For all of the good things about Civ 6, there are a few historical inaccuracies. Gandhi was never a fan of nuclear warfare, and the Eiffel Tower and Great Library weren’t in the same city, nevermind the same time period. Things are a bit different in-game. When you play a leader in Civ 6, you make their decisions for them, and your actions are not always what they would have done in real life.
But, what if your horrible deeds in Civ 6 were somewhat accurate? What vicious things did leaders do that you aren't aware of? From organizing massacres to performing ruthless executions, these leaders did some truly savage things.
Qin Shi Huang Wasn’t Big on Prophecies
Sometimes when you get bad news, it’s normal to overreact. You might do or say something you typically wouldn’t, simply because you’re angry or distraught. For Qin Shi Huang, he killed a lot of people near the Yellow River... over a weird message on a rock.
In 211 BC, a large meteor supposedly fell into the river. On the stone, an unknown person inscribed a prophecy which spoke of the Emperor’s death and his land becoming divided. It’s no surprise that Qin Shi Huang wasn’t enthused when he heard about this. He sent an imperial secretary to investigate the situation, but when no one confessed to the inscription, everyone in the area was put to death.
The stone was then burned and pulverized.
Tomyris Kept a Terrifying Promise
When Cyrus the Great captured Spargapises, the son of Tomyris, he should have known she’d come after him with a vengeance. When their forces met, Tomyris and her army defeated the Persians with high casualties. After the battle, she called for the dead body of Cyrus to be brought before her. This is where things get weird. She crucified his corpse, beheaded him, and shoved his head into a wineskin filled with human blood.
“I warned you that I would quench your thirst for blood, and so I shall,” she spoke menacingly. How thoughtful of her to keep her word.
Montezuma Was a Cold-Blooded Conqueror
A long time ago, the city-state of Coixtlahuaca apparently wasn’t showing Aztec merchants the respect they deserved. Instead of embarking on a diplomatic mission or sending a friendly messenger, Montezuma decided that a violent expedition was the best course of action.
Not only did his expedition capture the city-state, but he ritually strangled the Mixtec ruler Atonal and enslaved his family. This was Montezuma’s thing, though; he lead several similar campaigns against other cities in the area.
Catherine de’ Medici Organized Religious Assassinations
The St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre was a slaughter that targeted Huguenot leaders while they were in Paris for a royal wedding. It lasted several weeks, and modern estimates place the number of deaths between 5,000 and 30,000. Who is to credit for such a heinous act? Many say Catherine de’ Medici herself.
It was easily one of the worst religious massacres of the century, and it earned Medici the status of a wicked Italian queen. Just look at her face - she's up to something sinister. You can tell.
Peter the Great Wasn't a Fan of His First Wife
Long story short, being the first wife of Peter the Great wasn't a great gig. He was married to Eudoxia Lopukhina for less than a decade, and forced her to join a convent after he divorced her. When his eldest child with her was suspected of trying to overthrow him, he had Eudoxia punished and tried on false charges of adultery.
She wasn’t the only one who encountered this fate; Peter the Great’s former mistress, Anna Mons, suffered a similar situation.
So, will this information change how you play Civ 6 going forward? It might be easier to justify wiping out a friendly city-state with Montezuma now, since you know that’s what he would have wanted.
Learn more about leaders, wonders, and how to play the game on the Civ 6 Wiki.
Brianna engages with the Gamepedia community through editorial content and social media. When she’s not busy tweeting about gaming news, she enjoys playing tabletop games, spending time outdoors, and binge-watching sci-fi.