3. The Most Evil Men in History - Caligula (12 AD - 41 AD)
Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (31 August AD 12 – 24 January AD 41), more commonly known by his cognomen Caligula was the third Roman Emperor, reigning from 16 March 37 until his assassination on 24 January 41. Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty.
Caligula's father, Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most beloved public figures. The young Gaius earned his nickname Caligula (the diminutive form of caliga) meaning "little [soldier's] boot", while accompanying his father on military campaigns in Germania. When Germanicus died in Antioch in AD 19, his mother Agrippina the Elder returned to Rome with her six children, where she became entangled in an increasingly bitter feud with Tiberius. This conflict eventually led to the destruction of her family, with Caligula as the sole male survivor. Unscathed by the deadly intrigues, and seemingly unmoved by the fate of his closest relatives, Caligula accepted the invitation to join the emperor on the island of Capri in AD 31, where Tiberius himself had withdrawn in AD 26. At the death of Tiberius, on 16 March AD 37, Caligula succeeded his great-uncle and adoptive grandfather.
There are few surviving sources on Caligula's reign, and although he is described as a noble and moderate ruler during the first two years of his rule, after this the sources focus upon his cruelty, extravagance, and sexual perversity, presenting him as an insane tyrant. While the reliability of these sources has been difficult to assess, what is known is that during his brief reign, Caligula worked to increase the authority of the princeps, possibly contemplating the introduction of an authoritarian system of an eastern type. He directed much of his attention to ambitious construction projects, notoriously luxurious dwellings for himself, but also two new aqueducts for the city of Rome (Aqua Claudia and Anio Novus). However, these are primarily associated with his successor Claudius, who brought these projects to completion. Caligula also annexed Mauretania.
On 24 January AD 41, Caligula was assassinated as the result of a conspiracy involving officers of the Praetorian Guard as well as members of the Roman Senate and of the imperial court. The conspirators' attempt to use the opportunity to restore the Roman Republic was thwarted, as the same day the Praetorian Guard declared Caligula's uncle Claudius emperor in his place.
This series of programmes consists of 16 episodes which profile 16 evil men and women throughout history who have used their power to torture, kill, maim and eradicate millions of people.
1. The Most Evil Men in History - Attila The Hun
Attila was Khan of the Huns. He is remembered as the epitome of cruelty and rapacity. He passed unhindered through Austria and Germany, across the Rhine into Gaul, plundering and devastating all in his path with a ferocity unparalleled in the records of barbarian invasions and compelling those he overcame to augment his mighty army.
2. The Most Evil Men in History - Bad King John
He murdered his nephew, inspired the legend of Robin Hood and caused the creation of Magna Carta.
3. The Most Evil Men in History - Caligula
The Roman emperor's reign is a legendary frenzy of lunacy, murder, and perverse sexuality.
4. The Most Evil Men in History - Francisco Pizarro
Francisco Pizarro was one of the European explorers who went to South America to colonize it and had natives murdered so he could plunder their gold and silver.
Pizarro and his men arrived at Cajamarca (in 1533), where they captured Atahuallpa, the 13th and last emperor of the Incas. Atahuallpa had just won a civil war against his half-brother (Huscar), and had executed Huscar and his family. Atahuallpa had invited Pizarro to a celebratory feast, thinking that the Spanish were not much of a threat. Pizarro ambushed Atahuallpa and killed thousands of his men. Atahuallpa offered a huge ransom for his own release, but Pizarro took the treasure and had Atahuallpa strangled on August 29, 1533; this was the end of the Incan empire.
After looting and generally destroying the Incan capital of Cusco, Pizarro founded Lima. Pizarro was assassinated in Lima, Peru, in 1541, by followers of Pedro de Almagro (Cortes' captain) who wanted to seize Lima for its riches.
5. The Most Evil Men in History - Hitler
Adolf Hitler tried to mould Germany and a large portion of the 20th century into his own twisted design. Luckily for posterity he failed but not before destroying the lives of millions of people.
6. The Most Evil Men in History - Idi Amin
Idi Amin rose to become a brutal and utterly ruthless dictator who committed atrocities on his people.
7. The Most Evil Men in History - Ivan the Terrible
Ivan IV of Russia, also know as Ivan the Terrible, was the Grand Duke of Muscovy from 1533 to 1547 and was the first ruler of Russia to assume the title of Tsar. He was also a devout theist. With his orders, between 500 and 1,000 people were gathered every day by the troops, then tortured and killed in front of Ivan and his son. In 1581, Ivan beat his pregnant daughter-in-law for wearing immodest clothing, causing a miscarriage. His son, also named Ivan, upon learning of this, engaged in a heated argument with his father, which resulted in Ivan striking his son in the head with his pointed staff, causing his son’s (accidental) death.
8. The Most Evil Men in History - Joseph Stalin
Perhaps 7 million or more people were shot with a total suppression of about 50 million under uncle Joe Stalin. One of the great tyrant's of the 20th century and indeed any century.
9. The Most Evil Men in History - Nero
He brought the entire Roman Empire to the brink of collapse with his legendary excesses and cruelty.
10. The Most Evil Men in History - Pol Pot
Responsible for the Killing Fields and Year Zero Pol Pot waged a gruesome war on his own population.
11.The Most Evil Men in History - Rasputin
He was an uneducated peasant who gained a reputation as a faith healer. His strange behavior and incredible influence over the imperial family made him notorious and his death made him a legend.
Gregory Rasputin dominated the final years of imperial Russia. The mysterious monk who enjoyed the favour of the Czar was rumoured to be a Holy Devil, who preached the word of God but practiced every form of corruption.
12. The Most Evil Men in History - Torquemada
Torquemada tortured and burned thousands of innocent Spaniards and expelled Spains Jewish population. “The Hammer of the Heretics” “The Black Legend” Thomas De Torquemada was head of the Spanish inquisition and was renowned for his cruelty. As well as the atrocities of the inquisition his hatred and persecution of Spains Jews has been described as a mini-holocaust.
13.The Most Evil Men in History - Vlad the Impaler
Vlad is best known for the legends of the exceedingly cruel punishments he imposed during his reign and for serving as the primary inspiration for the vampire main character in Bram Stoker’s popular Dracula novel.
14. The Most Evil Women in History - Bloody Mary Tudor
Mary was the only child of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon to live past infancy. By her orders, many prominent Protestants were burned alive for their beliefs leading to her being referred to as “Bloody Mary” since her death. Fearing the stake a further 800 Protestants left the country, unable to return until after her death.
15. The Most Evil Women in History - Countess Dracula
Countess Elizabeth Bathory is considered the most infamous serial killer in Hungarian/Slovak history. Rumours had circulated for years about missing peasant girls; offered well paid work at the castle, they were never seen again.
16. The Most Evil Women in History - llse Koch
Die Hexe von Buchenwald, the Witch of Buchenwald, or the Bitch of Buchenwald was the wife of Karl Koch, commandant of the concentration camps Buchenwald from 1937 to 1941, and Majdanek from 1941 to 1943. Drunk on the absolute power rendered by her husband, she revelled in torture and obscenity.
THE MOST EVIL MEN IN HISTORY is a six part documentary series about notorious historical individuals. Produced by GB. Uden Associates. Tx. Channel 5. Mon. 20.30-21.00. 2001/09/10-2001/10/15.
* POL POT (15/10/2001)
* TORQUEMADA (08/10/2001)
* ADOLF HITLER (01/10/2001)
* IDI AMIN (24/09/2001)
* STALIN (17/09/2001)
* NERO (10/09/2001)
THE MOST EVIL MEN AND WOMEN IN HISTORY is a ten part documentary series following the same format as the previous series THE MOST EVIL MEN IN HISTORY, looking at some of the most notorious figures from history. GB, Uden Associates. Tx. Channel 5. Mon. 2002/04/08-2002/06/17.
* PIZARRO (17/06/2002)
* CALIGULA (10/06/2002)
* BLOODY MARY (03/06/2002)
* COUNTESS DRACULA (27/05/2002)
* BAD KING JOHN (13/05/2002)
* RASPUTIN (06/05/2002)
* IVAN THE TERRIBLE (29/04/2002)
* ATTILA THE HUN (22/04/2002)
* ILSE KOCH (15/04/2002)