Historical Figures with Unforeseen Downfall and Misfortune
Historical Figures with Unforeseen Downfall and Misfortune

Historical Figures with Unforeseen Downfall and Misfortune

Khalid Elhassan - April 9, 2020

Historical Figures with Unforeseen Downfall and Misfortune
Mongol Siege of Baghdad. Tes Teach

1. The Caliph Discovers Just How Catastrophically Wrong He Had Been

Al Musta’sim was not prepared to face the Mongols, who had conquered bigger and tougher opponents than the small rump which still remained in the Abbasid Caliphate. However, Al Musta’sim believed that the Mongols would not be able to seize Baghdad, and that if the city was endangered, the Islamic world would rush to its aid. He turned out to be catastrophically wrong.

Hulagu marched on Baghdad, the Islamic world did not rush to its aid, and after a 12-day siege, the city fell. The Mongols sacked Baghdad, massacred its inhabitants, burned its vast libraries, and put the city to the torch. Al Musta’sim was captured, but the Mongols had a taboo against spilling royal blood. So they had him executed by rolling him in a carpet, over which their army rode when it marched off to further conquests, their horses trampling the last Caliph to death.


Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

Beevor, Antony – Stalingrad (1998)

Business Insider, May 17th, 2016 – Here‘s the Story of How the Hunt Brothers Tried to Corner the Silver Market

Ceilan, Cynthia – Thinning the Herd: Tales of the Weirdly Departed (2007)

Clark, Alan – Barbarossa: The Russian-German Conflict, 1941-1945 (2000)

Clements, Jonathan – The First Emperor of China (2006)

Conquest, Robert – The Great Terror: A Reassessment

Cracked – 7 People Who Were Proven Wrong as Hard as Humanly Possible

Craig, William – Enemy at the Gates: The Battle For Stalingrad (1973)

Crown Chronicles – History‘s Strangest Deaths: The Duke of Clarence Drowned in a Barrel of Wine

Elting, John R. – Swords Around a Throne: Napoleon‘s Grand Armee (1988)

Encyclopedia Britannica – Al Musta‘sim, Abbasid Caliph

Encyclopedia Britannica – Charles II, King of Navarre

Facing History – Weimar Political Parties

Fall, Bernard B. – Hell in a Very Small Place: The Siege of Dien Bien Phu (1967)

Glantz, David – Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War (1998)

Glantz, David – When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler (1995)

Gonick, Larry – The Cartoon History of the Universe, Part II (1994)

Jacobin, November 25th, 2015 – Hitler Wasn‘t Inevitable

Mitrokhin, Vasili – The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB (1999)

Riehn, Richard K. – 1812: Napoleon‘s Russian Campaign (1991)

Sima Qian – Records of the Grand Historian

Simpson, Howard – Dien Bien Phu: The Epic Battle America Forgot (1994)

Snopes – Did a Man Die Demonstrating a Window‘s Strength?

Tuchman, Barbara – A Distant Mirror (1978)

Wikipedia – Franz Reichelt

Wikipedia – Great Purge