Stormy Seas

Posted: 14.02.08 in Blogging

Yesterday I caught the end (the final two minutes) of a historical documentary of the life of Attila the Hun. It prompted me to read the entry of his life on Wikipedia. Through the links there connecting him with others — namely Genghis Khan (Temüjin) and Timur (Tamerlane), with the addition of Alexander the Great, I have found some traits that connected the four.

Firstly, all four were indeed hungry to expand the empires of their people. Attila had conquered much of Europe and continued to pursue further outreaching lands until his death in 453. Alexander the Great expanded his empire to further the Greeks’ knowledge of the extent of the world at the time, and made plans to strive beyond those boundaries. Of course, when their other, more questionable traits are considered, their overall reputation (save, perhaps, Alexander the Great) led them to be consigned as evil, vicious and villainous.

However, the great quality that is in common with all of them lies in their ascent to power and is the reason behind their dominance then and their noteriety now. The key was that they formed alliances with rival tribes. Doing so saved a lot of bloodshed early on, and ensured they had a large enough platform from which to build an empire.

You may well be wondering why I am writing this. I feel this second trait, the ability to unify vast areas of the world, is something that we lack today. I feel that the world needs a leader that can perform negotiations between sects of people and create unity amongst its people. However, can this be achieved without a bloodthirsty warmonger?


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