyrant. Caligula’s insatiable lust and appetites for sex orgies were notorious. If he wanted to have a woman, he took her even if she was married and belonged to another man.
This fierce dictator also reportedly committed incest with each of his three sisters. From a political point of view, the Roman ruler had the most ambitious construction projects. But he craved an increasingly extravagant lifestyle, desires that eventually destroyed him and his empire. His predecessor Tiberius left Caligula a majestic inheritance, which he squandered. He raised crippling taxes, committed thinly veiled robbery and initiated frenzied price surges. Furthermore, Caligula was a narcissist who claimed he was a living god.
After ruling the Roman Empire for 4 years, he was finally assassinated.