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lederuvdapac
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From Alexander to Julius Caesar to Ghengis Khan to Napoleon...who is in your opinion the greatest military leader/ dictator/ general/ conqueror in history? We're talking about the whole package: Strategy, Charisma, Leadership, Courage any other attribute that you would associate with a military man (or woman if Joan of Arc is your choice). I understand that there is sometimes a conflict between who you think is the best and who is your favorite so if they happen to contradict, describe both and why they are significant. My fav will be posted later.
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moif
Without a doubt. that would have to be Temüjin Borjigin, also known as the Great Khan, the Father of the Mongols. Who else could fight the Chinese, the Koreans, the Indians, the Persians, the 'proto Turks' and the Europeans, more or less in a single extended campaign and practically defeat them all?

I know a lot of the actual thought behind his success came from his generals, especially Sabutai, but I think its clear they were acting on Temüjin's will and motivated by his charisma, a fact which is underlined by the halt of the Mongols European campaign upon his death of old age (the world was just to big).

Now, my 'favourite conquerer', and by this I mean, my favourite military commander, since I'm not to bothered about how great the conquests actually were, is probably Duke William of Normandy, also known as William the Bastard, and William the Conquerer.
Because why?
Well, partly because he won (He was the last general to successfully invade Britain) and partly because he was a politician as well as a soldier. Perhaps more so.
I've always had a soft spot for the Normans. Originally it was an aesthetic regard, but later it became an interest in their history and attitudes towards life. Above all else, the Normans were practical, almost ruthlessly so, and ambitious and the combination of these two factors is to be seen in their generals, men like Robert Guiscard and Bishop Odo of Bayeux (who probably commissioned the famous tapestry) and their military acheivements. I am fairly convinced that the Norman approach to warfare was the real reason why the first crusade was the only one to meet with any success.

The later crusaders, whilst numbering many great and famous warriors, just didn't have that edge of reasoning that the Normans appeared to have. They set their trust in faith, in personality and in bravery, when what they should have been doing is organising reserves and ensuring extensive logistics.

When Duke William invaded England, despite his own political clarity and fore-sight, he could really only do so because his half brother, Odo, had gone to considerable lengths to ensure the ships and supplies the campaign would need. Duke William, didn't really have the resources to take on England so he had to rely on his ability to drum up support (including many Bretonnian and Flemish mercenaries), his timing (invading just after the English had fought the Norwegians and had to slog their way all the way back down to Hastings) superior military tactics (the same feigned flight so often used by the Mongols) and excellent logistics (they had 700 ships and even brought a pre fab castle) all explain why William's ambitions succeeded.
Janabrute
This is an interesting question since most people do not have a favorite conquerer. And it is very bias depending on your national history.

However here goes...

Adolf Hitler would have to be my pick. Hitler is most known for his hatred of the Jews and his ruthless 'SS'.

Actually he took a depressed, demoralized country and made the people believe they were "the master race". His success was in the propaganda he used to spur the German people to become united and strong. Nothing was beyond their imagination and they almost had the world. There were only a few pivotal events that changed the course of their history detrimentally.

As much as Hitler hated Jews he loved his German people. Hitler started health programs for German woman that started the moment for routine screens, healthier living and weight reduction. There was almost no domestic crime. Even those Germans who opposed Hitler could not deny the prosperity his early rule provided.

Maybe if he had had better guidance he would have become great for the right reasons.
Eeyore
Well let's see, the candidates, Hernan de Cortes sacked Central America and may be responsible for the rise of Mocern Europe as riches poured into that continent through Spain. But although Cotres' conquests propped up the mighty Spanish Empire of the 16th century, his accomplishments are not on the top of my list.

Cecil Rhodes or Bill Gates? Rhodes represents an age of whimsical conquests as Europeans exploited dramatic advantages against the undeveloped world in a rare combination of will and ability to conquer. But no Imperial power could dominate the other.

Napoleon or Hitler? well they got off to brilliant conquering starts but were unable to consolidate the deal and they ended up embarasingly defeated.

No, I'd place Bismarck above either of them.

The Romans were perhaps the greatest collective conquerors, but I can;t pick one who tops my two remaining names.

Alexander the Great conquered the nearly the entire world he knew of and left behind a dramatically altered world. Yet he was not able to inspire a culture to hold together and dominate the majority of the world for long. His succcessors eyed each other jealously and tore into each other.

No, I am late to this answer. Temujin, who took on the title Universal Ruler or Genghis Khan, came the closest anyone has ever come to ruling the world. He conquered Asia and left behind a reasonably united empire with several succesors who accomplished what Napoleon and Hitler failed to do, conquering Russia.

The Mongol military might, pushed to greatness (if we are to admire the art of conquest) by Genghis Khan, was stopped by divine wind and a timely (for Europe) death of Genghis Khan's successor, Ogodei, at the cusp of conquering Europe.

The Europeans, like the later Japanese survivors of the great Mongol Armada under Kublai Khan, were left wondering why they were spared a military conquest. It was Obodei's death that revealed the weakness of the Mongol Empire, secession. Oh and as the Japanese learned, while they had the greatest mounted military units of their age, they were not experiences seamen. The Japanese remembered the Divine Wind that saved them forever in the name kamikaze (three parts vodka, one part triple sec, one part lime juice thumbsup.gif ), while the Europeans accepted there good fortune by forgetting that Poland once had the greatest army of knights of medieval times. (Anybody else getting a guilty flashback to Cable Guy?)

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Genghis Khan's legacy marked the world for centuries. They included a long doninance of Central Asia, a Mongol Dynasty in China, two empire in India first under Timur the Lame, or Tamerlane and then under Akbar and Babar is the Moghul Empire.

And that defeat, too, was momentous, as the Christain Crusaders had aligned themselves with the Mogols and were subsequently driven out of the Middle East effectively ending the Crusades.



Persia, Iraq, Europe, Asia, Japan, when armies met, the Mongols eventually prevailed. Only in Africa was a Mongol force defeated. Then by an Egyptian force (Alexander's revenge?)
CruisingRam
Ivan the terrible would be it for me. He defeated the Golden Horde in Kazan (mongols) and a while time later Catherine the great was to the pacific ocean- and that empire still stands to this day. He also influenced Russian culture in a very interested way- Russians are not very imperialistic- they never really sought, with the exception of Stalin, to move outside what THEY contend is Russian "natural" boundries-"which they considered the mongolian borders thier natural heritage, and turned turtle- then really, really aren't effected too much by what goes on outside thier borders culturally, for centuries. I think, not sure, but I think, that is a legacy of Ivan. Also, the concept that Russia was 'communist" or "socialist" is patently untrue- they may have used those words, but, if you are changing something so basic as property ownership, laws would change- right? Well, guess what- they didn't really. There has been a few sweeping legal changes in Russian history- but there were no significant ones regarding communist or socialist doctrine that were ever made.

the Oligarch/Overall leader relationship continues from Ivan- then it was the bulyars/Czars- same in every way but name!

But, that being the largest country on earth to this day, and having lasted over 700 years now, I would consider him to be the greatest conquerer, ever.

edited to change inaccuracies do to fatigue!
Vermillion
QUOTE(Janabrute @ Jun 13 2006, 02:59 AM) *

As much as Hitler hated Jews he loved his German people. Hitler started health programs for German woman that started the moment for routine screens, healthier living and weight reduction. There was almost no domestic crime. Even those Germans who opposed Hitler could not deny the prosperity his early rule provided.

Maybe if he had had better guidance he would have become great for the right reasons.


I am going to have to deal with this before I give my answer. Hitler did not 'Love the German people', in fact they were his primary victims before the death camps started running. He did revitalise the economy, in an impossible manner, by investing in weaponry and arms and specific industry, printing money and holding down inflation by totalitarian edict. Had Hitler not started WWII, the entire German economy would have collapsed somentime between 1943 and 1945. Domestic crime was certainly reduced, but thts what hppens in a savage police state where the authorities are not bound by the rule of law and even petty crime can result in long-term incarceration. In fact among the new crimes put on the books in Hitler's Germany was 'anti-social behaviour', which made it a crime to have committed crimes in the past. Anyone who had served multiple terms in jail or been involved in protsts in the past, even if they had served their debt, was liable for imprisonment and/or execution, and certainly liable for forced sterilisation.

Then there was the 160,000 mentally and physically handicapped people, including first world war veterans on disability, who Hitler had murdered to prevent their 'drain on the state' in the 1937-38 euthenasia program... Some people labour under the misapprehension that if you lived in Germany and were not a jew (and were straight, and not a communist, and not handicapped, and not a gypsy, and voted for the Nazis, and could trace germanic heritage back to Frederick barbarossa, and never spoke out) then you lived in a great place. This is entirely untrue.

That being said, the man was one of the best speakers the planet has ever produced, and an excellent opportunist...


My vote would have to be the old standard, Gaius Octavius, who became Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, known to us as Caesar Augustus. Here was a man who not only conquered everything that could be conquered, but imposed upon it a lasting cultural order which survives in facets to this day, including law, art, science, architecture, engineering and language. He conquered with military, but occupied with roads and aquaducts, granaries and legal codes which gave anyone no matter their birth or nationalist a chance (how ever small) to become citizen of Rome. His was the time of the Pax Romana and it was the high-water mark for the Roman world.

Best of all (and how many conquerors can say this) he recognised when enough was enough, and ended his conquests along defensible borders, leaving an edict stating that the Empire, safe and secure, should expand no further. He dies not by the sword or spear but in his sleep, and so universal was his fame, that his very name has become an adjective for regal and impressive, Kings of the East were titled 'Augustus' for 14 centuries after his death, and the best month of year is still named in his honour.

That's not bad.
Janabrute
QUOTE(Vermillion @ Jun 13 2006, 11:38 AM) *

QUOTE(Janabrute @ Jun 13 2006, 02:59 AM) *

As much as Hitler hated Jews he loved his German people. Hitler started health programs for German woman that started the moment for routine screens, healthier living and weight reduction. There was almost no domestic crime. Even those Germans who opposed Hitler could not deny the prosperity his early rule provided.

Maybe if he had had better guidance he would have become great for the right reasons.


I am going to have to deal with this before I give my answer. Hitler did not 'Love the German people', in fact they were his primary victims before the death camps started running. He did revitalise the economy, in an impossible manner, by investing in weaponry and arms and specific industry, printing money and holding down inflation by totalitarian edict. Had Hitler not started WWII, the entire German economy would have collapsed somentime between 1943 and 1945. Domestic crime was certainly reduced, but thts what hppens in a savage police state where the authorities are not bound by the rule of law and even petty crime can result in long-term incarceration. In fact among the new crimes put on the books in Hitler's Germany was 'anti-social behaviour', which made it a crime to have committed crimes in the past. Anyone who had served multiple terms in jail or been involved in protsts in the past, even if they had served their debt, was liable for imprisonment and/or execution, and certainly liable for forced sterilisation.

Then there was the 160,000 mentally and physically handicapped people, including first world war veterans on disability, who Hitler had murdered to prevent their 'drain on the state' in the 1937-38 euthenasia program... Some people labour under the misapprehension that if you lived in Germany and were not a jew (and were straight, and not a communist, and not handicapped, and not a gypsy, and voted for the Nazis, and could trace germanic heritage back to Frederick barbarossa, and never spoke out) then you lived in a great place. This is entirely untrue.

That being said, the man was one of the best speakers the planet has ever produced, and an excellent opportunist...

Don't get me wrong, I am not defending Hitler--he is a great sociological study. True Germans Hitler did love. He wanted all non Germans that entered Germany after 1914, whether you were of German descend or of mixed heritage, to leave Germany at once. His ideals were not that far from Spartan ideals. The sick, infirmed, disabled, or handicapped individuals weakened the entire mass population. To have a strong society you needed strong members. He wanted Germans to be known as "The Master Race". There was no place for anyone who could not pull their own weight and more. What Hitler considered a "weak" person to be, whether it be heritage, illness or mental dysfunction could be up for debate.

There is a strange romance with figures of the past. Since we did not live in their era, how do we know just how things were? Were they as great as they were reported? Or were these people just opportunists? Someone in the right place at the right time? Someone born into the right family? Someone who had access to wealth or power that the next person did not have?
Vermillion
QUOTE(Janabrute @ Jun 18 2006, 01:57 PM) *

Don't get me wrong, I am not defending Hitler--he is a great sociological study. True Germans Hitler did love.


Well, in his final days he is quoted as calling the German people 'ingrates who never appreciated his sacrifices, and deserve the fate they now suffer', a sentiment echoed by Goebbels. Furthermore, the one single thread that ties Hitler through his rise to and control of power is complete opportunism, for example had his mose loyal followers massacred (the SA) in order to gain the alleigance of the military.

Hitler loved himself, and I am sure he believed he was the best thing that could happen to the German people, in fact he declared this belief many times, but a messiah complex has at its heart not a love of your 'followers', but a love of yourself, and an ability to justifty the most henous acts perpetrated upon these followers in the name of some phantom 'greater good'.

As for the Spartans, yes they exposed handlicapped children at birth (oh, and they lived 2500-odd years ago) but even they revered and venerated croippled war heroes and those who had suffered for the state. Not Hitler, in the 1937-38 Euthenasia program it didn't matter the medals on your chest or your german heritage, the crippled died, such was his 'love' for his people.

Yes, many germans loved him in the late 1930's, no question, but this love was bolstered with a hefty dose of fear, which grew as the love diminished, the the person exposed himself to the world. So great was his 'love' for his people that he deliberatly and with forethought condemned to unecessary death over 200,000 of his troops in 1944 when they could easily have been evacuated from the army group centre's collapse, because he insisted all rolling stock be diferted to Hungary for the extermination of recently-available Jews there following the Hungarian coup. He did this knowing that this condemned Germany to a rapid defeat, and directly extinguished some of hie most loyal and best troops for nothing.

Funny kind of love...

Renger
QUOTE(lederuvdapac @ Jun 12 2006, 01:24 AM) *

From Alexander to Julius Caesar to Ghengis Khan to Napoleon...who is in your opinion the greatest military leader/ dictator/ general/ conqueror in history? We're talking about the whole package: Strategy, Charisma, Leadership, Courage any other attribute that you would associate with a military man (or woman if Joan of Arc is your choice). I understand that there is sometimes a conflict between who you think is the best and who is your favorite so if they happen to contradict, describe both and why they are significant. My fav will be posted later.


I think one of the greatest conquerors in history is Alexander the Great. In only a few years he conquered the vast Persian Empire, stretching from Egypt to India. Although he died at a relative young age, and couldn't really enjoy the fruits of his campaigns he did create an enormous Empire that would last for centuries (the Hellenistic Age).

Vermillion I am not sure emperor Caesar Augustus can be seen as a great conqueror. He was an exceptional statesman, but his military achievements were not that great. His campaigns in Germany were disastrous. The defeat of his general Varus in AD 9, was an enormous blow for Rome. It is said that Augustus would walk around his house during nighttimes calling for Varus to "bring back his legions". Because of this major defeat he decided that "enough was enough".
Vermillion
QUOTE(Renger @ Jun 19 2006, 07:47 AM) *

Vermillion I am not sure emperor Caesar Augustus can be seen as a great conqueror. He was an exceptional statesman, but his military achievements were not that great. His campaigns in Germany were disastrous. The defeat of his general Varus in AD 9, was an enormous blow for Rome. It is said that Augustus would walk around his house during nighttimes calling for Varus to "bring back his legions". Because of this major defeat he decided that "enough was enough".



Actually, his campaigns in Germany were a spectacular success overall... except as yousay for the last one which ended in the annihilation of three legions. The whole 'quintillius Varus, where are my Legions' thing is an exaggeration by Robert Graves, who did so love embellishing his writings, and is generally unsupported by other sources, though it was obviously a great blow to him, as his first serious military defeat.

As for his generalship, I think you underestimate. Dont forget the sucesses he won back when he was still Octavian, before he even gained power, and as Caesar he pushed the borders of the empire in nearly every direction, leaving a larger and more secure nation than had ever existed.
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moif
Vermillion.

The original quote is from Suetonius who describes Augustus banging his head against the wall whilst screaming Quintili Vare, legiones redde! ('Quinctilius Varus, give me back my legions!')

edited to add:

Actually I agree with Renger on this. Augustus was an acute politician and a brilliant statesman, but there is no way he was history's greatest conquerer, though he was a decent general. Comparing the size of his conquests to Alexander's, Ghangis Khan's, or even Lenin's (if we're going to compare politicians to generals) then Augustus pales.

Renger
QUOTE(Vermillion @ Jun 19 2006, 11:28 AM) *


Actually, his campaigns in Germany were a spectacular success overall... except as yousay for the last one which ended in the annihilation of three legions. The whole 'quintillius Varus, where are my Legions' thing is an exaggeration by Robert Graves, who did so love embellishing his writings, and is generally unsupported by other sources, though it was obviously a great blow to him, as his first serious military defeat.

As for his generalship, I think you underestimate. Dont forget the sucesses he won back when he was still Octavian, before he even gained power, and as Caesar he pushed the borders of the empire in nearly every direction, leaving a larger and more secure nation than had ever existed.


Like all patricians in Rome, Augustus was of course schooled in military matters and was a fairly decent commander of his troops, but he couldn't compare himself to the great Roman conquerors. He didn't conquer vast territories like his adoptive father Caesar did (Gaul), he didn't defeat great foreign adversaries like Pompey (Mithridates and the pirates in the Mediterranean) or Scipio Africanus (Carthago). Maybe his campaigns in the North (Germany) were initially a succes, but in the end it turned out to be one of the biggest defeats in Roman history. ..... BUT ... as a statesman he had no equals. He reorganized and secured the Roman Empire in a way that was unsurpassed (pax romana) and restructured the Roman constitution. (Principate) That's why he is still considered as one of the greatest emperors of Rome.
loreng59
I'm going to side with Renger and Moif on this one.

To be considered on of the greatest Conquerors there should be two criteria. First one is creating the empire, second would be on longevity of the creation.

There are several candidates for the first criteria as have been mentioned. From the Greeks to Soviets and everything in between. For the second there are only two in reality Greece and Rome. Alexander built a huge empire whereas there were many that built the Roman Empire. Augustus was a relative late comer. He inherited a huge empire and yes expanded it and did a very credible job in maintaining it. But a conqueror he was not even in the same league as Alexander.

Alexander took his father's small kingdom and took on the mightiest opponents of the age and won repeatedly. The feat that vaulted Greece from several small city-states to one of the greatest empires ever seen in the world was beyond compare.
Bikerdad
Hernando Cortes, with Mohammed the Prophet (and butcher, child molester, and general ne'er do well) as a close second. In how much of Ghenghis Khan's mighty empire do they still speak Mongol? How large was Alexander's army compared to his opponents?

Both Cortes (and the other Conquistadores) and Mohammed (as well as his immediate successors) created cultural empires that still stand today, something that none of the other candidates can say.

moif
QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Jun 22 2006, 02:49 AM) *

Hernando Cortes, with Mohammed the Prophet (and butcher, child molester, and general ne'er do well) as a close second. In how much of Ghenghis Khan's mighty empire do they still speak Mongol? How large was Alexander's army compared to his opponents?

Both Cortes (and the other Conquistadores) and Mohammed (as well as his immediate successors) created cultural empires that still stand today, something that none of the other candidates can say.
Surely that depends on how you choose to define culture? How great an impact did the Mongols have on the Chinese? ...or vice versa? ...and China still stands to this day. And if language is a measure of 'cultural empire' then surely the English beat every one else hands down for more non English people speak English than any other language.

We seem to be getting ahead of ourselves in our definitions of conquering as well. A great cconquerer must mean one individual who defeats many enemies in war. It cannot mean the founder of an empire, for empires are not founded by individuals but rather by the actions of nations over time.

Cortes I can accept as a great conqueror, but Mohammed? If the spread of a religion is to be considered above military campaigns then Jesus (still) beats Mohammed in that regard, but if we are talking about purely military conquest, then Mohammed was no great general though he did establish a foundation for others to follow in his wake.

As for how large was Alexanders army? What difference does that make? How great an advantage did Cortes (and other Europeans in the New World) not have by the introduction of superior arms, the mobility of the horse and the apocolyptic advent of disease against the natives of the America's? Every commander has advantages and disadvantages and I'd say Alexanders army's size was counter balanced the scale of logistical problems he faced.

Looking back over the candidates then I still see no one who defeated as many enemies as Ghengis Khan did, nor with as few advantages, for when the Khan's Mongols faced the Poles, Russians, Germans and Hungarians, and though many thousands of kilometres from home and at no numerical advantage, they defeated them all due to superior fire power and mobility and the understanding of how best to press that advantage having already defeated every single great power in the intervening lands. Its this understanding of how to defeat other military forces that counts. Alexander certainly had it, Cortes also, and I think to some degree Admiral Nelson, but Ghengis Khan, simply by virtue of the scale of his conquests and the calibre of his defeated enemies is the greatest conqueror in history. As a personal title then, no one else save Alexander comes even close.

AuthorMusician
My favorite is Spartacus. Instead of all these other wimps who only attacked the weak, Spartacus went right into the lion's mouth and ripped out its tongue.
Amlord
QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Jun 22 2006, 07:54 AM) *

My favorite is Spartacus. Instead of all these other wimps who only attacked the weak, Spartacus went right into the lion's mouth and ripped out its tongue.


I wouldn't consider Spartacus a conqueror. After all, he never ruled anywhere and although he led a multi-year revolt, he was ultimately unsuccessful.

Cortez is one conqueror that did do something unheard of: he defeated an army numbering in the tens of thousands with a force of a few hundred. Chalk it up to superior arms (were rifles really that superior to bows and arrows then? horses were certainly of far superior value) or his resemblance to the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl or whatever other factor. But Cortez conquered the Aztecs with only a few hundred Spainards and the help of some dissident Aztecs.

Overall, I'd have to side with Ghengis Khan as the ultimate conqueror. The size of his empire, although relatively short-lived as an intact entity, was never surpassed. It stretched from the Caspian Sea to the Sea of Japan.
Renger
QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Jun 22 2006, 02:49 AM) *

How large was Alexander's army compared to his opponents?


Alexander had around 47000 troops under his command during the famous battle of Gaugemela in 333 BC. (This battle shows the incredible tactical skills of Alexander as a general) The Persian king Darius had twice as many troops during the same battle (around 90.000 or more) and did have at least tens of thousands of troops in reserve across his Empire. The core of Alexanders troops were his 31000 Macedonian footsoldiers (hoplites).

As a sidenote: at the time when Alexander invaded Persia, this once great empire, was already weakened. It wasn't as strong as two centuries earlier, when the great Persian Wars were fought in Greece. But never the less, the fact that Alexander defeated such a enormous and strong empire in only a few years is still one of the greatest military achievements in world history ever. He has been a role model for almost all the other great generals in history (Caesar, Napoleon etc) and even nowadays a lot of military experts praise him for his military skills.

QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Jun 22 2006, 01:54 PM) *

My favorite is Spartacus. Instead of all these other wimps who only attacked the weak, Spartacus went right into the lion's mouth and ripped out its tongue.


Spartacus is a intriguing character, but to place him among the great conquerors is a little bit too much credit. He wasn't aiming to overthrow Rome, he wasn't fighting to conquer an empire: he was a runaway slave who formed a slave army, to fight for freedom. His aim was to reach Gaul, but in the end was defeated by two great Roman generals: M. Licinius Crassus and Cn. Pompeius Magnus (together with Caesar they formed the triumvirate in 60 BC)
RedCedar
QUOTE(moif @ Jun 11 2006, 08:47 PM) *

Without a doubt. that would have to be Temüjin Borjigin


Yes, but his eventual defeat by John McEnroe was a very sad event indeed.

I agree that the Huns kicked butt, but that was more like pillaging than actual combat.

How about Rommel? Or Patton? Those were some thinking conquerers.

I think the question is not very precise. Some leaders were great at battle strategy, others were just very successful in their reach of power. It's hard to nail down one because the question covers a lot of people.

In terms of Empires, you can just look through history and figure that out. From the Romans, to the British, those were some impressive empires. Who led them?
AuthorMusician
QUOTE
Spartacus is a intriguing character, but to place him among the great conquerors is a little bit too much credit. He wasn't aiming to overthrow Rome, he wasn't fighting to conquer an empire: he was a runaway slave who formed a slave army, to fight for freedom. His aim was to reach Gaul, but in the end was defeated by two great Roman generals: M. Licinius Crassus and Cn. Pompeius Magnus (together with Caesar they formed the triumvirate in 60 BC)


So the definition of conqueror, along with AML's input, is that 1) must win 2) must govern 3) has to be for a significant amount of time. I'll go with that.

Yet Spartacus and his spirit is by far superior. So he's greater than the greatest conqueror and still my favorite among all the others. When the vanquished rise up against the oppressors, that gets my cheer. He did a remarkable amount of damage to the Roman army with a little bit of resources and had the citizens quaking in Rome. Although not verified, he fought to his death for freedom.

Now that's conquering something worthwhile.

The Cortez thing is sure a puzzle. I imagine the Native American fears had a lot to do with it. I chalk that up to dumb, blind luck. Other early attempts at landing in the New World resulted in disaster, and the ultimate conquering of the continents took quite a while. It's arguable that successful governing is still an ongoing effort biggrin.gif
moif
QUOTE(RedCedar @ Jun 22 2006, 10:34 PM) *

QUOTE(moif @ Jun 11 2006, 08:47 PM) *

Without a doubt. that would have to be Temüjin Borjigin


Yes, but his eventual defeat by John McEnroe was a very sad event indeed.

I agree that the Huns kicked butt, but that was more like pillaging than actual combat.
Ghengis Khan was not a Hun. He was a Mongol, and lived some considerable time after the Huns had their heyday, though whats a few centuries? whistling.gif

And the Mongols were not just slash and burn pillagers. They fought many set battles, against the most powerful nations of the day, and were victorious in nearly every engagement. A modern day equivalent would be as if a single Somali war lord united several other African nations under his authority and conquered the whole planet.

Granted they finally met their match in McEnroe, but up until that fateful day, Khan's Mongols had annexed China, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine, Korea, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Moldova, Kuwait, Poland and Hungary. Not bad for an illiterate herder who was afraid of dogs.
When Khan finally died (sources differ on how, but the most curious tells that he was castrated by a Tangut princess with a concealed knife to prevent her from being raped) he had a standing army of 129,000 men.

According to a CHinese Monk, Ghengis Khan is quoted thus:

QUOTE(Ch'ang Ch'un)
Heaven has abandoned China owing to its haughtiness and extravagant luxury. But I, living in the northern wilderness, have not inordinate passions. I hate luxury and exercise moderation. I have only one coat and one food. I eat the same food and am dressed in the same tatters as my humble herdsmen. I consider the people my children, and take an interest in talented men as if they were my brothers. We always agree in our principles, and we are always united by mutual affection. At military exercises I am always in front, and in time of battle am never behind. In the space of seven years I have succeeded in accomplishing a great work, and uniting the whole world in one empire.

The greatest pleasure of a man is to vanquish your enemies and chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth and see those dear to them bathed in tears, to ride their horses and clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters.
Link.

The Mongols didn't just vanish after Ghenis Khan either. There were a further seven Khan's after him, culminating in Kublai Khan (Ghengis's grandson) who ruled China as the first emporer of the Yuan dynasty. (It was also Kublai who twice attempted to invade Japan).
Kublai eventually ate himself to death...


QUOTE(RedCedar)

How about Rommel? Or Patton? Those were some thinking conquerers.
Mere soldiers. Decorated lackeys carrying out the dirty work for others. biggrin.gif

AuthorMusician
QUOTE
sources differ on how, but the most curious tells that he was castrated by a Tangut princess with a concealed knife to prevent her from being raped


Doesn't that make the Tangut princess superior to Khan? Heh, bet that little move took away his lust, or better, hatred.

She was protecting herself and he was out to violate her. So we might surmise that Khan had some personal issues going on, which I think is true about all conquerors. He seems to have suffered terribly with jealousy for one thing. Those dang Chinese! And here we are, eating yak cheese or whatever while they run around in silk and make Ming vases. Pillage rape and burn!
VDemosthenes
Queen Elizabeth I. She was able to wield an incredible amount of power and humility completely alone. She conquered Ireland and defeated a Spanish armada by placing her fleet in the right place at the right time. Her unwavering devotion to her people made her an inspiration and a source of great pride and joy. She did not waver to the call of courtship of a Duke from the royal house of France and she expanded her nations influence far beyond the realm she inherited at her coronation. Elizabeth was able to expand England's economy and she proved to be a shrewd Queen.
stlsophistry
Hope its not to late -

How about the Eisenhower, Marshall, Roosevelt team?

While there is obviously a difference between "conquest" & "liberation", the armies commanded by these leaders militarily occupied virtually the entire expanse of the Roman Empire in Europe and Africa, most of the Pacific Rim (remaining to this day the only people EVER to unite the Entire Pacific in alliance or conquest), and leveraged the military victory to establish a network of military and cultural dependencies and alliances that remains undisputably the most militarily powerful institution people have ever seen (even relative to other powerful systems in the past). While arguably the territorial expansion of the United States's direct influence has waned since the 1950s, what has replaced it is arguably the first integrated world wide empire. For military power only, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deployments_o...States_Military

2006 manifestation of E-M-R military expansion:

United States 6.5% of Earth's Surface, plus pacific ocean & islands,
Total naval superiority in every ocean on earth (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:USS_Ste....jpg#filelinks)
Japan
United Kingdom
Nato (France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Austria - occupied by American forces to this day, save France)
Israel (modern state formed from colonization led by American cultural ex-pats during the break-up of Britain's empire in the 1950s, a by-product of our influence over the med/middle east post WWII)
South Korea (during the Eisenhower Presidency)
Qu'wait (from our control of the Indian Ocean derived from total naval supremacy in the wake of WWII)
Iraq (contested)
Afganistan (see Qu'wait, above)
Space Weapon Superiority (existence of space-based nuclear weapons denied)
Total Satellite Surveillance of entire surface of the earth (and now a dozen or so other celestial bodies in the solar system - remember the space program to originated in our military victory in WWII)
M.A.D. defense strategy
$12.36 trillion (2005 est.) GDP (from ciaworldfactbook) - an economy invigorated and sustained by both WWII and total dominance over the means of production of all industrialized nations except Russia for as many as 10-15 years after the war, not to mention the debt the U.S. government owns remaining from post-WWII lending.

While EU and China are entering a phase where they could someday challenge the United States (and, to be honest, both the EU and China possess the same M.A.D. capabilities that REALLY gives the United States its power)

Either way, there is no denying that the world wide system of power, with its hub in Washington, DC, was created by Eisenhower, Marshall, and Roosevelt between 1942-1946.

Hence, my vote for the greatest conqueror(s) of all time:
Eisenhower, Marshall, and Roosevelt
snoop dogg
Germany's acheievements in the 2nd world war were nothing short of fantastic. never before had so much of Europe been under the control of one country.
And the fact that Germany acheieved so quickly and dramatically and agaisnt several very strong countries was impressive.
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