Today’s nation states were non-existent in ancient world which was characterized by empires and kingdoms whose rulers had their own autonomous territories. Those empires and kingdoms didn’t had a definite geographical expression. Its boundaries were a reflection of the might of its ruler. Always one ruler tried to conquer other’s land. And armies and commanders came to occupy forefront of the scene. Naturally, there were commanders who were better than others.
So, here is a list of top ten greatest commanders of ancient world who made history march behind them:
10. William I
William the Conqueror was first Norman king of England. He was a cousin of the English king, Edward the Confessor. He led the Norman invasion of England and on 14 October, William emerged victorious in Battle of Hastings and on Christmas Day 1066, he was crowned king in Westminster Abbey. He brought into existence Anglo-Norman culture.
9. Attila the Hun
Attila was king and general of Hun Empire from 433 AD to 453 AD. He devastated the western half of Roman Empire, and controlled a region from the Danube River to the Baltic Sea, and from Rhine River to Caspian Sea. His brutality earned him the title of ‘the scourge of god’ from his enemies.
Trajan was a soldier who spent most of his life involved in campaigns. He was adopted by the Roman Emperor Nerva.
Trajan conquered Dacia (modern-day Romania and Moldova), the Nabatean kingdom (located between the Arabian and Sinai peninsulas), Armenia, north Mesopotamia and much of Parthia (today’s Iran and Iraq). He died on his way to Rome on 9 August AD 117 after suffering a stroke.
7. Ramses II
He ruled for 67 years[1279-1213 BC], and lived to be over 90 years old. At the age of 30 he ascended the throne. He extended the borders of his kingdom to the Fourth Cataract of the Nile (Dar al-Manasir Valley in modern-day northern Sudan) in the south and the present-day Syria in the north. He fought an indecisive battle against Hittites and their allies; Ramses was obliged to sign a treaty with prince of Hittite. He was most extraordinary ruler of ancient Egypt.
6. Genghis Khan
His real name was Temujin. He was founder of Mongol Empire. He unified the Mongols and went on to raid China and captured the capital. He conquered almost whole of West Asia and extended the boundaries of his empire until it covered all most whole of Asia. It was first time that the east and the west were united. On his way back to home from China, he fell ill and died.
5. Hannibal Barca
He was a young Carthagian general who won most of his battles by coming up with clever ideas. He invaded Italy and inflicted crushing defeat on Romans at Trebia, Trasimene and Cannae. He is one of the greatest military general of all times.
4. Napolean Bonaparte
In 1796, he was made commander of French army in Italy. In 1799, Napolean became first Consul when the existing government in France was overthrown. He became King of Italy, Mediator of the Swiss Confederation and Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine. After the battle of Waterloo, he was imprisoned on remote Atlantic island St. Helena, where he died on 5 May, 1829.
3. Julius Ceasar
He expanded Rome’s border by bringing parts of Gaul and Britain under the control of Rome. He defeated enemies in Spain and Germany and passed onto Greece. Caesar defeated Egypt as well. He put an end to civil war and seized the control of entire Roman Empire. But, the following year he was murdered by members of Senate.
2. Cyrus the Great
He conquered many neighboring lands, and brought them together and created what we call Achaemenid Persian Empire. He was also known as master of diplomacy and tact. He put an end to Babylonian captivity and allowed Jewish community to return to Israel. He also declared the first Charter of Human Rights known to mankind.
1. Alexander the Great
He was son of King Philip II of Macedonia. Before his death, he had conquered the entire known world. Everywhere he went, he introduced Hellenistic culture. He also allowed the conquered people to run their country as long as they remained loyal to him. He never lost a battle in his life, is it any wonder that he is the greatest warrior of all times.