In the case of Egypt, people listened and obeyed − at least, as much as they did − because Pharaoh was, in theory, a god. In the case of Rome − with the exception of Caligula's claims − and the Mongol empires, the theory was similarly simple, though different. Tamerlane made no claim to divinity. He merely made it clear what he would do to you if you resisted him. Towns that submitted were generally governed passably, according to the standards of the day... and taxed, but not razed to the ground. Those that contested his authority were destroyed, often with all the inhabitants killed.
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