To celebrate the release of a new range of rings at Thorum and to highlight the incredible king ring, we thought it would be a fun idea to list the most intriguing kings of history. Have you always wondered how the kings of England managed to keep their heads on? Find out in this post, and perhaps learn a thing or two about why France got sick of theirs.
Let us know what kings you love that we might not have discussed in the comments!
10. Vlad Tepes
Mr Vlad the Impaler. We all know his name, even if we have no idea why he got such a gnarly nickname. Let us just say he was not a great king in the history books, and he did slaughter thousands during his reign, and he was not kind in how he went about it.
Vlad was a prince of Wallachia, a historical region of Romania, during the 1400s. Also called Dracula, he was the inspiration for the fictional Vampire Count Dracula in the 1897 book by Bram Stoker. These cruel methods of killing prisoners earned him a reputation for enjoying the taste of blood; no wonder he later became the poster boy for Victorian vamps.
9. Henry the 8th
Even though he is Henry the 8th, he is still 9th on our list, not that we are ranking them for any reason. I suspect he would have beheaded me if he were still alive today. Still, we are safe from his wraith, unlike his many wives.
He ruled England from 1491 - 1547 and was a man who produced many tales of entertainment during his time as king. Firstly, he cut England off from the Catholic church so he could make it lawful to divorce any wife who dared not birth him a male heir. Next, he married six wives, many of whom met beheadings if they birthed a daughter. There was also the matter of his enormous stomach…
You can imagine that during Henry’s reign, it would have been hard to convince many suitors to give the man a chance once the head started rolling. But at least, when he died, Henry passed on his reign to the first Queen of England, Elizabeth.
Check out a ring for a queen: The Hera | Black Pavé Ring | Thorum
8. Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great of Macedonia became king at twenty in 336 BC and ruled for just twelve years, but amassed the most extensive empire the ancient world had ever known. He was undefeated in battle and one of the greatest military commanders of the ancient world. But unfortunately, he was taken at the young age of thirty-two whilst on a military campaign at the vice of a fever.
So what was great about him? First, he is a legend in the regions just to the north of modern-day Greece as a symbol of a once great region that envisioned conquering the world. He was a king that lived on well after his death.
7. Richard the Lionheart
Born in 1157, Richard the Lionheart was thrust into an interesting political climate in England. He was a famous king during his time and was perceived as the height of a knightly persona based on how he held himself during the third crusade.
Today his campaign to conquer the ‘Holy Lands’ is looked down upon. However, you can’t deny he was a leader that fought for what he believed in. So even if you disagree with his actions, you can’t deny he was fearless and was almost always in a foreign country at war.
He fought for his land against the former king and won the crown. He fought his whole life and would have been a scary man to meet in battle!
Get yourself a ring of kingly strength: The Lionheart | Whiskey Barrel Wood Wedding Ring | Thorum
6. Genghis Khan
In 1162 Genghis was born, and little did they know their son would become one of the greatest military commanders in Asia. He was the founder of the Mongol Empire and the first Khan to sit in its command ship by unifying the wandering tribes of the Mongol Steppe.
He is the father of the modern-day Mongolian people as he unified their territory and increased their economic prospects and reputation with the outside world. His efforts include establishing Mongol law and the monopoly on the Asian end of the Silk Road.
5. King Arthur
King Arthur is a folk hero today, shrouded in mystery and myths. He lived during the 5th - 6th centuries after Rome's fall and when the Saxon invasions' started. He was one of several kings in England that are said to have united Britons to make a stand against terrible foreign invaders.
He became king by pullings a sword from a stone, and that act alone showed his divine fate was to rule Britannia. Once king, he obtained a court wizard called Merlin and founded a legendary group called ‘The Knights of the Round Table’. They fought against mystical and divine evils, finding the Holy Grail and protecting the kingdom God gave him.
4. William the Conqueror
The year 1066 is not easily forgotten when the Normans invaded England. William I left Normandy and traversed the English Channel to take England off King Harold Godwinson, the last Saxon King.
Through several military victories across months, he pulled the throne under his bottom through skill and superior archers and cavalry strength. Then, after the defeat of the previous king, he built an abbey on the site of the victorious battle and named the surrounding town Battle.
They crowned him on Christmas day in 1066, with his military victories recorded in the epic Bayeux Tapestry. Even after becoming king, he still had to fight off rebellions, so to cement his command over the island, he built many castles as a physical reminder of his watchful presence.
Perhaps his most drastic change was establishing a new political system with new lords and shire lands. He commissioned a 1086 Doomsday record which documents the names of people, places, jobs, and the number of people in the kingdom at that time. He was an efficient ruler who did not stop ruling even after the battle.
3. Louis XVI
Louis XVI was the last King of France and ruled from 1774 to 1792. He married Marie Antoinette, and from that union, they lived a happy marriage in the early years, with many children and living on the wealth of their royal status.
He tried to abolish serfdom, land tax, labour tax, and increase tolerance of non-Catholics. These intentions might be noble, but the nobility reacted hostile to the changes, so he could never make much headway.
He deregulated the grain supply, and with a series of bad harvests, France was soon in a food crisis. By 1780 poverty and starvation were at a high, with France falling deeper into debt from overseas wars in America. Revolts broke out, and he slowly lost control and favour of his people and supporters.
In 1789 the French Revolution broke out, and people overthrew the old regime. The king, his family and supporters were taken from their palaces and imprisoned. They were the figureheads of the old world, and their deaths were needed for the new to start. In 1792 he was beheaded via Gilottine, and the Republic of France began.
Tutankhamun, also known as ‘tut’, lived 3,330 years ago and ruled for only ten years as a boy king. Yet, he is the most famous face that comes out of Ancient Egypt and the old world. Perhaps it is a fact they buried him with a gorgeous golden mask in an unlooted tomb? Whatever the reason, he is an intriguing king with a story.
King Tut became king when his father Smenkhkare died, and he married Ankhesenpaaton, the daughter of Pharoah Akhenaten. He was young at his crowning, so as ruler, he had a chief advisor to aid him in making decisions. His rule began with a move to Cairo, where he sought to repair the establishment of the old region and reverse the choices his late father made.
He died at the age of twenty, and there is a lot of mystery about how he died. Some theorise he was poisoned or killed in a grand plot to take over the throne, whilst recent studies have shown genetic and physical defects. Regardless, the quickness of death led to a hasty burial not at all ‘fit for a king’, even if half his things were golden.
Charlemagne became king in the Carolingian dynasty that ruled the Franks during his time of succession. They were a tribe that ruled territories in central Europe, which today make up regions around the lower Rhine river, including France and parts of Germany. The Franks were on the fringes of Roman territory, but they quickly established themselves in the areas when the Empire fell.
Charlemagne reigned from 768 through to 814 AD, and during that time, he helped expand the influence of the Franks, turning them into a great clan of vast territories spanning Germany, France, and Italy. In addition, he used his role as Frankish King to unite the germanic tribes under one ruler with flexible capital and court wherever he was present. In 774, he became the King of the Lombards and, finally, in 800, the Holy Roman Emperor. He died in 814, leaving his legacy as the father of Europe.
A Ring for Kings!
Lets us introduce our crowning jewel for a king! We created this stunning piece out of matte black Tungsten Carbide band is outfitted with dozens of jet-black CZ stones. It is genuinely a sparkler, will match any kingly crown, and will be the most robust wedding band you can currently get on the market. Of course, this is a bonus for any kings planning to go on their crusade or Viking raid!
We could continue to list many iconic kings of history here, but we will not keep you any longer. Instead, we hope you learnt a little about kings of the past and understand why we created a ring that embodies the regality and strength of a commanding leader. We plan to follow this list up shortly with a sequel that looks at the best Queens of history, so stay tuned!
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