15 Ancient Civilizations Nobody Realizes Were So Barbaric

Written By Wise Healthy n Wealthy

History textbooks often glorify ancient civilizations, but many are unaware of their harsh realities. Reddit users are here to shed light on 15 ancient cultures whose brutal practices have largely been overlooked:

15. First Nations in North America

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“A lot of people view the First Nations in North America as peaceful environmentalists before white people showed up. In reality, they were the same as any continent with many different nations. There was genocide, slavery, torture, canablistic rituals, and everything else that goes wrong when people don’t like each other. They would also kill entire herds of animals, and over hunt and harvest from the land. If they had more advanced technology they would have done everything white people did. Once white people did show up, they instantly saw the technological advantages and began trading for guns and weapons to wage war against other nations better.”

14. Hawaiians

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“The Hawaiians practiced a LOT of infanticide. Unwanted or sickly babies would be chucked off a cliff straight into the ocean. They were also big fans of inc***. Which actually might account for some of those deformed babies.”

“Also strict religious and social rules. Entering the wrong place, eating the wrong food with the wrong person, or insufficient honoring of nobles could mean instant execution.”

“They had the “polluting shadow” concept similar to Hinduism where if a lower caste person came too close to a higher caste person, they could be killed for polluting them with their presence/shadow. And then you get to run for your life to Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, the Place of Refuge, for protection. If you made it there and stayed for I believe it was a year or two you would be forgiven and not executed because the Place of Refuge is protected by Lono the Hawaiian God of Peace.”

13. Original People Of New Guinea

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“Infanticide, especially female infanticide, was quite common throughout New Guinea. The Bena Bena, for example, often killed a newborn daughter if the mother already had a small child to care for, and they also typically killed one of a pair of twins.”

“In New Guinea one can find infanticide, initiation rites, child mutilations, sale of infants for both marriage and sacrifice, and forced homosexuality, to name only the more dramatic examples.”

12. The Iroquois

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“Not necessarily ancient but the Iroquois, they had many rituals of torture for prisoners of war including ripping out fingernails/cutting off fingers, followed by forcing them to run the gauntlet and then if they survived they would be scalped and burned alive.”

11. Ancient Rome

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“If one travelled to ancient Rome some 5000 crucified rotting corpses would guide you the way.”

“6,000, I believe, crucified by Crassus in what was probably the most hideous and gruesome political advertisement in the history of the world.”

10. Ancient Greece

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“A lot of people imagine clean villas, people with white togas talking about arts and philosophy all day. The truth is that most people were dirt poor, being born disabled (or being born a girl) could be a death sentence, and ped******* was rampant among the rich, also a lot of their economy was based on slavery.”

9. The Ancient Phoenicians/Carthaginians

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“The ancient Phoenicians/Carthaginians had a child killing cult. They thought that their gods needed children to be appeased. Other Canaanite/Semitic peoples dropped this practice, depicted in the Tanakh (Bible’s Old Testament) through the story of God sending a goat when Abraham was about to sacrifice his son. Although ancient Jews’ annual ritualistic slaughter of thousands of animals is nothing to scoff at, murdering kids is obviously far worse. Even the Phoenicians’ peers, contemporary cultures/civilizations of the period, thought it to be a barbarous practice.”

8. Feudal Japan and the Samurai

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“People like to imagine the Samurai as some kind of noble order built around the belief that honor and service were to be held above all. Samurai didn’t give half a sideways **** about the “common peasant” they were a blue blood aristocracy that used their power and training to perpetuate a totalitarian regime that would make the house of Windsor blush.”

7. Ancient Pacific Cultures

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“A lot of pacific cultures practiced cannabalism. Some still do in Papua New Guinea. But Māori here in New Zealand did in some tribes as well. So the worst insult you can use in the Māori language pokokohua means to boil your head. Harking back to when people were boiled and eaten.”

6. Genghis Khan and the Mongolians

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“Genghis Khan and the Mongolians of the steppe were absolutely ruthless and efficient. Entire unknown civilizations are reportedly wiped out by them with zero trace of their culture intact, just fields of bones saying something big was there.”

5. Sparta

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“People in general remember them as just being these badass super soldiers, but don’t know how Spartan society was built on draconic slavery and institutional ped*******.”

“Sparta has to have the best historical PR of any peoples ever. A tyrannical slave state with a mediocre military record has gone down in popular memory as supersoldiers that fight for freedom.”

4. The Aztecs

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“The Spanish were able to recruit the help of many other people groups when overthrowing the Aztecs because they were so hated by the people they subjugated. They often used these subjugated people groups practically as livestock, collecting large numbers of them to be ritually sacrificed to their gods in incredibly barbaric ways – ripping out their beating hearts while they were alive, skinning them, and other such acts.”

3. The Ptolemaic Rulers of Egypt

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“The Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt were ten generations of absolutely ******, bookended by two actually good leaders (Ptolemy and Cleopatra). Their family history would make for a fun trashy soap opera, full of backstabbing, famicide, and a truly appalling amount of in****, as they spent 200 years running Egypt into the ground. Too bad it was all real.”

2. The Ancient Assyrians

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“The ancient Assyrians built a vast empire. The empire reached its height during the Neo-Assyrian era, from 911 BC to the fall of its largest city Nineveh in 612 BC…To quash any uprising in these conquered areas, Assyrian leaders utilized extreme violence. Their horrific campaigns were celebrated in stone reliefs festooning the palace walls…

They cut off the limbs, gouged out the eyes, and then left those poor victims to roam around…as a living reminder of the Assyrians’ cruelty. The Assyrians were proud of the mass executions…The brutality of the Assyrians was extreme, even for the ancient standards of cruelty.”

1. Feudal China

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“Feudal China was super into burying people alive. Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor responsible for the unification of China, upon his death, had 70,000 concubines, servants, and workers forcibly interred alongside him. The Terracotta Army was constructed only because murdering all the soldiers as well wasn’t an option.”



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