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Old November 9th, 2017, 10:28 AM   #11

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Because it was a time where war is considered normal, and slaughter was considered okay. Most people claim he was more brutal, which is a fact. However, is there a fine threshold for brutality that is considered okay? If so, please enlighten me as well. If not, I will consider all commanders the same. One killing more than the other is irrelevant to me.

If history is an indicator, humans hardly ever take lessons from history. Moving on, no fine commander in history never aimed to avoid dealing casualties to enemy.


History remembers such people anyway.

Unnecessary suffer, disregard for civilian lives, making prisoners slaves, not try to make ethnic cleanse etc are thing that would make a war less brutal. Very similar to the ideas that make a weapon inhumane, yes sound a little strange, but is more ethical and is what the world believes today, at least is what the Geneva Conventions and other documents say, and yes I know that isn't huge followed even today. But is the more ethical way to do war and less brutal.
The only period that I know that war was seem as a diplomatic solution was when talking about ww1 I never saw anywhere saying that mind set was present in the past the costs of war are huge to deal with even with all our modernization and I think that was way worst in the past.

And ok, the mindset was different in the past there's no problem em say that, but bring up how that ideas are considere barbaric is of great value, that the idea that the ends justify the means are cruel and bring unnecessary suffering, * it's good for the conversation and the Knowledge to make this comparison and to prevent to pass on half trues or people more ignorant go on believing that cruel acts are okay if x or y happens.

Recently the U.S have the cause of Columbus, I will not enter in the matter of the statues or the holiday, it's totally fine teaching about him and his discoveries, in a eurocentric view, but comparing with what our society, by that I referring to agreements made between nation etc and common sense, believes nowadays I why the way he did things as seems as barbaric to us is very important I would say a must have in certain occasions because not every one has common sense and can leave to what I said *

Remembers, but the depends on how is telling is full of bias and half trues , that leaves to thing that I said before * and that's not good way to remember history and make way more difficult to learn with the mistakes from the past. And I would say that depends on what subject you are talking about we got better in many thing by seems the wrong doings of our ancestors one is the way that we think war, not necessarily the way that we still doing, but baby steps.
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Old November 9th, 2017, 03:20 PM   #12
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Chroniclers of the time noted his brutality in several instances but most were also associated with the losing side. If Timur was brutal what about Caesar, Constantine, Charlemagne, etc? No conqueror is nice, some are less brutal than others but it is hard to argue with success- if one empire conquers three neighboring kingdoms in a brutal campaign and then peace reigns for 50 years is that more or less human suffering than if those 3 kingdoms fought with each other over 50 years every year doing raid, sieges, pillaging and so on.
You simply compare him to this contemporaries, and whether they view his actions are excessive or not.

For example, Caesar was pretty brutal by our standard, but not really brutal by his standard.

On the other hand, M. Claudius Marcellus was considered to be excessive in brutality in his sacking of Syracuse, a Hellenic city.

We should look at how the contemporaries view the ethnic and morality and judge them base on that.
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Old November 9th, 2017, 05:22 PM   #13

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You simply compare him to this contemporaries, and whether they view his actions are excessive or not.

For example, Caesar was pretty brutal by our standard, but not really brutal by his standard.

On the other hand, M. Claudius Marcellus was considered to be excessive in brutality in his sacking of Syracuse, a Hellenic city.

We should look at how the contemporaries view the ethnic and morality and judge them base on that.
Sure that is part of it and I noted people of the time commenting that Timur was brutal- that is how that reputation comes down to us afterall. However how many of those reports were recorded by people friendly to his legacy? Later under the Mughals there were more positive views but while Timur was alive and conquering the unflattering reports were mostly from people opposed to Timur- mostly Arabs were critical but even among Arabs there were a few dissenters while Byzantine sources surprisingly echo Ottomans but some Persians and of course Turkic oral histories are more favorable.
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Old November 12th, 2017, 02:02 PM   #14
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This notion that historical brutality is somehow relevant and should be taken into account when making some assessment is annoying. What is more annoying is that this stupid notion is provided (not saying you did OP) as an element of morality.

Anyway, I couldn't care less if he was brutal. He's one of the finest commanders of all times.
This notion that historical impact is somehow relevant and should be taken into account when making some assessement is annoying. What is more annoying is that this stupid notion is provided as an element of istorical evaluation.

Anyway, I couldn't care less if he was one of the finest commanders of all times. He was evil and brutal and one of the most destructive persons in history.
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Old November 12th, 2017, 05:34 PM   #15

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This notion that historical impact is somehow relevant and should be taken into account when making some assessement is annoying. What is more annoying is that this stupid notion is provided as an element of istorical evaluation.

Anyway, I couldn't care less if he was one of the finest commanders of all times. He was evil and brutal and one of the most destructive persons in history.
Timur- 7-12 million death attributed to his campaigns

Napoleon- 3-6 million deaths to his campaigns (only counting after Napoleon took power)

Was Timur really that much worse?
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Old November 12th, 2017, 11:06 PM   #16

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Originally Posted by MAGolding View Post
This notion that historical impact is somehow relevant and should be taken into account when making some assessement is annoying. What is more annoying is that this stupid notion is provided as an element of istorical evaluation.

Anyway, I couldn't care less if he was one of the finest commanders of all times. He was evil and brutal and one of the most destructive persons in history.
Except if we are to talk about scientific methodology, the notion of morality can not be taken into consideration. I'll go with scientific methodology, over morality which is completely subjective.
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Old November 12th, 2017, 11:42 PM   #17
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As long as views of him are based upon written records with little or no other evidence
(here I think archaeology) I would think we cannot be absolutely sure, but he was probably very brutal.
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Old November 27th, 2017, 03:46 PM   #18
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Tamerlane is fascinating figure. He challenged and defeated the greatest powers of his times: Ottoman Empire, Egypt and Sultanate of Delhi. In the last months of his life, Tamerlane decided to conquer China and even began campaign them, however old age and winter overcame him, he caught illness and died before reaching Chinese border. Let's assume, that Tamerlane live some years longer. What would happen?



Of course, he was cruel, but also all great conquerors of Eurasian Steppe were. Was Tamerlane really significantly more cruel than for example Nader Shah or Genghis Khan?

Tamerlane was also very successful in dynastic terms - long after dissolution of Tamerlane empire, his grand-grand-grand-grandson Babur established Mughal Empire in India. Descendants of Tamerlane through Babur's granch ruled in India, untill 1857.



Tamerlane is also a one of few great conquerors, who have dinosaur, called after them: Timurlengia euotica. It can't be excluded, that Tirmurlengia was one of ancestors of famous Tyrannosaurus rex:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timurlengia
Timur was definitely more cruel than Nader.


I remember reading in:

Click the image to open in full size.

for the siege of isfahan, where timur had 70,000 inhabitants killed:

Then he ordered the women and children to be taken to a plain outside the city, and ordered the children under seven years of age to be placed apart, and ordered his people to ride over these same children. When his counsellors and the mothers of the children saw this, they fell at his feet, and begged that he would not kill them. He would not listen, and ordered that they should be ridden over; but none would be the first to do so. He got angry and rode himself [amongst them] and said: ‘Now I should like to see who will not ride after me?’ Then they were obliged to ride over the children, and they were all trampled upon. There were seven thousand.


Now this was just one of Timur's massacres. Others include places like Dehli, Baghdad, Damascus. I don't think Nader did anything like that. Ironically though, Nader was a great admirer of Timur and Timur a great admirer of Genghis to the point where I believe he wed himself to one of his descendants.

Last edited by warrior6; November 27th, 2017 at 03:49 PM.
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Old November 27th, 2017, 03:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by turing View Post
This notion that historical brutality is somehow relevant and should be taken into account when making some assessment is annoying. What is more annoying is that this stupid notion is provided (not saying you did OP) as an element of morality.

Anyway, I couldn't care less if he was brutal. He's one of the finest commanders of all times.
I don't understand why it is not relevant in an assessment. were all conquerors equally bad? was every war as bad as the other? weren't some people bad even for their own time period?
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Old November 27th, 2017, 03:59 PM   #20
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Except if we are to talk about scientific methodology, the notion of morality can not be taken into consideration. I'll go with scientific methodology, over morality which is completely subjective.
how can you use scientific methodology on a question that asks you to assess a person?

btw scientific methodology type history is some of the most boring and dry **** ever when it comes to history. Everything turns into just dates.
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