The history of mankind is a truly remarkable and wonderful thing. Not only is it filled with our greatest achievements it is also filled with some of the most horrendous things we find very difficult to imagine or even accept as something we are capable of. Even the most amazing and technologically advanced societies throughout history appear to carry with them a very dark side filled with gory and perverse rituals and believes that we seldom learn about in school.
The simple truth here seems to be that with every great society and civilization there comes a horrific and terrifying underbelly that we care not to talk about or remember.
1 – The Celts
It is all well and good being a bad ass civilization from history but you really take things to the next level when your enemies know of you as ferocious fighters who take to the battlefield butt-naked while wielding huge swords with the intention of cutting off people’s heads. No one is 100% sure as to why the Celt’s felt the urge to fight butt-naked but it was probably a huge distraction for anyone daring to attack them. If any attacking force was unlucky enough to find themselves defeated, there were plenty of defeated enemies, they could at least look forward to having their heads hacked off while still alive then placed the severed heads on top of chariots which would be left in front of homes to act as a warning to anyone else stupid enough to invade.
It is hard to image what is more scary, having your head cut off or reaching out to grab what you think might be the handle of your sword only to discover it is what can only be described as a Celtic sausage.
2 – The Mongols
No list of terrifying civilizations throughout history would be complete without giving the Mongols a mention. So horrific were some of the actions of the Mongols that even to this very day the name Genghis Khan is associated with ruthlessness and primal acts of cruelty.
Among the Mongols achievements was the construction of the largest contiguous empire in the history of mankind. The empire was so vast that it stretched all the way from Hungary to Vietnam but this is not what makes the Mongols so terrifying. What made them so terrifying was the fact they were known to be highly skilled archers and horse riders combined with technology (considered advanced for the day) that allowed them to construct bows and arrows capable of ripping through even the toughest of body armour like it was nothing more than butter. Try to image such capabilities in today’s world. It would be the equivalent of an invading force being able to attack the United States and bypassing all of their military defences as though they were not even there.
3 – The Vikings
The Vikings are well known for not only their huge physical size and strength but their tremendous skills on the battlefield. At their peak the Vikings were notorious for pillaging and terrorizing their way through Europe. Among their chosen weapons were swords, axes and spears, all of which were used without mercy and to devastating effect.
The Vikings are probably the only civilization to follow a religion that was totally based on war and fighting. They believed that every single person was given a purpose in life and for Vikings their purpose was to fight to the death without mercy.
4 – The Romans
The Romans may be responsible for some huge advancements in human technology that are the basis for much of what we have today but they were also a terrifying civilization. It would be hard not to include a civilization who’s idea of entertainment was watching gory and savage death matches between gladiators or where lust, intrigues, murder plots, serious boy on boy-loving, and polygamy dominated all levels of society and were actually symbols of honour. The Romans were even well known for their love of constant inbreeding that led to some pretty hysterical characters in human history who are only rivalled by members of the British Royal family such as Prince Charles.
On the battlefield the Romans were unmatched because of not only their ruthlessness but their technology which was light years ahead of their enemies. If the Romans wished to conquer your land then it was virtually impossible to stop them and anyone who dared to even tried would face a fate such as being covered in burning tar that had being catapulted across the battlefield. Maybe this is why at one time the Roman empire covered the majority of the globe. In fact the reach of the Roman empire was so vast that the sun never set on it.
5 – The Germans
When we refer to the Germans we of course are talking about Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany was rather short lived but in that short period of time they managed to piss off nearly everyone on the entire planet. Not only did they managed to annoy the world so much that it led to World War II they set about murdering at least 4 million people during the holocaust in the most horrific of manors. Not content with simply murdering millions of Jews and other minorities in society the Germans placed such people in concentration camps where they were forced to work brutal jobs and starved to death. Many people in concentration camps contracted fatal diseases due to the terrible living conditions while others had bizarre and cruel medical experiments performed on them.
6 – The Apache Tribes
It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking all Native Americans were more than happy to give up their land, livestock and women for casino licenses and alcohol but when it comes to Apache tribes nothing could be further from the truth. Apache tribes are well known for being fearless in battle and also for their ability to construct primitive weapons manufactured from stone and bone. If you found yourself unlucky enough to be on the wrong side of the Apache tribe there was the very real possibility that you could find yourself being scalped while still alive. Sure, you may have seen this in a Hollywood cowboy and indian movie but the Apaches really did do this.
7 – The Aztecs
When it comes to terrifying civilizations that are in a class of their own you must look no further than the Aztecs. The Aztecs were known for practicing the most horrific things you dare to imagine and also many things you dare not imagine such as child sacrifice, ripping out beating hearts, skin removing from living people and countless other barbaric acts. Amazingly the Aztecs believed that such acts were appeasing the gods and the more horrific the act then the happier the gods would be. At the height of their civilization Aztec rituals meant the slaughter of at least 20,000 people each and every year with most of the victims being women, children and virgins. The victims were nearly always terrorized and taunted before the horrific rituals because the Aztecs believed the gods enjoyed hearing the cries and distress of those who were about to be sacrificed. This would be the equivalent of taunting prisoners on death row before they are put to death.