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Thread: Great Rulers Succeeded by Nincompoops

  1. #1
    Senior Contributor Amled's Avatar
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    Great Rulers Succeeded by Nincompoops

    Great Rulers Succeeded by Nincompoops
    It seems almost like a historical truism that the great rulers of history inevitably have been succeeded by, at best mediocrities, at worst sheer incompetent nincompoops.
    It may be that at times the greatness of the former has been too much for the successor to live up to. And yet…

    Chinas first Qin (Shi huangdi) while a bloody handed tyrant did much in his 30 odd year rule to pave the way for unification of the Warring States for successor dynasties, yet his own dynasty lasted for less then 4 years after his death.
    Augustus followed by Tiberius, and then Caligula, for whom the term nincompoop is a mild description.
    Marcus Aurelius followed by a Commodous.
    Catharine the Great succeeded by Paul I (a nincompoop)
    Henry II of England the first Angivine king of whom Sir Winston Churchill said:
    "Henry II Plantagenet, the very first of that name and race, and the very greatest King that England ever knew, but withal the most unfortunate . . . his death being imputed to those only to whom himself had given life, his ungracious sons. . ."

    A fitting epitaph shared by many a great rulers!
    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

  2. #2
    paladin
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    With monarchies, it was always a problem. The giant father fights his way from some rags, to become the monarch, and he knows the ways of the world. The son is a spoilt brat, brought up inside a castle, protected, and thus weak - not having survived in the open, all alone.

    Any major exceptions?
    Last edited by paladin; 26 Apr 06, at 09:33.

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    Military Enthusiast Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by paladin
    With monarchies, it was always a problem. The giant father fights his way from some rags, to become the monarch, and he knows the ways of the world. The son is a spoilt brat, brought up inside a castle, protected, and thus weak - not having survived in the open, all alone.

    Any major exceptions?
    Alexander the Great.

    Octavius who later became Augustus Ceasar.

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    Senior Contributor Asim Aquil's Avatar
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    Gen. Yahya of Pakistan who succeeded Gen. Ayub?

    I've thought of this a coupla times too.

    Although Hazarat Abu Bakr who succeeded Prophet Mohammad, wasn't really a nincompoop. Very philosophical, kind and carried on the mission of the Prophet to spread the message.

    He was the 1st Muslim after the Prophet, then after the Prophet's demise he became the 1st leader of the Muslims. He was a great poet and formed a treasury for the poor and frequently used it to free slaves. Also was the 1st one to compile the Quran. And probably laid the 1st foundations of democracy when he refused to nominate his son or a blood relation to ascend to the throne after his death rather opted the leader to be elected by all the other smaller rulers.

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    Banned deadkenny's Avatar
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    You've not really made any kind of case that weak leaders follow strong ones due to any kind of cause - effect relationship. The fact is the 'great' leaders are an exception - most leaders are fair to poor. So, it's obvious that a truly 'great' leader will tend to be both preceded and succeeded by lesser leaders. There are of course exceptions that others have pointed out, where good-great leaders 'clustered', with one following the other. Again, there's no case being made that there's a causal relationship there either.
    Last edited by deadkenny; 28 Apr 06, at 18:07.

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    Actus Reus Senior Contributor sparten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amled
    Great Rulers Succeeded by Nincompoops
    It seems almost like a historical truism that the great rulers of history inevitably have been succeeded by, at best mediocrities, at worst sheer incompetent nincompoops.
    It may be that at times the greatness of the former has been too much for the successor to live up to. And yet…

    Chinas first Qin (Shi huangdi) while a bloody handed tyrant did much in his 30 odd year rule to pave the way for unification of the Warring States for successor dynasties, yet his own dynasty lasted for less then 4 years after his death.
    Augustus followed by Tiberius, and then Caligula, for whom the term nincompoop is a mild description.
    Marcus Aurelius followed by a Commodous.
    Catharine the Great succeeded by Paul I (a nincompoop)
    Henry II of England the first Angivine king of whom Sir Winston Churchill said:
    "Henry II Plantagenet, the very first of that name and race, and the very greatest King that England ever knew, but withal the most unfortunate . . . his death being imputed to those only to whom himself had given life, his ungracious sons. . ."

    A fitting epitaph shared by many a great rulers!
    The empire under Marcus Auerlius could survive Commudus, he was just an embarrasment. Now after Septimius Severus , well Caracalla and Geta were just disasters.
    "Any relations in a social order will endure if there is infused into them some of that spirit of human sympathy, which qualifies life for immortality." ~ George William Russell

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    Regular AchtungSpitFire's Avatar
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    Bush the WarChimp follows Bill Clinton.

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