There's an old proverb, where there is history, there is conflict. Wars fought over territory, wealth and even love, have dominated our collective consciousness for hundreds of years. And where there are warriors of legend, can beards of legend be far behind? So today, we compile a definitive list of the most kick ass beards, on the most kick ass warriors in history. So without wasting any more time, here are our picks.
1. Alaric the Visigoth
When we think about Ancient Rome, we always think about the large empire it was. In the case of Alaric the Visigoth however, Rome was the object of his desire. Alaric was the leader of the Germanic tribe called the Visigoths who terrorized Rome, by attacking and plundering it, very often for sport. Alaric was described as a great leader, a strong general and of course, a bearded God. Legend has it, that Alaric made a vow to never shave if he won Rome, and considering his impressive beard, safe to say that he came good on his vow!
2. Vercingetorix the Gaul
Any list of kickass warriors with kick-ass beards would be incomplete without Vercingetorix the Gaul. Most of us have loved the adventures of Asterix and Obelix as children, and Vercingetorix is said to be the inspiration behind this story. This bearded God amongst men is said to have been one of the fiercest warriors Julius Caesar ever faced and eventually subdued. Vercingetorix's beard is said to have been as impressive as the man himself and like him was proud and unyielding to the very end!
3. Genghis Khan
No list of world beating warrior Gods would ever be complete without Genghis Khan. The Khan as he was called commanded an Empire that stretched from Modern China and Mongolia to Eastern Europe, making his territory, larger than the clean shaven Alexander (proof that beards rule!) Genghis Khan was a ruthless warrior who never let anyone stand in his way, and his Mongol army was a well drilled machine that swept away whole empires like they were nothing! Oh, and did we mention that he had a beard that rivaled Zeus himself? Well, he did!
4. Chhatrapati Shivaji
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is an icon. How could he not be? He was among the first Indian rulers to make a stand against the might of the Mughal empire and carve out an independent state in the process. His beard too, that perfect helmet strap, made him look that much more regal and fierce. Everyone has heard of his daring escape from the Mughal court in Agra where he was imprisoned. His daring, warrior prowess and military genius even today is marveled at and respected. In Maharashtra, he�s respected and literally worshipped� and rightly so!
5. Leonidas the Spartan
While the movie 300 greatly exaggerates the battle of Thermopylae, there is no doubting the existence and warrior spirit of its prime hero Leonidas the Spartan. Standing up to the might of Xerxes with his much larger army, Leonidas and his Spartans sure did give them hell. And all the historical records do prove that the man did have a beard that could make the ladies go weak in the knees. Not only did he have a kickass beard, but also a great sense of humor. When a rival general told him that Persian arrows would block out the sun, Leonidas retorted, so we will fight in the shade!
6. Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Ever wondered where the word Sher-e-Punjab originated? Well, it was first used to describe the indomitable Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Having survived smallpox in infancy, Ranjit Singh lost sight in his left eye. Nevertheless, this warrior God (with a beard to match) fought his first war against the Afghans, at the tender age of 10! He is credited in many ways for creating the first UNIFIED Sikh state and as a just and fair ruler. His reputation as a warrior, however, was even more legendary and he's revered among the Sikhs as a leader, a wise man and one of their most noble kings!
7. Hannibal of Carthage
One of the world's most discussed military feats is credited to this man. Hannibal was a Carthaginian military genius and is said to have crossed the Alps, with elephants, and then used them to crush the Roman army. Trust a bearded man to bend the will of African elephants to himself! It is said that Roman citizens feared Hannibal so much, that when they heard of his march on their city, they fled in terror, leaving all their riches behind! Talk about your reputation preceding you!
8. Attila the Hun
Known as the scourge of God, Attila the Hun, was a vicious and badass Barbarian, who simply was one of Ancient Rome's most hated enemies. Beneath the brutality, he displayed in battle, however, was a military genius, and a ruggedly handsome man, with a beard that commanded respect. He was one of the first generals to use guerilla warfare in order to carry the much more organized Roman army into making mistakes. And his tactics, though seemingly barbaric worked. He expelled the Romans from Hungary, and in pursuit, actually annexed a good part of their territories!
9. Miyamoto Musashi
Samurai. One word that sends chill down one's spine. Samurai warriors were among the most feared swordsmen in the world. And Miyamoto Musashi was the fiercest (and most bearded) of all of the Samurai. So one Samurai sword can inspire terror, but Musashi was so kickass, he used two! He developed a dual sword fighting style and is said to have had the largest body count of any Samurai ever! Heck, he even wrote a book about the art of decapitation, and called it (rather mysteriously) A Book of Five Rings!
10. Ragnar Lothbrok
Ragnar Lothbrok rounds off our countdown of the world's most bearded badasses ever; for two simple reasons; he was an amazing warrior, and he had an amazing beard! Lothbrok started off his career as a mercenary and sailed to England from Scandinavia on several raids. Eventually, he proved himself in battle and amassed a famed Viking army that looted and pillaged the North of England (Northumberland) at will!
So that was our pick for the 10 most amazing bearded warriors of history and legend. Do let us know your favorite in the comments below. And until next time remember that with a great beard, comes great responsibility!
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