Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 month ago

Why where ancient civilizations so cruel and brutal?

Barely any human rights, terrible living conditions and a huge chunk of the population where slaves with no rights that could be brutally punished and a lot of violence. In ancient Mayan civilization (probably Aztec but im not sure) kids where brutally sacrificed. In ancient Sparta kid began a 13 year brutal military training at age 7, many died because of it. Why did people have less empathy back then? Life didn't seem enjoyable in some civilizations. Was there only few of these, and most of ancient civilizations not that bad? A today example is North Korea, or Middle East especially parts taken over by ISIS. But most countries seem to have enough human rights and many things to enjoy in life. 


I know that some civilizations like Greeks and Athens and Rome where not that bad place to live if someone was a free man. 

4 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    You don't have to go back far in history to find plenty of examples of cruel and brutal civilizations or regimes. WWII was arguably the worst thing that has ever happened,and saw appalling cruelty on a global scale. Pol Pot executed some 2 million of his fellow Cambodians, the Congo war killed millions and is only starting to wind down, and Chairman Mao deliberately and inadvertently killed at least 40 million Chinese.

    Since WWII I've seen a general shift in people's attitudes. People take cruelty more seriously than they used to. When I was young it was normal to ridicule handicapped people in public, to beat them in private, to cheat them, and to hate gay people. All of that has changed. Racism was once standard. That too has changed.

    Human beings are flawed and burdened with the weight of history. Our species is tragic in nature.

  • Ludwig
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    They were pagans.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Because there was no laws against it. After the world wars, there began to be laws on nation's who commit crimes against humanity. Countries in this day in age that aren't governor by these laws are usually 3rd world countries such as a few parts of Africa, where we still see slavery and harsh death penalties for petty crime.

  • ioerr
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    those were hard times.  and nobody knew very much what the basic facts of existence really were; physics, logic, medicine... these were mostly all matters of pure superstition.  and yet you had this plain need for public policies, to keep the farmers productive and so on.  and who knew; maybe sacrificing all those poor idiots would really help.  worth a shot.  and it was great entertainment for the masses of wretched idiots down there at the bottom of the pyramid wasn't it.  kept them distracted from their own problems long enough so they wouldn't get together and massacre all the priests and stuff, didn't it. 

    they were doing the best they could with the knowledge they had, that's all.  and to be fair to them, some of them at least did manage to learn a fair amount, from hard experience mainly, that's still relevant to us today, where things like "morals" and "personal character" are concerned, didn't they

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