Real historical stories you may or may not have heard.
As children, we were taught about all the terrible things that have happened throughout history, but our education is often focused on the biggest, worst, or most relevant of these atrocities.
However, not every terrible story from history gets enough attention, especially if it took place in a part of the world considered distant from or insignificant to our own. There are some stories so terrible that it’s hard to believe they don’t get more coverage in the media, or even in the mainstream history books.
By learning more about these disasters, diseases, and humanitarian crises, more can be done to prevent them from ever happening again.
These are some of those true but terrible tales that Redditors shared.
It’s hard to believe these stories are true…
The Sack of Baghdad (1258)
The Sack of Baghdad came at the hands of the Mongols, who carried out a siege and week-long destruction of the city, with death tolls ranging from 90,000 to a million. It remained a ruined city for centuries thereafter.
wschneider: The lost knowledge of the Islamic Golden Age would have had a huge impact on the advancement of medicine, astronomy, and engineering in the centuries that came after. The irrigation that had supported a city population of more than a million people in the 13th century was destroyed so badly that the population of the city only recovered in the last 50 years, to say nothing of the surrounding region.
The Sack of Baghdad was so massive, and so sudden, that the literal rest of the world had no idea how to react. Imagine tomorrow you heard that while you were asleep, Washington DC was destroyed in a nuclear strike. No more US government – everyone’s dead. Governors say they’re in control, but Russia says they’re in charge, and frankly, they just nuked DC so you’re in no place to argue. That’s how bad this was to the region. It still hasn’t truly recovered in more than 700 years.
Genghis Khan (1162–1227)
While you probably studied him at some point, did you know just how many people he killed? The answer is an estimated 40 million, or 10% of the world’s population at the time. By comparison, about 60 million people (3% of the world population) died during World War II. So many lives lost.