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But as Achilles came near, brandishing his great Pelian spear, while the flash of his arms was as a flame of fire, Hector trembled, and dared not abide to meet him, but fled around the walls, Achilles pursuing. Come, ye gods! But Minerva—she who was called the goddess of wisdom, for she sprang forth from the mighty head of Jove completely armed—thus counselled,—. If it be thy august will, then do it; but the other gods approve not.

Hector shall be slain; but tarry a moment, that I may give him heart to meet thee in battle; so shalt thou slay him.


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If Jupiter gives me the victory, I will do no dishonor to thy body; only thine armor will I take. Do thou the same to me. There is no agreement between wolves and sheep. Show thyself a warrior if thou canst. Then did they meet in deadliest conflict. Achilles threw his mighty spear; but Hector, crouching, avoided it, and the great spear fixed itself in the ground beyond.

Look out for my spear! But at that same instant Achilles charged to meet him, and holding his shining shield before him, with his helmet plumes waving in the air, he raised his long-pointed spear, which gleamed like a star, and drove it through the neck of the brave Hector, so that the point stood out behind; and Hector fell dying in the dust. Then with his last breath, he besought Achilles to spare his body from the Greeks; for King Priam would ransom it with much gold and treasure, to give it burial rites. But Achilles, moved with fierce wrath, cried,—. Then Hector died, and Achilles drew out the spear from the corpse, and stripped off the arms.

Then great Achilles did a shocking deed; for he bound the body of the dead Hector to his chariot, letting the brave and noble head lie in the dust; and so he dragged the corpse of the [27] valiant Trojan round the walls of Troy, even to the Grecian ships. Then did old King Priam gather rich gifts, and aided by the gods, mount his swift chariot and go to the tent of great Achilles, to beg the body of his much loved son, brave Hector, praying to Jupiter that Achilles might have pity on him.

This did Jove grant; for Achilles received him kindly, and gave up the body of dead Hector, which King Priam carried back into the city of Troy. For nine days the people wailed and mourned, and gathered much wood for a funeral pile, upon which they laid brave Hector; and when his body was burnt to ashes, they gathered up the white bones and put them in a chest of gold, and covered it with purple. This chest they placed in a coffin and laid upon it many stones, even until they had raised a mighty mound above it.

Thus did they bury the valiant Hector, bravest of Trojan princes. There are two different accounts of the final overthrow and capture of Troy. The other account relates that the capture was effected by the stratagem of the wooden horse, which [28] was planned by the cunning of Ulysses. A huge, hollow structure resembling a horse, was filled with armed men, and left standing in the plain, while the Greeks went on board their ships and sailed to the island of Tenedos, which lay not far distant.

Accordingly they made a breach in the wall, and transported the horse within. In the dead of night the Greeks broke out of their concealment, and set the city on fire. The fleet, on a signal given, sailed back from Tenedos; the army landed.

Troy was taken and destroyed. This event is usually placed about B. In the division of the spoils, after the taking of Troy, Cassandra, one of the daughters of King Priam, fell to the lot of Agamemnon. There are two accounts of the death of Agamemnon. At the banquet in the evening, with the consent of Clytemnestra, he [29] placed twenty armed men in concealment, who fell on King Agamemnon and killed him, together with Cassandra and all their attendants.

Another account makes Agamemnon to have fallen by the hands of his wife Clytemnestra, after he had just come forth from a bath, and while he was endeavoring to put on a garment, the sleeves of which she had previously sewed together, as well as the opening for his head; thus giving her time to commit the bloody deed before any succor could reach him. His death, however, was avenged by his son Orestes. Homer also says that Agamemnon possessed the most powerful fleet; and as he was chosen the sovereign of all the Grecian kings, and commander-in-chief of all the Grecian hosts during the Trojan War, he may doubtless be called the greatest and most famous of all the more ancient Grecian rulers.

IN a lonely and desolate country, in the depths of a dark forest, at the edge of a yawning precipice, there once lay an infant, robed in costly garments, which betokened noble or royal birth. The baby lay in a small basket cradle, made of golden wires and lined with richly embroidered cushions.

It seemed to be slumbering, for it moved not, even when the afternoon shadows gathered more densely around it; and a rapacious bird of prey might have been seen hovering above its dangerous retreat, and the noise of wild beasts was heard in the dark forests around. Was there no one near to protect and care for this lovely child? Ah, see! But why does not the babe awake?

Just then a lion steals out of the brushwood, and after a stealthy glance at the tempting prey so near his reach, he prepares to spring. But again the watcher leaps forth from the shadow, and hurls a sharp javelin with so true an aim that the lordly beast is mortally wounded, and retreats to the forest, roaring with pain. And still the infant sleeps on. Here, too, might have been found an infant; but it is crowing and smiling as it raises its chubby fists to its mouth and tries to catch the sunshine, which streams in through the open door, and falls upon the wall over its head.

And yet the infant in the costly robes, in the wild forest, is really the dead child of a poor herdsman; and this crowing, laughing baby, dressed in peasant clothes, and lying in the lowly hut, is none other than the future Cyrus the Great, upon whom hang the destinies of a vast empire.

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The remarkable story regarding the birth and early boyhood of Cyrus the Great is recounted by Herodotus, one of the greatest and earliest of Grecian historians. Herodotus and Xenophon—a noted Grecian general, as well as historian—are the chief sources of information regarding most of the important historical events of that period of the world. Some parts of their accounts are thought to be historical romances, founded on facts; but as they have become a part of the history of those times, I shall gather the story of Cyrus from the events related by both these writers.

About B. Astyages was king of Media. One night Astyages awoke from a terrible dream: he had dreamed that a fearful inundation had overwhelmed his kingdom. As the deluge seemed in some mysterious manner to be connected in his mind with his only daughter, Mandane, he imagined that it portended that evil should come to his throne through her children.

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And so he arranged that she should marry Cambyses, ruling prince of Persia. In this manner he hoped to remove her so far distant, and place her in so weak a kingdom, that he need have no fears. This vine also appeared to be associated in his mind with his daughter. Astyages was now so alarmed that he determined to destroy the child. So, with seeming kindness, he invited his daughter Mandane to make him a visit. He placed her in a palace and surrounded her with his own spies and servants. As soon as the infant son was born, Astyages sent for an officer of his court, named Harpagus, whom he thought was unscrupulous enough to obey his evil commands.

Astyages ordered Harpagus to go and request the attendants of Mandane to allow him to see the infant; and then, under pretence that his grandfather Astyages desired that the infant should be brought to him, Harpagus should take the child away, and in some manner cause it to be put to death. Harpagus did not dare to refuse, and accordingly went to the palace in which Mandane was residing. Her attendants, not suspecting his evil designs, arrayed the infant in its most beautiful robes, and delivered it into his care.

Harpagus took the child home and consulted with his wife what he should do. He did not dare to disobey the king, and also, as Mandane was the daughter of the king, he feared to carry out the terrible deed himself. In his perplexity he sent for one of his herdsmen, named Mitridates, living near wild and desolate forests. When Mitridates arrived, Harpagus gave the infant to him, commanding him to expose it in the forests for three days, and when the child was dead, to send him word.

The herdsman dared not refuse this wicked mission, and took the child home to his hut. His wife Spaco had at that time just lost an infant of the same age, and its dead body was still unburied. When she saw the beautiful babe of Mandane, she implored her husband to let her keep it in place of her dead child, who was accordingly arrayed in the costly robes of the young prince, while the royal baby was dressed in the coarse garments of the little dead peasant. The body of the dead infant was then placed in the royal cradle, or basket, in which the little prince had been carried from the palace; and after being exposed in the forest for three days, attended by watchers to keep away the wild beasts, the herdsman sent word to Harpagus that the infant was dead.

Harpagus sent trusty messengers to see if the report was true; and when they saw the dead infant in the royal robes, they returned with the assurance that his orders had been complied with, and that they had seen the dead child. Harpagus gave orders to have the body buried, and sent word to King Astyages that the infant was dead. The truth about the young Cyrus was not discovered until ten years after, and came about in a very strange way. Cyrus had now grown to be a strong, bright boy of ten years of age, and was supposed to be the son of the peasant herdsman. Several of the sons of the Median nobles were accustomed to meet in the neighborhood where he lived, for their sports, and Cyrus was always their leader in all pursuits.

The father of the young noble complained to King Astyages of this ill treatment which his son had [34] suffered at the hands of a peasant boy. Whereupon, the herdsman Mitridates and his supposed son were summoned to appear at court. When the young Cyrus entered the presence of the king, Astyages was astonished at his manly bearing and his unusual beauty, and with an unaccountable feeling of interest in the supposed peasant boy, he inquired if the complaint of the noble was true. The little disguised prince looked up into the face of the dread monarch, in whose presence all his subjects trembled, and with perfect self-possession, replied,—.

I did punish this boy, and I had a right to do so. I was king, and he was my subject, and he would not obey me. If you think that for this I deserve punishment myself, here I am; I am ready to suffer for it. Mitridates, frightened by the stern manner of the king, confessed the truth, and related all the circumstances regarding the infant who had been committed to him by Harpagus. Astyages had deeply regretted his evil intentions towards his grandson, which, as he supposed, had ended in his death, and gladly claimed Cyrus as his own.

But with strange inconsistency, he was equally incensed against Harpagus, who had dared to disobey his commands, by not causing the infant to be put to death; and he determined to celebrate in a strange and most shocking manner his joy at the recovery of his grandson, and his anger [35] at the disobedience of Harpagus. So with wicked craftiness he sent word to Harpagus that his grandson had been discovered, and commanded that Harpagus should send his son, a boy about thirteen years of age, up to the palace to be a companion for young Cyrus.

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Furthermore, he announced that he was about to celebrate his joy at the recovery of his grandson, by a grand festival, at which he invited Harpagus to be present. Harpagus suspecting no evil, and rejoicing at the happy sequel of that deed which had occasioned him much disquiet, having sent his son to the palace, according to the command of the king, related to his wife the strange events which had taken place. Neither of them were suspicious of any evil design in this seeming kindliness of Astyages, and thought it a fitting honor for their son, that he should be chosen as the companion of Prince Cyrus.

Harpagus went to the festival, and was given a seat of honor at the table. Various dishes were set before the guests, and the attendants were especially attentive to see that Harpagus was most bountifully served. At the end of the feast, Astyages asked Harpagus how he had liked his fare.

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Harpagus expressed himself as being well pleased. The king then ordered the servants to bring in a basket, which they uncovered before Harpagus, and he beheld with horror the head, hands, and feet of his own son. The story relates that Harpagus did not display his terrible despair by word or look; and when the wicked king asked him if he knew what he had been eating, he replied that he did, and whatever was the will of the king was pleasing to him.