Table of contents:

Villains or heroes: 8 legendary personalities who went down in history under the sign "?"
Villains or heroes: 8 legendary personalities who went down in history under the sign "?"

History has spawned many famous personalities, making them heroes and villains in the eyes of people who turned the world upside down. And while some praise Genghis Khan and Churchill, elevating them to a pedestal of glory and heroism, others, opposing the general opinion, express their point of view, joining the ranks of "you understand a lot." But one way or another, these people, around whom there are many different opinions, made an immeasurable contribution to the formation of some events, becoming the most controversial "arbiters of destinies" in the eyes of mankind.

1. Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria. \ Photo:

Queen Victoria has been associated with the great century of Britain's industrial development, economic progress, and especially the empire. It was said that after her death, Britain had a world empire over which the sun never set. Until the end of the 1860s, she rarely appeared in public, but at the same time she never neglected her official correspondence and continued to give audiences to her ministers and official visitors, completely refusing to resume a full-fledged public life. In 1866 and 1867, Victoria was persuaded to open Parliament in person, but the public was very aggressive. Widely criticizing the queen for living in seclusion, a rather strong republican movement developed, which led to a number of events. There were seven attempts on Victoria's life from 1840 to 1882, but her courageous attitude towards these attacks greatly strengthened her popularity among the public. Over time, the personal convictions of her family and the flattering attention of Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister in 1868 and from 1874 to 1880, the Queen gradually resumed her public duties. In foreign policy, the Queen's influence during the middle years of her reign was usually used to maintain peace and reconciliation.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. \ photo:

In 1864, Victoria demanded that her ministers not interfere in the Prussian-Danish war, and her letter to the German emperor (whose son married her daughter) in 1875 helped prevent a second Franco-German war. British policy towards the decline of the Turkish empire in Europe - Victoria (unlike Gladstone) believed that Britain, by pushing for necessary reforms, should maintain Turkish hegemony as a bulwark of stability against Russia, and maintain a bipartisan system at a time when Britain could be involved in war. The popularity of the British queen has grown with the rise of imperial sentiment since the 1870s. During Victoria's long reign, direct political power departed from the sovereign, and a series of laws expanded the socio-economic base of the electorate.

2. Vikings

Villains and heroes. \ Photo:

Invaders, Predators, Barbarians - Vikings are often portrayed simply as one-dimensional warriors whose accomplishments include more than looting and raiding. Terror erupted on the Northumbrian coast in 793 when armed raiders attacked the defenseless monastery of St. Cuthbert on Lindisfarne. The frightened monks watched helplessly as the invaders flee with a heap of treasure and a crowd of prisoners.It was the first recorded raid by Vikings, sea pirates from Scandinavia who hunted coastal communities in northwestern Europe for more than two centuries and built a reputation for themselves as brutal and ruthless warriors who were idealized and romanticized by society on the one hand, like pirates, and on the other, he was elevated to the ranks of cruel and merciless barbarians who knew no honor.

Vikings. \ Photo:

3. Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez. \ Photo:

Hugo Chavez, who won another six-year term as Venezuela's president in October 2012, is one of the most visible, high-profile and controversial leaders in Latin America, the former Army paratrooper first known as the leader of a failed coup d'état in 1992. Six years later, he triggered a seismic shift in Venezuelan politics, sparking a wave of popular anger against the traditional political elite to gain the presidency. Since then, Mr. Chavez has won a series of elections and referendums, including one in 2009 that lifted time limits for all elected officials, including the president. President Chávez argued that he needed more time for Venezuela's socialist revolution to take root, and his supporters said he spoke for the poor, while critics argued that he had become increasingly autocratic. Never missing an opportunity to reach out to the people, he once described the oil executives as living in "luxury chalets where they have orgies and whiskey."

President of Venezuela. \ Photo:

Mr. Chavez has also frequently encountered church leaders whom he accused of disregarding the poor, supporting the opposition, and protecting the rich. “They do not follow the path of Christ,” Chavez once said. Relations with Washington hit new lows when he accused the Bush administration of "fighting terrorism" in the post-September 11, 2001 war in Afghanistan. Mr Chavez accused the United States of being behind a short-lived coup that saw him ousted for a couple of days in 2002. He survived this episode and intensified two years later in a referendum on his leadership. He then won the 2006 presidential election. The Chávez government carried out a number of "missions" and social programs, including education and health care for all. But poverty and unemployment are still widespread despite the country's oil wealth. Mr. Chavez is known for his flamboyant public speaking style, which he used on his weekly live television program Alo Presidente (Hello President), where he eagerly talked about his political ideas, interviewed guests, and sang and danced.

4. Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus. \ Photo:

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer who stumbled upon America and whose voyages marked the beginning of centuries of transatlantic colonization. The explorer Christopher Columbus made four voyages across the Atlantic from Spain: in 1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502. He was determined to find a direct waterway to the west from Europe to Asia. But instead he stumbled upon America. Although he did not actually "discover" the New World - millions of people already lived there - his travels marked the beginning of centuries of exploration and colonization of the Americas. And despite the fact that he is often considered the heroic discoverer of America, he did not discover America or many historically significant heroic things. In fact, he played a large role in the beginning of the slave trade.

So who is he really? \ Photo:

5. Genghis Khan

Great Mongol. \ Photo:

The Mongol chieftain Genghis Khan (1162-1227) rose from humble beginnings to found the largest earthly empire in history. By uniting the nomadic tribes of the Mongolian plateau, he conquered huge chunks of Central Asia and China. His descendants expanded the empire even further, moving into such remote places as Poland, Vietnam, Syria and Korea. At their peak, the Mongols controlled eleven to twelve million contiguous square miles, an area the size of Africa. Many people were killed during the incursions of Genghis Khan, but he also granted religious freedom to his subjects, abolished torture, encouraged trade, and created the first international postal system.Genghis Khan died in 1227 during a military campaign against the Chinese kingdom of Xi Xia. His final resting place remains unknown.

Genghis Khan. \ Photo:

6. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Roosevelt. \ Photo:

Franklin D. Roosevelt was in his second term as governor of New York when he was elected the country's 32nd president in 1932. As the country plunged into the depths of the Great Depression, Roosevelt took immediate action to restore public confidence by declaring a day off at the bank, speaking directly to the public on radio series or "fireplace chats." His ambitious roster of New Deal programs and reforms redefined the role of the federal government in American life. Re-elected at a convenient markup in 1936, 1940 and 1944, Franklin led the United States from isolationism to victory over Nazi Germany and its allies in World War II. He led a successful military alliance between Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States and helped lay the foundation for a post-war peace organization that would become the United Nations. The only American president in history to be elected four times, Roosevelt died in office in April 1945.

Hypocrite or Hero? \ Photo:

7. Ronnie Biggs

Legendary robber. \ Photo:

Perhaps there is no such person in the world who would not be familiar with the idealized Hollywood story about Ronnie Biggs, who went down in history by far not under the most flattering omen. Biggs was part of a gang that fled £ 2.6 million from the Glasgow mail train to London on 8 August 1963. As a result, the man was sentenced to thirty years in prison, but escaped from Wandsworth's detention in 1965, and in 2001 he returned to the UK for medical help, where he was re-sent to prison. In 2009, he was released for compassionate reasons after contracting pneumonia. The legendary robber died at the age of 84, and according to one of his sons, Ronnie dreamed of having his ashes scattered between Brazil and London.

Ronnie Biggs. \ Photo:

8. Hannibal of Carthage

Hannibal of Carthage. \ Photo:

In 219 BC. Hannibal of Carthage led the attack on Sagunta, an independent city associated with Rome, which triggered the outbreak of the Second Punic War. He then sent his huge army across the Pyrenees and Alps into central Italy in what will be remembered as one of the most famous campaigns in history. After a string of victories, the most notable of which came at Cannes in 216 BC. BC, Hannibal established himself in southern Italy, but refused to attack Rome itself. The Romans, however, recovered, expelling the Carthaginians from Spain, launching an invasion of North Africa. In 203 BC. NS. Hannibal gave up the fight in Italy to defend North Africa and suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Publius Cornelius Scipio at Zama the following year. Although the Treaty of the Second Punic War ended Carthage's status as an imperial power, Hannibal continued to pursue his dream of the destruction of Rome until his death in 183 BC.

Read also about those that changed the course of history.

Popular by topic