The chronicles of history are filled with ballsy people; people who were very brave and intimidating to their opponents, often to the extent of brutality. There have been scores of hard-core toughies who have gone all out and taught a lesson to whomsoever they wanted to in their own unique style. They held back on no account and just did what they thought was the best. These top 10 historical warriors defined ballsiness and continue to inspire many present day warriors.
10. Queen Boudicca:
Known as ‘The Warrior Queen’, Boudicca was an incarnation of ballsiness, though for good reasons. Wife of Emperor Prasutagus, her wrath was unleashed in its full glory when after her husband’s death. Instead of being divided between Boudicca and her daughters, his empire was plundered by the Roman army. What fueled the fearsome warrior’s anger were her flailing and the subsequent rapes of her daughters. Boudicca destroyed city after city, decimating anyone who stood in her way to victory. The Warrior Queen met a gruesome end probably by self-poisoning.
9. King Leonidas of Sparta:
Anyone having seen the Hollywood movie 300 has a basic understanding of what transpired at the pass of Thermopylae in 480 BC. The traitor Ephialtes giving way for Persians to confine the Greeks led to Leonidas and his 300 Spartans being entrapped. For three days they warded off a Persian army numbering in thousands. Spears broken, they fought with swords; swords giving way they fought with hands and teeth. Eventually, Leonidas and the Spartans were slaughtered by the Persian Army.
Hailing from the Tlaxcalan tribe, Tlahuicole’s name is a legend in itself. It is rumored men other than himself couldn’t even lift the weapons he used in battle. Tlahuicole, fraternizing with the army after a particularly fierce battle, started living with an Aztec tribe. Realizing he couldn’t go home, he asked the Aztec king for a warrior’s death. For this, Tlahuicole was ordered to stand on a giant stone platform while 8 of the Aztec’s finest warriors attempted to kill him. Tlahuicole effortlessly slaughtered them all, and injured 20 additional men before he was killed. His heart was immediately cut from his body out of fear by the Aztecs after his fall.
7. Alexander the Great:
One of the greatest historical warriors known from their ballsiness is none but Alexander the Great. In his entire life, Alexander had been nothing but a badass. Accomplishing feats seemingly impossible for men much stronger than him, he survived solely on his fierceness. In battle while leading his army from the front, he was stabbed, shot with arrows and clobbered repeatedly; he surpassed his army’s endurance time and again. Killed by disease, he met an end not befitting his stature.
6. Zenobia of Palymra:
Zenobia was a great Arab Queen who fought beside her husband against the Romans and took reigns of the military after her husband’s assassination. Beautiful, exceptional planner and fierce, she expanded her reign to Lebanon, Egypt and Syria. She became a royal pain for the Roman Empire cutting off their supply of wheat. Leading an army to battle, she attracted awe and admiration from even her opponents. She was eventually captured, held in chains and executed.
5. Napoleon Bonaparte:
Beating the life out of people twice his age, Napoleon was recognized as a badass early in his life. A man of short stature, he was known for his fierce and unforgiving tactics on the battle-field. He was banished to Corsica but soon came back and took reigns of the army once again. Napoleon’s “badassdom” can be aptly depicted by his act of snatching the crown from the Pope and placing it on his own head. He was eventually defeated in battle by Duke of Wellington and banished again to St. Helena, where he met his end.
4. Charles Martel:
Charles Martel was a Frankish ruler and historical warrior whose military successes were the foundation of the Carolingian dynasty. The illegitimate son of Pepin of Herstal, Charles endured imprisonment at the hands of Pepin’s widow, but he broke out of prison and by 718 AD had assumed his father’s place as the de facto ruler of Austrasia. Charles consolidated his power through military might where he earned the name Martel, meaning “The Hammer”. Unfortunately he fared an untimely demise in 741 AD.
3. Ulf the Quarrelsome:
Ulf the Quarrelsome was the brother of Brian Boru, High King of Ireland from 1002 to 1014. He is primarily remembered for his brutalities in the Battle of Clontarf of 1014, in the aftermath of which he gruesomely killed Brodir of the Isle of Man to avenge his brother’s death. He cut open his belly, led him round and round the trunk of a tree, and wound all his entrails out of him. Indeed he was brutal but his way of taking revenge requires balls.
2. William Marshal:
William Marshal, known as the knight of knights, is undoubtedly one of the greatest historical warriors that ever lived. In his lifetime, he took on numerous knights in duels and killed them turning him into the rightful owner to their assets. On his death-bed, he admitted to having seen at least 500 other knights to death by dueling them. Now this is as ballsy as you can get. His health finally failed him and he died in 1219 AD.
1. Hugh Glass:
While on a hunt in 1823, Hugh Glass was attacked by a grizzly bear. Unable to reach his rifle, Hugh stabbed the bear multiple times whilst she was making mince-meat of his face, back, chest and the entire body. His fellows left him for dead but Hugh, upon regaining consciousness, set out with damaged legs and crawled back to town. On the way he let maggots from a rotten tree eat his flesh to prevent gangrene, killing and eating rattlesnakes and groveled for over six weeks to reach back civilization. He set an example of ballsiness like none other before or after him.