K A T ’ S F A V O U R I T E H I S T O R I C A L B A D A S S E S
badass: (n) Awesome to an extreme level, thereby leveraging unquestionable authority.
o1. ivan vasilyivich; (1530 - 1584) Also known as ‘Ivan the Terrible’, Tsar Ivan IV of Russia ruled from 1533 til his death — a stroke while playing chess — in 1584. At 14, after years of torture — both of Ivan’s parents died when he was a child; his mother was possibly poisoned because of some political plot — Ivan threw his torturer into a pit of dogs and watched them eat the man alive. One of his nastier habits was impaling enemy soldiers (or, really, anyone he didn’t like) on large wooden stakes and gouging out eyes. In 1570, Ivan began to worry that the town of Novgorod was going to switch allegiance to Poland, so to prevent this from happening he built a wall around the city and tortured those who tried to leave, sometimes up to 1000 a day. He also accidentally killed his heir, also named Ivan, by stabbing him in the side of the head with a long spear.
o2. genghis khan; (1162 (maybe?) - 1227) Born Temujin in a mountain village, Genghis united most of the nomadic tribes of North East Asia and formed the Mongolian Empire, conquering almost 13 million square miles of land. Even more impressive than that, Genghis killed up to 40 million people on this campaign; that’s 3 for every mile he conquered. As well as that, because of the amount of women he fathered kids upon while on this campaign, about 1% of the world’s current population is related to him. He had four legitimate sons with his head-wife Borte, although because she was kidnapped shortly after their marriage and many people claimed Borte’s eldest son was really the son of her kidnapper. Genghis didn’t really care and loved the boy anyway, but when he died, the Khan-ship went to his second son, Ogedei.
o3. napoleon bonaparte; (1769 - 1821) Napoleon was born on the island of Corsica just after it was given to France by the Republic of Genoa, so if he can even be considered French is debatable. That didn’t stop him from taking over the country, right after the French had had a revolution to get rid of the monarchy, and proclaimed himself Emperor. He then went on to fight everyone, including the British, the Italians, the Russians, the Germans and the Swiss and, at one point, the British in Egypt where he wrote about the Sphinx and its lack of nose. As well as this, he also pretty much fucked everyone too, although he was stupidly in love with his wife, Josephine, but she didn’t give him a son, so he went and made one of his six bastard sons his heir. Eventually, after making everyone hate him, he was exiled and died on St. Helena.
o4. catherine the great; (1684 - 1727) at 27, Catherine (born Marta Helena Skowronska) married Peter I (also, the Great) of Russia in a secret ceremony. Together, the pair had 12 children, although only 2 survived to adulthood. In 1724, Catherine was named regent to her husband, and with support from the ‘new men’, she was crowned Empress of Russia on May 7 1724. During her reign, and parts of her marriage to Peter, Catherine had multiple lovers, some merely passing fancies and others well known, passionate affairs; pretty much every one of her 12 favourites was given lands, a title and money once their relationship ended. Like her husband, she ruled fairly, lowering taxes on the lower classes and lowering military expenditure during peace. She also named a town after herself; Catherinehof. (She also probably never fucked a horse too.)
o5. hatshepsut i; (1508 - 1458 BCE) For 21 years, this woman ruled Egypt, disguised as a man by wearing a fake beard. Her diguise was so good, in fact, that some early historians thought she was a man; her stepson, Thutmose III, actually. But, no, it was Hatshepsut, who brought about a long era of peace, despite a small bit of war at the beginning of her reign. Since there was no war around and most pharoahs prided them on their accomplishments in battle, Hatshepsut had to find accomplishments to talk about in other fields. She commissioned over 200 buildings, across both Upper and Lower Egypt to be built, and hired the architect Ineni to oversee them all. For some reason, her name was almost completely erased from the histories, until one French decoder found a large passage of feminine pronouns in the middle of some hieroglyphics about the pharoah.
o6. catherine de medici; (1519 - 1589) Catherine, daughter of Lorenzo II, married King Henri II of France in 1533, and following the death of Francis I, was crowned queen of France alongside her husband in 1547. When he died in 1559, Catherine became regent for her son, then the next one, and then the next one, since they all kept dying on her. During their/her reign, France was constantly at war, for civil or religious reasons. As well as this, Catherine was also largely involved in the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacres throughout Paris, six days after her daughter’s marriage to the Protestant Henry of Navarre; because of the wedding, a large number of Huguenot and Protestant nobles had gathered in Paris and since Catherine thought Catholics were better, she told them to kill everyone. Around 7000 Catholics and 20000 Protestants died.
o7. thomas jefferson; (1743 - 1826) Secretary of State under President Washington, helped write the Declaration of Independence, spoke five different languages, fucked everything that moved and eventually became the United States’ third president, Jefferson could pretty much do anything. At 30, he married the 23 year old widow, Martha Wayles, after her previous husband had died in ‘an accident’; the couple had six children together in their eleven year marriage, although Jefferson also had a long term affair with Sally Hemings, a black slave within his household. (Sally was also his wife’s half-sister, JSYK.) He was also so smart, there was no university good enough for him, so he started his own. (TBH, Jefferson was kinda a massive douchebag, but that can be said about most people on this list, but this fucker is the only one I feel guilty about liking.)
o8. theodora (& justinian); (500 - 548) Really, this should just be about Theodora, since Justinian was a huge failure without her; fuck it, here goes. When Theodora’s dad died, she and her two sisters were left penniless and homeless, so Theodora quickly turned to prostitution to help support her family. And that’s how she met Justinian, who liked her so much, he waited for his mother to die and repealed a law just so he could marry her. They shared power as co-rulers of the Roman Empire and during her reign, Theodora focused on helping women, especially prostitutes and single mothers. She passed laws banning forced prostitution and made rape punishable by death, as well as passing a law that allowed common law wives inherit properties after their partner’s death. The couple are now recognised as saints by the Orthodox church.
o9. sergius iii; (860 - 911) Sergius became Pope twice. The first time around, he was such a super dickbag about everything, the cardinals got so annoyed with him, they threw him out and excommunicated him. But that didn’t stop him from coming back. But Sergius was so mad about his previous treatment, he took his revenge to a whole new level. Following his mentor Pope Stephen VI’s ‘kill everyone and then some’, Sergius not only dug up the corpse of Formosus, publically tried and executed him for his crimes even though he was already dead, he had his predecessor strangled, then his predecessor’s predecessor strangled too, just in case, because you should always make sure no one is going to take the papacy from you, dead or alive. And then, to top it all off, he got his mistress pregnant and publically announced his son.