When you think of the biggest badasses in history, who comes to mind? Rambo, Stone-cold Steve Austin, maybe even the self-proclaimed "American Badass," Kid Rock? Well, if any of those characters fit your criteria for badassery, you went a little wide of the mark. Throughout history, many men and women exemplified what it truly means to be badass without the assistance of big-budget filming and expensive PR campaigns. When was the last time you saw James Bond or Lara Croft emerge from the countryside, aged 19, and prevent France from becoming England? You didn't, because that was Joan of Arc, the first figure taught in Historical Badasses 101.
A badass is defined as a "tough, uncompromising or intimidating person" and many historical figures fit that bill. In fact, being a badass is how many of them made history. Compiled here is a list of historical figures who took toughness and intimidation to the next level.During times when everything was much more dangerous (including people), the most badass people in history rose above it all by simply being even more dangerous. Vlad the Impaler didn't inspire Dracula with his mercy, that's for sure.
Simo "Simuna" Häyhä, nicknamed "White Death" by the Red Army, was a Finnish marksman. Using a Finnish version of the Mosin–Nagant rifle in the Winter War, he killed at least 505 men, the highest recorded number of confirmed sniper kills in any major war. ...more on Wikipedia
Genghis Khan, born Temüjin, was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his demise. He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of northeast Asia. After founding the Mongol Empire and being proclaimed "Genghis Khan," he started the Mongol invasions that resulted in the conquest of most of Eurasia. These included raids or invasions of the Kara-Khitan Khanate, Caucasus, Khwarezmid Empire, Western Xia and Jin dynasties. These campaigns were often accompanied by wholesale massacres of the civilian populations – especially in the Khwarezmian and Xia controlled lands. By the end of his life, the Mongol Empire occupied ...more on Wikipedia
Attila, frequently referred to as Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death in March 453. Attila was a leader of the Hunnic Empire, which stretched from the Ural River to the Rhine River and from the Danube River to the Baltic Sea. During his reign, he was one of the most feared enemies of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. He crossed the Danube twice and plundered the Balkans, but was unable to take Constantinople. His unsuccessful campaign in Persia was followed in 441 by an invasion of the Eastern Roman Empire, the success of which emboldened Attila to invade the West. He also attempted to conquer Roman Gaul, crossing the Rhine in 451 and marching as far as ...more on Wikipedia
Spartacus was a Thracian gladiator who, along with the Gauls Crixus, Oenomaus, Castus and Gannicus, was one of the escaped slave leaders in the Third Servile War, a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic. Little is known about Spartacus beyond the events of the war, and surviving historical accounts are sometimes contradictory and may not always be reliable. All sources agree that he was a former gladiator and an accomplished military leader. This rebellion, interpreted by some as an example of oppressed people fighting for their freedom against a slave-owning oligarchy, has been an inspiration to many political thinkers, and has been featured in literature, television, and film. ...more on Wikipedia