The Beginnings: The Ancient Cradles of Terrorism

In order to understand terrorism as a concept, it sometimes becomes important to turn your head away from modern mainstream media and look into the annals of history for information. Firstly, let’s face it, terrorism is not a new concept and can definitely not be attributed as a creation of one particular sect, cult, ethnic group or nation. It is a really powerful experience to understand that terrorism is actually an age-old concept, one which has evolved through the years in the guise of movements and revolutions. There are several examples of seemingly “normal” and even “profitable” events in history, which when seen through the eyes of study and research, turn out to be acts of terrorism which are far worse than the things that are going on in today’s world.

The Sicarii


One of the first terrorist groups ever recorded was known as the Sicarii, which consisted of a group of individuals who used small daggers known as “sica” to spread havoc among the Roman occupations in Jerusalem and Israel. these group of Jews were a form of direct resistance to the tyrannical rule of the Romans in these parts of the world during 1st Century CE. This group of individuals used guerilla tactics in order to assassinate prominent leaders in the regions which now form modern-day Syria (coincidence or just an inheritance of violence through the ages?). The assassinations eventually lead to a large-scale revolt, which then culminated into a full-fledged war between the Jews and the Romans, eventually ending in a shattering of the Jewish resistance by the Romans.

The Hashishins

Another prominent terrorist group which was forged in the ancient annals of history is the strikingly renowned group of individuals known as the Hashishins, who were the quintessential assassins of Persia. In fact, the word “assassin” has been derived from their name; now that’s some level of badassery right there. The organizational structure of the Hashishins was formulated by an individual known as Hasan bin Sabah, who from a young age had learnt to go beyond the belief systems of Islam and had questioned these beliefs to such a point during his youth that he ascended beyond them completely by understanding that these religious norms were, in fact, just tools to manipulate the masses.


Tripped Out Fact: The word “Hashishin” essentially means hashish-smokers, as this was one of the most important parts of the initiation ceremony that an individual would undertake in order to join the cult.

Moreover, the Hashishins were trained in the arts of the occult in order to access higher planes of consciousness. Without the strict backing of the Islamic norms, these assassins essentially targeted the leaders of the Persian caliphate in order to overthrow their reign on the behest of their leader Hasan. These assassins have been the inspiration for several modern games like Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia. The group utilized several tactics which can be seen in te techniques of modern terrorist organizations of today, such as self-sacrifice in the process of assassination.

The Christians

Once we start to move towards modern history, we see that terrorism takes on a much more large-scale initiate, a scale which involves whole nations and communities joining into the act. If the terrorists of today sport religion as the backing for the revenge on the infidels, there have been much worse acts of terrorism than we see today.


If seen from this perspective, the Crusades were among the most biggest acts of terrorism ever committed in history, where religion led to a whole era of holy wars which resulted in colossal death tolls. Moreover, Christianity has committed essential acts of terrorism throughout history to which the acts of ISIS and AL-Qaeda pale in comparison. The huge acts of violence that spread across Europe in an attempt to abolish and eradicate paganism off the face of the world is one such act.

The “Liberation” Movements


If religion is taken out of the context of terrorism, even Communism can be seen as an act of terrorism which has claimed much more lives than the terrorist groups of today. The contexts behind the acts of terrorism have varied throughout history, from lack of loyalty to the state being a certain persuasion to kill, to the aspect of an individual being of impure descent being a good enough reason to eradicate a whole race. The French Revolution, the Communist Movement in Russia, the Nazi extermination force, all of these are inhuman acts of terrorism throughout the pages of history.

So, now what?

Now, where do we find ourselves today? Let us analyze ourselves in the light of the way terrorism has progressed through history and evolved into what it is today. The most striking thing that we see is that the names have changed, the contexts have remained the same; the causes have changed, the aspect of damage to humanity has remained the same; the members involved in the power struggle have changed, but the overall act of “spreading terror for the sake of terror has remained the same.”

If you observe closely, we have been learning from history and have somehow retained the barbaric perspectives towards life that were present in times of yore. The primality of the human race has been retained due to the fact that we have still not found a way to alienate ourselves from this vicious cycle of violence that history has seen. We seem to take inspiration from history but fail to learn from the mistakes of our ancestors. At the end, if we do not wake up in time, history will keep repeating itself, people will die, more people will take their place and continue the massacre in the name of religion, pride, nationality, honor, or just plain sadistic fun.

It is time we recognize this and understand that we may seem civilized and sociable, but underneath all our sophistication and modernization, all our governments and leaders want is to subdue us and keep us on this ferris-wheel of violence and oppression so that they can reap the profits of this genocide until there is no one left to kill.

If that is not reason enough for you to wake up, better prepare yourself for the next great “liberation”, one where nature is not going to keep watching and observing while we continue to rape this reality on a daily basis.

Image sources: [1], [2], [3], [4]

Further Tripping…

To learn more about the secret order of the Hashishins, click here.

About Ashwin Ramesh

Check Also

Comparative movie reviews of two courtroom drama movies - Pink and Wrong Side Raju

Pink vs Wrong Side Raju: Comparative movie reviews

Last week I happened to watch two movies which can be loosely categorized as courtroom …

Leave a Reply