314 Responses

  1. Jon
    Jon at |

    Hello!! George Washington, only led the American army to defeat the (Prior to US) greatest military force known to man. Napoleon was quoted on his deathbed saying "If only I was more like George Washington"

    1. Wake up Jon
      Wake up Jon at |

      Hey Jon (First comment) wake up!

      Washington won an attritional war against an overstressed opponent which was fighting militia elements in the north (Quebecuois) and a whole host of old world enemies (Most notably France). The New World just wasn't that valuable to the British; and though there were some fearsome, history worthy battles fought the American Revolution just wasn't that important at the time. It was quickly over shadowed by the French version.

      The only reason it's seen significant is because the United States is currently a powerhouse in the world, though that is quickly changing.

      Besides, Washington was just a general; he was only a political leader for a few short years while those on the list ruled vaster territories, or for longer.

      1. Ronald Mcdouchebag
        Ronald Mcdouchebag at |

        you need to wake up and smell Georges left hanging..umm…anyway, this is hogwash

        1. Chuck
          Chuck at |

          And don’t forget Chuck Norris and Ninja Turtle!

      2. Stephen
        Stephen at |

        Um, Washington was president for 8 full years. Lincoln was only president for a little over 4.

        Plus, while Washington was admittedly not a military genius, he was a magnificent leader, riding out to the front of the lines as bullets whizzed by him and inspiring his troops and the entire nation with his bravery and boldness. He not only had to hold together an army that was ill-equipped, often starving, and threatening to fall apart every day, he also had to train it and manage the expectations and constant meddling coming from Congress. He found the right people to promote and listened to their advice. That he managed to come out of this at all is amazing, that he managed to come out the most beloved man in the country is practically a miracle. Then, after the war was over, he preserved its meaning by refusing to be appointed king and defusing a coup in such a way that he left the conspirators crying with love for him.

        As president, he managed to hold together 13 separate, fractious states and the beginning of a new constitutional system. Political parties started and grew incredibly hateful of each other, small revolts had to be put down, an entirely new form of government had to be managed and turned into a lasting system. And everything he did became a model that all presidents after him followed.

        The French Revolution mattered more to Europe because it established the precedent of killing off a king and overthrowing an aristocracy. But it fell apart within a few years, turning first into a semi-totalitarian oligarchy, then into a bloodbath, then into an expansionary dictatorship, then back into a monarchy. America, on the other hand, established a constitutional system which has stood virtually unchanged for over 200 years and became a model for governments around the world. So which was more important in the long run?

        1. Sigurd
          Sigurd at |

          Bravo! Very well put.

        2. Ben
          Ben at |

          It is not Washington that is responsible for the US Constitution but many like Jefferson, Madison, etc. etc. It is not Washington that fought the British but the Americans settlers, pioneers, hunters, explorers. etc. from all walks of life. Lincoln was confronted with many problems aside from the problems of waging war and he was able to overcome them. A great man can be tested by his actions when confronted with the challenges in many fronts. Washington was leading a united people against the British, makes the task easier. Lincoln was fighting from within and that is difficult, American vs. American, brothers against brothers, relatives against relatives.

        3. Bottomdog
          Bottomdog at |

          Linconl got assassinated sooo of course washington had a longer reign

        4. Alex
          Alex at |

          a magnificent leader isn’t one that rides out to the front lines and risks his life. That’s a stupid leader. A magnificent leader is a leader who chooses the most effective course, ignorant of morality and emotions. You can’t do that with a bullet on the face.

        5. John Locke
          John Locke at |

          i have two questions for you.
          1. name one revolt that Washington put down?
          2. name one party that came up during his time as presidency?
          while you’re at it nme one contribution that Washington made to he U.S. Constitution other than refusing to be king.

        6. Kody B
          Kody B at |

          John. The Federalists and anti federalists led by the then Treasurer Alexander Hamilton and State Thomas Jefferson.

        7. Kody B
          Kody B at |

          Ben. “A united people”? You can’t be serious. In case you don’t remember, the Continental Army was losing. George Washington had to come to Boston and rally the troops. He literally had to train an ill equipped, ill manned, and ill experienced army to fight against the strongest army in the known world of that time. What probably makes him the best president is the fact he didn’t want to be. He set the standards for what it meant to be president. They wanted him to serve for life like monarchy but he refused and resigned after 2 terms. They wanted ti name him king and call him “Your Excellency”, he refused. Washington created the cabinet to split the power, not the constitution. He became the most loved man in USA history being unanimously voted as president 2 times. He warned against the hazards of multiple parties. If it wasn’t for George, Lincoln wouldn’t of had a union to preserve. People tend to over-estimate Lincolns rule and under-estimate just how vital George was as a founding father.

      3. Hammad
        Hammad at |

        Don’t forget the British were ruled by a mad man at that time

      4. George Thomas
        George Thomas at |


        1. vin
          vin at |

          yes i agree ashoka is greatest king of all above

    2. billy bob
      billy bob at |

      Obama obviously, probably the greatest person to ever live as well. All he wants is people to all be equal and no one to actually have to work. It is the perfect concept, give money to everyone who is worthless and lazy, and screw everyone who actually makes a difference in the world and works hard to enjoy things. GOOO OBAMA, you got my vote for the best leader of all times.

      1. lol
        lol at |

        thanks for the lulz, obamanoid

      2. John Locke
        John Locke at |

        yes he managed to create a healthcare improvement. too bad he can’t start an empire or a country.

    3. Lucas
      Lucas at |

      Alexander the great was by far the best leader. he was in a very tight situation, the greeks were violent by nature and had been fighting each other for the years before macedonia intervened. he utilized that violent energy and sent towards an old enemy, persia. after he surprisingly beat the much larger persian army, he then conquered all of europe and north africa. Then he spread Hellenistic culture to the places that had been conquered. Lincoln may have gotten a country to agree and get along, Alexander the great got a whole continent to get along. not to mention his amazing military knowledge, he dominated europe, and eradicated countries as he went through them. he made peace through war and tried to have european and north african countries all have the same culture thus unifying them in substantial measures. no contest best leader of all time.

      1. Vaibhav
        Vaibhav at |

        Hey Lucas,
        Whom would u consider the greatest king “Alexander” whose army was not even having strength to pass indus to confront Nanda Dynasty because of its supreme power. Atleast refer to wikipedia if you can’t go through history books dear.

        1. zoro
          zoro at |

          hi vaibhav,
          calculate the distance between the distance b/w Greece and India. now think as a soldier of the great Alexander army. who is out fighting for a long time. so long that he even dont remember what he is fighting for. if you get my point than you will understand why historian call him Alexander the gr8. my fav. Maharaja Ranjeet Singh.

      2. Ben
        Ben at |

        I agree that Alexander was the best leader in battle not only because, he was a great tactician and strategist but because he personally led the attack and where the enemy is thickest and never was he on the verge of defeat. But he was not confronted with the problems that confronted Lincoln when the future of the country is threatened where all the efforts of Washington and the American revolutionists and the founding fathers would all come to naught if the Confederacy won. A great leader cannot be great just because his rule is peaceful. Lincoln was able to preserve the Union.

    4. L. david
      L. david at |

      Are you kiding me? Where’s Anibal, Ashoka, Attila, Ivan, Charles of Spain, Ramsos, Montezuma, Dario, and many, many others?

      This is really unbelievable. Americans are very stupid indeed. Tabula Rasa……

      Let’s check the facts, not opinions first…..

      1. AndyO
        AndyO at |

        What!!! Queen Victoria ruled the greatest empire of all time, the American civil war found the British overstretched and fighting on numerous fronts. Victoria is one of many that should become before Lincoln. A re-think is in order Mr Dunn!!

    5. alex
      alex at |

      And were did u here tht ur bed time storyies?

    6. josh
      josh at |

      the internet obviously rules the world now more than any other ruler has ever even dreamed of it can give information via satellite about other nations and it is the greatest source of information ever invented… and let’s face it not many of you would have the balls to say this to other people… especially to their face when they know where you live (neighbors, rival…etc.) no you just talk on the internet because it rules so much of this world that it can protect you even from the people you hate

    7. Ajay Dabhi
      Ajay Dabhi at |

      You seems to have learnt only European, American and Chinese culture. I am sure all those rulers were great.. However there are certain names you have forgotten.

      Ramesses II – also known as “Ramesses the great”
      Third Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth dynasty. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire. – reigned 1279 BC – 1213 BC for 66 years and 2 months. – I am sure I dont have to write more about him – is Mr. Lincoln be any close to him?

      Samrat Ashok (king Ashok) – Ashoka the great
      was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from ca. 269 BCE to 232 BCE. As far as I know, His grand father – Chandragupta Maurya met Alexandra the great at Taxila (then capital of India) in 327 BC. I believe that If Alexander and Ashoka would go in to war, Ashoka would have defeated Alexander easily.
      Before ashok – no one knew Prince Siddharth Gautam. It was ashok who promoted bhuddhisam, and what we see today is the third largest religion in world. Ashok’s mark (ashok pillar – or sarnath) is now National Emblem of Govt. of India.
      According to historian HG wells, He was the best – because, even after being a mightiest king of his time, he never tried to rule on other but tried to have peace with all his neighbor, provided free medicine. What else you want from a ruler???

      Akbar the great – Akbar was known in his own time as a military genius. It is believed that he had 40,000 trained war elephant – of couse he had his own army.
      Akbar even had finest collection of 9 extraordinary people as his advisers, The popular hindi word “NAVRATNA” (9 gems) derived from it. 9 of those people consist,
      Abul-Fazel – Chief Advisor and writer of akbarnama
      Faizi – A poet
      Tansen – a legendary musician
      Birbal – Prime minister – Still known in indian sub-continent for his intelligence.
      Raja Todar Mal – Finance Minister (he was hindu)
      Raja Man Singh – Commander in chief ( He was also hindu)
      And 2 more army advisor and a poet.

      I think this 3 names should be in top 5.

      1. vin
        vin at |

        yes there must be ashoka the great

    8. Roy
      Roy at |

      ELVIS known around the World as the KING a man called the KING out of Love and Respect. Not fear or just for being born,

  2. Jason Weldy
    Jason Weldy at |

    I know this is opinion but where's Louis the fourteenth the sun god of France. Many great leaders missing here.

  3. Rake
    Rake at |

    agreed, abe should be on the list, not on #1 though, what are the parameters of this? he was a great US leader but people such as Alexander, Caesar or Napoleon ruled the world. see my point?

    1. Ronald Mcdouchebag
      Ronald Mcdouchebag at |

      in that sense, we should put Clinton and Bush on the list, since the US has basically ruled the world Economically and Militarily the last 16 years.

      1. Susan
        Susan at |

        The United States have 'basically ruled the world economically and militarily' since the end of WWII–not the last 16 years. Fortunate for the Free World too, otherwise Europe would be speaking Russian and propagandizing their children with Marist theory.

        1. blanka
          blanka at |

          The cold war ended in late 80s, hence America have only been #1 for a short while.

          anyway, where’s Queen Victoria?

        2. Anton
          Anton at |

          Russia is Europe, therefore it would not be so horrible if the rest of Europe would speak russian. Plus, USA rules nothing. USA has more debts that any other country in the world.

    2. bipu
      bipu at |

      yes, you are right but Alexander, Caesar or Napoleon ruled the world by mighty power which they acquired , in this way it could be their greatest achievement only being a ruler , but sometimes brutal . but Abraham Lincoln not only ruled USA that time but also preserve equality and unity , mind it that time when having a great civil war with a prominent democratic view . with all respect to Mr Rake.

  4. Doc
    Doc at |

    The inclusion of Adolf Hitler at the expense of either Franklin D. Roosevelt or Winston Churchill (Both great leaders) is appalling and shameful.

    1. Bill Q
      Bill Q at |

      Actually, wasn't it Stalin's Red Army of Peasants and Workers who actually beat Hitler? The vast majority of German casualties were in the Soviet Union.

    2. Ronald Mcdouchebag
      Ronald Mcdouchebag at |

      agreed fully, I nearly vomited in my mouth when I saw Hitler on the list

      1. Ron
        Ron at |

        Vomit away then. Agree or disagree with a man’s philosophy and it still has no bearing on tactics and victories. I personally detested his beliefs and methods but you have to give some credit to him and consider the era in which he swept the world.

        1. Melanie
          Melanie at |

          I’m sick of people trying to be edgy by including Hitler in lists like this. The man was a good public speaker who took advantage of a people desperate for any form of leadership. What military and tactical victories he managed were often the result of some of his more experienced lieutenants, while his blunders were generally a result of his paranoia.

          Even discounting the atrocities he inflicted on portions of other nations, he slaughtered and enslaved some of his own people, while turning a good portion of the rest into murderers.

          I know you (and I imagine the author) don’t mean to advocate his actions, but I don’t think there is any reason to try and showcase redeeming qualities that I personally don’t think Hitler had.

      2. Moriarty
        Moriarty at |

        Hey where is so called Father of Nation in India “Mahatma Gandhi”, Probably one of the greatest leaders of all time. The famous Non-Coperation movement was one of the biggest factors to wipe out the british Rule From India Which had Lasted for More than 200 Years. Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.Gandhi strove to practice non-violence and truth. he eridicated Untouchbility, expanded Women Rights including Right to Education By womens,building religious and ethnic amity, increasing economic self-reliance, but above all for achieving Swaraj—the independence of India from foreign domination. He was one of the most fearless leader who fought one of the biggest war in india by using just one weapon -“Non-Voilence”

  5. Jess
    Jess at |

    Hitler was a dumb A$$! The guy had no tactical skills to speak of, he made countless mistakes that finally led to the ultimate demise of the Nazi party. How could you leave GW off this list? The man was a god on the battlefield and defeated the greatest military of that time.

    1. magic carpet
      magic carpet at |

      You do realize that America lost almost every single battle and only won because of help from major European powers (France, Spain etc).

    2. Ben
      Ben at |

      The Americans won because they used guerilla tactics in fighting the exposed British soldiers who fought on standing position, attacking in marching orders or in files against American fighting on ground and tree covers. The greatest military (the British) of that time is fighting a losing and outdated war in American soils.

  6. JEAM
    JEAM at |

    I disagree with what he said about Ghengis Khan. Our society has an awful, and misguided, view of him. While he was a brutal conquerer, while under his rule there was peace and prosperity. He even managed to keep the silk road safe.

    1. devis
      devis at |

      prosperity and peace for whom?

  7. Nick
    Nick at |

    What about Qin Shi Huangdi, the man who made the Great Wall of China, the Terracotta army, and oh… China! Abraham Lincoln shouldn't have been number 1.

    1. Caleb
      Caleb at |

      Thank u frnd lincoln is definatly d greatest leader of all time he transfrmd d world true his briany qoutes, he his only 3rd in wise saying after some old testament wise men in d likes of Solomon & Ahitophel, when wrting an exam am alwaz inspired by his qoute “it is far honorable to fail dan 2 cheat” what will hitler b rimenbered 4?, is it 4 killing d jews in germany? or calling africans non-humans?….waoo what a gud list

      1. Jon
        Jon at |

        You need to learn how to spell Caleb, did you drop out of school early? I think Lincoln shouldn’t be number one, because the Civil war is a sliver compare to the other Conquerors. As i read above people bashing America for the list, look guys its just the person’s opinion. Its not going to be the obvious facts and true statements. It’s just how the guy thought it should be. In all of our point of views it can be different.

        1. Lee
          Lee at |

          Patronising and pompous.

        2. Mikal
          Mikal at |

          Hey, I’m Lee! I love to judge people on the internet! When I said that guy was patronizing and pompous? Didn’t that rule? I’m great, huh.

    2. Ben
      Ben at |

      Shi Huangti unified China by eliminating rival clans and other kingdoms and proclaimed himself emperor. Too much bloodsheds and assassinations, poisonings. He burned all books relating to all China or about earlier and rival rulers because he wants that history would begin with him. That is why he is recognized as the first emperor. Is that great, a ruler without compunction?

  8. kyle
    kyle at |

    Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation only abolished slavery in the states that had left the union, abolishing slavery in the union could have persuaded some states to secede.

    1. Noel
      Noel at |

      I completely agree! Finally, someone with a little bit of education! Abraham Lincoln did NOT "free the slaves". Like Kyle stated, it only abolished slavery in certain states, as a way of appeasing/coaxing people. Lincoln couldn't have cared less about the freedom of African Americans.

      1. Ronald Mcdouchebag
        Ronald Mcdouchebag at |

        He may not have 'freed the slaves', but it was a HUGE step in that direction, something NO ONE in history, president, king, or whatever, had the BALLS to do.

        1. Jason
          Jason at |

          Actually slavery had already been abolished in most of Europe and England by this time. America was on the tail end of slavery abolition for 'civilized' countries.

        2. Matt
          Matt at |

          Linkoln didn't give a **** about slavery, his main goal was to preserve the union.

        3. Lee
          Lee at |

          1% of Americans think Jesus Christ was “the greatest American of all time”

      2. Stephen
        Stephen at |

        It should be pointed out, though, that he did support the 13th Amendment, which, when passed, did outlaw all slavery. So if he had lived, he would have essentially been the one to free the slaves, though the Amendment was passed by Congress and the states, too.

        1. Asad
          Asad at |

          Yeah, and he killed Vampires that supported the South. Nothing beats that.

          In all seriousness, Lincoln doesn’t deserve to be on this list. History has many great leaders that can be mentioned above Lincoln and Hitler (puke), which I find surprising to be ignored.

          But I think it depends on what the criteria used to determine a good ruler. Military acumen, the provision of justice, improving standards of living for the populace and ensuring stability for forthcoming generations. Although I am no fan of the murderous tactics applied by many Muslim rulers but I would have to say that as per the criteria I stated Umer would be well placed. Other than that Cyrus and Darius should definitely have been included.

  9. Quincy
    Quincy at |

    USA USA USA (Alexander the Great should be like fourth, behind Washington, Lincoln, and THEODORE ROOSEVELT)

    1. Noel
      Noel at |

      This is just ignorant. There have been so many great rulers in history, and honestly no American ruler is Top 10 worthy. Since when has an American conquered a large portion of the WORLD?? (Ceaser, Alexander the Great, and Ghengis Khan)

      1. Mark Twang
        Mark Twang at |

        Since when did America have the chance to conquer the world? When America was founded we were too busy slaughtering all the Native Americans and cutting down all our trees to worry about the rest of the world. By the time we started to care about the rest of the world (around about the time of WWI and WWII) all the other countries were giving back the countries they conquered. Therefore, America never had a chance to conquer the world – BUT – this does not by any means that America was void of great leaders. Great leaders don't need to be conquers.

      2. Ronald Mcdouchebag
        Ronald Mcdouchebag at |

        you're mom is ignorant, Viva Poland!!!! you're such a dolt, AMERICAN OWNS THE WORLD, what rock have you lived under lately, get out of the Siberian snow and join society already!

        1. Matt
          Matt at |

          No wonder you have douchebag in your name, give constructive criticism, Calm your ego, we don't own the world.

      3. GREAT
        GREAT at |

        Ghengis Khan/mongolian empire/ ,Ceaser/greece and rome empire/ ,Attella /hun/,Alexander/makedon empire / ,Hubilai khan/mongolian empire/ 6………7……..8………9…………10…………..?
        queen elzabeth ……………..? Charlemagne……………….? oduccei…………….?

    2. Geordie
      Geordie at |

      Its not all about america, many other nations are more deserving of this high horse arrogance that many of you seem to have. Britain had the largest empire in history, despite not being the greatest in military numbers or sophistication. Ghengis khan, nuff said. Rome having an empire that lasted almost 2000 years(including byzantium as a continuation), with an amazing military, giving us law and culture, and it started out as a single city state. we are indebted to Greece, and the greeks deserve more greatness than america by far. And china was an advanced and vibrant and powerful nation before Europe was even lifted from obscurity. America can have its due, but never think of itself more than it is…

  10. Martin
    Martin at |

    Caesar wasn't called Augustus, that was Octavian, the guy who managed to rise to power after his death. And he would also be a far better selection for this list since Caesar, while being a great general, didn't do so well in ruling the Roman Republic.

    1. Ken
      Ken at |

      Augustus is Octavian. He was born Octavian and changed his name when he "adopted" Julius Caesar as his father (he was actually Julius' nephew) for political reasons. The only ruler in Roman history to be called Caesar was Julius Caesar whom never held the title of emperor but rather Dictator for life.

      1. Ken
        Ken at |

        Allow me to correct myself. Augustus is not "also known as" Caesar. His full name was originally Gaius Octavius Thurinus. He was later adopted by Julius Caesar than later changed his name to Gaius Julius Caesar (his adopted fathers name) for political reasons. Augustus is an honorary title bestowed on him latter but in Roman tradition this title became a part of his name. So I guess in a way a Caesar was an emperor. However the only person to be referred to as Caesar is his adopted father. Augustus is only referred to as either Octavian or Augustus.

    2. Barbara
      Barbara at |

      Octavian WAS Augustus Caesar. He chose the name Augustus. Actually the Roman Senate conferred the name, rather like a title, on him in 27 BC, when he assumed full power, at his “request” which they had little choice but to honor.

      The word is not exactly directly translated to any English word, but “the revered one” is closest. In adjective form, it covers anything from revered to holy, magnificent, great.

      As for Octavian’s use of it, he was making sure everyone understood that he was not only the absolute ruler (emperor), but divine.

      1. Geordie
        Geordie at |

        They are definitely mistaking augustus Caesar for Julius caesar because the image is a bust of julius not octavian, whoever made this is a retard

      2. Sasa
        Sasa at |

        No, Augustus was an honorary title given to him by the people of rome. He also did not “assume” full power of Rome on his own will. After civil war began, Octavius (as Consul) defeated the rebellious armies and assumed power of Rome, which he gave back to the Senate, who then offered him the title of Princeps, the head of Rome. Augustus acted selflessly throughout his career, making a point to ensure that he was not seen as a despot.

      3. Ben
        Ben at |

        Julius Caesar was able to prevent the different Germanic tribes from invading Rome. He was a great war leader, a battle strategist and invented the RomanTestudo or armor tank. When the soldiers form a line formation using their triangular shields covering the front, back, and sides as well as the shield above their head, they can go forward and break the enemy formation, virtually unpenetrable and its attack is unstoppable. Octavian took the title Augustus meaning the highest. In the Roman calendar, July or Julio has 31 days, not to be outdone August or Agosto was made to be changed by Octavian or Augustus from 30 to 31 days.

    3. Ben
      Ben at |

      Caesar is a title, Octavian , took the name Augustus w/c means the highest. he even made August 31 days because July is 31 days.

  11. Sean O'Kane
    Sean O'Kane at |

    Shi Huagndi has to be on this list, it's not even a debate. Ramses the Great? Trajan? I think Rome deserves more then one on this list… Maybe even a Eastern Emperor such as Justinian… Where is Cyrus the Great??? I have a lot of problems with this list, Hitler was an opportunist not a great ruler. Great Rulers must have a legacy, what is his?? Odysseus?? Is there any historical evidence that he even existed?? and Joseph II? This needs a lot of work, I'm sorry… I'm a nice guy, but come one

  12. Sean Snyder
    Sean Snyder at |

    Julius Caesar and Caesar Augustus are two different people. Augustus was Caesar’s adopted son and ruled far longer and more successfully than Caesar himself.

    1. Ben
      Ben at |

      Julius laid the foundation of a relatively peaceful reign for Augustus. Julius did all the dirty works.

  13. Mike
    Mike at |

    LINCOLN???!?!? 550 thousand Americans died under his presidency! How can you even consider having him in there, let alone in first? My jaw dropped when I saw this. This list must have been comprised by Americans. I always hear how he saved the union, and no one ever asks themselves why they believe that to be such an important thing. He reintroduced powerful central governments to a country that was founded on the people choosing their destiny. Look at the individual states now, they have been stripped of all their power. That was not the intention of the founders. Small localized government with limited power. Allow the people to govern themselves. Now the united states is a giant bureaucracy with government married to corporate power. There is no accountability. Lincoln made it okay for the federal to be the sole ruler of the people and if any states disagreed, well, the civil war established what the recourse would be.

    1. Jason
      Jason at |

      Finally someone with a brain about Lincoln. His views were more in line with Democrats of today- bigger central government. We have Lincoln to thank for the start of Presidents thinking they had more power than they really do. Ron Paul in 2012!

  14. Joseph Tan
    Joseph Tan at |

    There are countless on the lists:-

    a) Darius/ Xerxes/ Cyrus the Great (Persian/ Iran)

    b) Tang Tai Tsung (Li Shi Min)/ Kang Hsi/ Xian Long/ Shi Huang Ti/ Wu Ti / Mao Tse Tung (China)

    c) Akbar/ Asoka (India)

    d) Genghis Khan/ Kublai Khan/ Ogodei/ Tamerlane (Mongol)

    e) Sulaiman/ Saladin (Ottoman/ Turkey)

    f) Harun al-Rashid (Iraq)

    g) The Inca, Mayan etc. king (Americas)

    h) Peter/ Catherine (Russia)

    i) Bismark (Prussia)

    j) Fredinard & Isabella (Spain)

    k) lists go on and on

    h) Peter/

  15. Zakir
    Zakir at |

    I think the person who made the top 10 is of US, that is the reason why we see US at no.1, i always think Hitler, Alexander Caeser and even Ghenghis Khan should be moved further upwards. They were certainly one of the greatest and gave everything for what they belived was right. I dont see the reason why US Ruler is included in the this list.

  16. Ooga Booga
    Ooga Booga at |


    Although many people on this list were heavily involved with the military; it's about Political (Civilian) ruling, not Military conquerors.

    Learn the meaning of words before you hatefully and ignorantly espouse your own non-nonsensical preferences under mistaken conditions.

    And yes, as bad as Hitler was (Stalin was much worse, read up on him) he was a better ruler post war then some of these people. Although the Jews were one of many, many reasons/excuses Hitler used in getting the German people off their depressed arses the main force was the severe economic depression caused by, among other things, the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler took his people past this, a move that was actually applauded by many other countries. There was a reason Hitler was named person of the year in 1938.

    Get off your knee jerk high horse and learn what really happened in History.

    1. ODU_Tasha
      ODU_Tasha at |

      I will definitely like to emphasized that this is a list intended to acknowledge known RULERS, Not Leaders. By definition, this list is a mixture of rulers and leaders.

      The leaders are:
      Abraham Lincoln, Odysseus, Caesar, and Joseph II.

      Some of the other mention other great leaders & rulers, but there could be a debate for days on who should be number 1 compared to number 10. The main thing is for everyone to learn the difference between a ruler and leader.

  17. Woolydridge
    Woolydridge at |

    For one thing, yes this is a list of RULERS, not GENERALS. Alexander the Great was a military leader. He was always away from home, nearly always out of touch with Greece. Yes, he did build one of the largest empires in history, but for less than a few years. It tore itself apart after his death, which was one of his greatest failings. Ne is a great ruler, but I think he is over-exagerated.

    If you include Hitler, then you will have to include FDR or Winston Churchill. Stalin, on the other hand, almost lost the entire war thanks to his delusion prior to the launch of Barbarossa, and almost lost it after it had began. It was only thanks to some measure of stupidity on the part of Hitler that he turned his Panzers south toward Kiev that Stalin and his generals stopped the fall of Moscow.

    Another thing, what about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the man who built the entire Turkish nation from scratch? History has nearly forgotten him. Cyrus the Great should also be here.

    Abraham Lincoln. Some of you seem drawn to the Emancipation Proclomation. But, yes, although that did have its limitations, you fail to say that his greatest achievement was in actually keeping the nation together, and his superior grasp on how a war should be fought by a president, namely in keeping out of his generals way. Davis could have taken some lessons from him. And was it his fault that over 600,000 Americans died? What should he have done, let the sates secede? What if he had have let the south have its independence? If the North lost that war, the results to history could have been disastrous.

    Genghis Khan is one of the greatest rulers in history. He is, however, not brutal. History has portrayed him badly. Take the destruction of Otrar, for instance. When his ambassadors were killed on the orders of the governor of the city, he demanded that the guilty men be handed over to him. But they just spat in his face. He then proceeded with his invasion of Central Asia, and destroyed the city. The city bought it on itself. This was customary of Genghis Khan. People back then should just have been nicer, and made alliances with him.

  18. John
    John at |

    What if the South would have seceded, people instantly say that that would have been a disastrous thing without logically asking themselves why? The United States was founded on secession. Human beings are not intrinsically indentured to a single idea of government and country. A group of people at anytime have the natural right to see their own path the way they see fit. It is not the right of the North, another group of Americans, to step in and force the South into adhering to what they want. It is tyrannical and authoritarian and goes against the principles that the United States was built on. Saying that it ended slavery is a weak argument to excuse the deaths of 600,000 Americans. The cost of the war could have bought every slave in the south, not to mention that slavery at that time was coming to and end around the world. It could not have existed in a viable financial and ethical manner for more than 10 or 15 more years. The civil war was about Federal power over individual states, the byproduct is the United States as we have it today.

  19. startawar
    startawar at |

    Is there a non-USA version of this site? I'd like to read a little more unbiased lists.

    1. GazGBR
      GazGBR at |

      what a load of none sense that list is, americans how can they chose a list of this subject they have no history in empires or war, lol haha haha i had to laugh alexander 7 haha that name is 1st in anyones account, usa what set of idiots

  20. lol
    lol at |

    Lol @ Lincoln


  21. slimbee
    slimbee at |

    how there could some from the US be there on this list i believe this is too obvious , lets talk about countries who had been existing for the past decades and become what they are today because of the contribution and some disasters their leaders had made to the wold i.e italy, france, england, garmany. e t c. Abraham Lincoln should not be on these list, His rule was on U S and not the world

  22. Anon
    Anon at |

    Augustus was not assassinated. You are confusing him with Julius Ceaser a common feat. Also Augustus was A ceaser not known as "ceaser", he WAS also known as Octavius and his uncle was Julius.

  23. Joseph Tan
    Joseph Tan at |

    To top all of them, I say the following:-

    i) Hugo Chavez

    ii) Fidel Castro

    iii) Lula

    iv) Barak Hussien Obama

    v) Putin

    vi) Hu Jintao

    vii) Saddam Hussien

    viii) Ayahtollah Komeini

    ix) Charles de Gaulle

    x) Atilla the Hun (he destroyed the Roman empire!!!!)

    1. jamie
      jamie at |

      No he didnt, he died after been repulsed from Italy by armies of the Eastern Roman Empire.

  24. Tom
    Tom at |

    this list is awful and biased. Lincoln is not even top 20 material. Being a president during a civil war is not great leading.

    Personally Louis, the Sun King should be first (someone mentioned him). Cause he managed to bring France back from poverty into the leading world power of his time.

    Alexander the great a great ruler? No, he was a great conqueror though. Same with Napolean who was thrown out of office and sent into exile.

    Rulers are people who managed to improve there country significantly during there time, not barely survive to live another day (lincoln). Or have it dissappear apon there death (alexander, kinda napolean)

    1. B minus
      B minus at |

      thank you i agree Lincoln is not the best ruler and there have been way better leaders than him plus this list is baised

      VIKRAM KALE at |

      Dear Sir,
      Probably the worlds greatest ruler is King Shivaji who defeted Muslim tyrants and stopped their march from India onwards and his son King Sambhaji stopped Christian crusades from India onwards, surprisgly both names are missing. Shivaji fought 98 wars winning 92 of them against Mughals,Portugese, British,Vijapur and Govalkonda. After both of them died simple people took up the arms and fought with mights of Mughls for 27 years without any king. Is there any King so inspirational?

  25. Paul
    Paul at |

    Comparing leaders spanning over thousands of years is unfair at best. In the history of the world, neither Washington nor Lincoln deserve any recognition compared to some of these other names.

    1. Ben
      Ben at |

      Washington and Lincoln has the records for deserving recognition, where are the documentary records or infrastructures for proof for Shivaji, etc.?

  26. Unanimous
    Unanimous at |

    dude,Hitler killed millions of innocent jews.

    1. B minus
      B minus at |

      Ok so did every other rulers Hitler was not the first person to use concentration camps in fact the British were the first ones. Hitler took the idea from Britian.

      1. Dave Nielsen
        Dave Nielsen at |

        The British didn’t invent the concentration camp. It was first used by the Spanish in Cuba dring the Ten Years War – 1868-1878 (the first British use was during the Second Boer War (1899-1902).

        1. jamie
          jamie at |

          Plus the first Reich used them in Namibia and the American’s just before the British in the Phillipine-American war.

  27. Roman
    Roman at |

    I'm American and I still believe that no American leader can be named in the top 10 of best rulers of all time. First of all, no American President can truly be called a ruler. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines ruler as "1 : one that rules; specifically : sovereign." No American President has ever been sovereign, they are kept in check by the legislative and judicial branches. The best case you could make for an American President would be George Washington who essentially had free rein during the American Revolution (with limited oversight by the Continental Congress) and was basically offered the kingship of the United States but refused OR Franklin Delano Roosevelt who was elected to four terms as President, spanning nearly 13 years until his death and who saw America through the Great Depression and WWII. Lincoln isn't even top 2 for the USA, let alone best ruler of all time.

    In my opinion Charlemagne should be #1 hands down. He wasn't the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, that title belongs to Otto I, but he was nevertheless crowned Emperor by Pope Leo III of the Empire that would become the HRE. He helped to unite an Empire that encompassed all of Western Europe minus Spain and England. He never, I repeat NEVER, lost a battle of conquest and is to this day considered one of the greatest military leaders of all time. Also, people above who mentioned a great ruler needs a legacy: Charlemagne's legacy is the HRE which lasted nearly 1000 years! A whole millennium! He is also considered the greatest ruler/leader of the Dark Ages, one of the most difficult periods of rule in all of history.

    Also, it has been mentioned several times above, but the fact that Hitler is even on this list is a joke. He took advantage of a desperate and downtrodden people during the Great Depression and he can't be fully credited with the revival of Germany other than the fact that he was the charismatic figurehead. He was smart enough to surround himself with brilliant people but other than that was not a very effective permanent dictator. Not to mention the fact that he was a terrible military leader. He constantly undermined his generals and Germany's war efforts with delusions of grandeur. He was also a drug addict (amphetamines) after only 12 years as dictator left his country in ruins, was responsible directly or indirectly for nearly 60 million deaths worldwide (I say indirectly because even though Stalin was responsible for probably about a third of that 60 million, Stalin's purges and the widespread death in Russia might have never happened had Hitler not started WWII). Lastly, the Holocaust speaks for itself, Hitler was a murdering warmonger, not a great ruler.

    I would welcome some challenges to my opinions, I enjoy the discourse and know what I'm talking about. I was a history major with a specialization in military/diplomatic/political history and my senior topics class was on Nazi Germany.

    1. amazed
      amazed at |

      I retract my comment about Hitler. You make a very valid point. I agree with everything else. With respect to legacy, even though Alexander the Great may have had a short reign and his empire didn’t last beyond his death he certainly had a profound impact on the ancient world in addition to the modern world. In addition, the way he incorporated his newly acquired regions into his empire was actually ingenious for the time. Even if the Greeks were unhappy about it. Had he lived longer we may have seen his empire solidified. That may be the only thing preventing him from achieving that coveted number one seat.

      Then we have to ask what makes a ruler great? What should be considered? Certainly the ability to lead (which is why we often consider great military commanders), but what else? Lasting national stability both economically and socially seems to make sense. Outstanding achievement like unifying their peoples into a contiguous nation also seems to make sense. Like Genghis Kahn uniting the tribes. So we should be asking what makes a ruler great. Only then can we decide if those rulers throughout history fulfill those requirements. Perhaps rate them on how many and masterfully they achieved each requirement and then the ruler with the highest rating would be number and so on. For example, Alexander the Great would certainly get a high rating for military conquest/command but may not get the greatest rating in legacy because his empire didn’t last beyond his life.

    2. Ben
      Ben at |

      I disagree that you are limiting the field by relying on the world ruler and sovereign. It is logical that the choice is from ancient to modern or all kinds of government are included. As a ruler warrior we have Alexander the Great, Hannibal Barca, Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, which are greater than George Washington. For president, we have Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt (both Aquarians). Hitler cannot be great because of what he did to the Jews.

  28. LOL America
    LOL America at |

    @roman Hitler should deserve higher on the lost but not by much you are very right about him undermining his generals but never the less he took countries without even firing a shot but also started to completely lose it at the end I think you are very right but Hitler was brilliant in some cases but maybe needs to be higher up or on a different list in general.

    1. Ben
      Ben at |

      Hitler took countries in Europe running rough shod by his lightning war or Blitzkrieg.

  29. Groovy
    Groovy at |

    America is too young to have had the #1 .

  30. maple
    maple at |

    I would like to add my support for the Mayan rules

    The Mayan empire is easily on par with the Roman empire and should be represented as such (Caesar is on the list (whether or not he should be is not my point) the Mayan empire should be also represented)

    Also Odysseus should not really be on this list, though I don't know whether or not he was a great leader (or if he even existed) he's greatest contribution to the world is as a character in the literary master piece.

    I agree that the US should have no one on this list, people from the US(or anywhere else) who write about the whole world (or all time) should / must be less biased. The US is no longer the superpower is was (or maybe ever was), get over your selves.

    also I agree that Catherine the great of Russia would also be a good choice (maybe not top 10 but better than some of the people n this list)

    1. Cedar
      Cedar at |

      Don’t accuse all Americans of being ignorant because of one website. I was also shocked that Abraham Lincoln was on the list but it’s no reason to complain. America is still the world’s sole superpower with the largest economy and military. It has vast control over global affairs and if you consider America an empire, it would be the 11th largest in history.
      P.S. The Mayan Civilization is not on par with Rome

      1. Ben
        Ben at |

        I think you should read on the history of Abraham Lincoln, his biography. From a log cabin, he self-studied law, reading law books then applied for the BAR and thus became a lawyer, how he handle cases and known as a honest lawyer and not a liar. How he worked on the railroad tracks laying rails, how he run for political office, that virtually he helped established the Republican Party, becomes it’s presidential candidate and won the presidency, how he carried out and won the Civil War despite his preliminary defeats in the early goings. If Gen. Lee was on his side, the war would not have dragged on.

  31. henry kelly
    henry kelly at |





    5. HITLER

    6. STALIN





    1. Unison Voice
      Unison Voice at |

      Ashoka the great should be on the #1 spot.
      He was everything a fierce commander, just King and a peace loving man in his later years.

      1. Educated Kid
        Educated Kid at |

        1 SALADIN for being the only person in history who united the moslems + he beat the european crusaders.
        2 Ceaser
        3 Peter the Great of Russia
        I am american and no american should be on this list, and if any it should be Theodore Rosevelt

        Many people are saying the best MILITARY leaders. i think Alexandr Suvorov would be 1st on that. He lost 0 out of 68 battles.
        btw i am not spelling Alexandr wrong thats how his name is spelled.
        4.Genghis Khan: he had the physically largest empire in history
        5 posibly ashoka
        If u are going to put hitler on the list, you should inclued the guy who annilated his empire. JOSEF STALIN UP IN HERE HAHAHA!!!!
        no offence fellow americans but the Soviets did all of the work in WWII….
        6. maybe Napoleon.

        1. Educated Kid
          Educated Kid at |

          Srry i forgot Mansa Musa, cyrus the great, and, this will spark controversy Hideki Tojo. he carved a powerful empire of egg rolls and rice patties. gotta give him credit 4 that.

          dont get me wrong old abe was a good ruler but he might barely be in the top 250 REFORMERS. maybe top 11,000 rulers.
          Reznov 4 President.

    2. Adityaraje bhosale
      Adityaraje bhosale at |

      1) shivaji maharaj
      2) nepolian
      3) alexander
      4) samrat ashoka
      5)ghengise khan
      6)…. Then add u know according 2 thr history

      1. zoro
        zoro at |

        are you kiddin shivaji maharaj at first??? he was one of the gr8est ambushers but NO. 1 rulers in the history…..by the way jai Maharashtra

  32. Wade
    Wade at |

    Why is Abraham Lincoln so immortalized? Here's a brief list of what Lincoln did:

    -Suspended habeus corpus for the entire duration of his presidency.

    -Jailed several thousands Americans for voting Democrat and several others for using their freedom of speech, a right guaranteed by the First Amendment.

    -Jailed several Democratic politicians for being elected.

    -Suspended the freedom of the press, a right guaranteed by the First Amendment.

    -Was responsible for the deaths of over 600,000 Americans that could have easily been averted by simply letting the South secede.

    Apparently, a tyrant makes a good ruler these days.

    1. Ben
      Ben at |

      What Lincoln did is necessary in a state of war. He imposed martial law so some rights are to be suspended. As a lawyer, he knows if he is violating the laws, he knows what he is doing. Letting the South secede is violation of the Constitution (preservation of the Union). He is not authorize to grant seccession and it will be treason. Even Congress would not commit such an act.

      Julius Caesar was called a tyrant and was assassinated, Napoleon was also called tyrant and dictator. Napoleon was not a great strategist because in order to engage the enemy separated by a large man-made canal or trench he would let the cavalry charge and when the horses and riders felled by muskets filled up the canal his soldiers would be able to cross and fight the enemy.

  33. Tom
    Tom at |

    Ok, first of all Hitler was a sociopath political savant, he shouldn't be on the list by virtue of his banishment from all recorded history for unspeakable atrocity.

    Second, Caesar was not the first Emperor of Holy Roman empire, his assassination paved the way for Octavian, who was called "Augustus" and HE was the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Caesar was called "Gaius Julius Caesar"

    You completely forgot about Winston Churchill, Augustus for that matter as well as many many others. weak.

    1. Roman
      Roman at |

      Ok, Tom you are obviously not a historical savant, but you may very well be a sociopath. You shouldn't comment on this list by virtue of the banishment of all historical fact from your recorded memory.

      1. True, Hitler was a sociopath and what some would call a political savant but he was not banished from all recorded history for unspeakable atrocity, nor should be ever be. "To be ignorant of the past, is to be doomed to repeat it."

      2. Neither Caesar nor Augustus were ever emperors of the Holy Roman Empire because it didn't exist until nearly 8 Centuries after their deaths. The Roman Empire (ie. Caesar, legions, Rome, Jupiter, etc.) and the Holy Roman Empire (ie. Charlemagne, Popes, Dark Ages, Jesus) are two very different things. Look it up please and maybe you'll never make this historical faux-pas ever again…

      1. Josean
        Josean at |

        Thank u roman, Roman Empire and Holy Roman Empire are two different things

  34. Quay
    Quay at |

    Abraham Lincoln!? please!!! he was a tyrant and caused the civil war. he did nothing for slavery really, only inadvernately… also Alexander the Great actually went to a town and didn't kill someone? fromm all accounts i heard, he caused bloodshed every and anywhere he went

  35. Jimmy
    Jimmy at |

    Why is Abraham Lincoln is at First?

    I think there should be Queen Elizabeth I.

  36. feadsa
    feadsa at |

    YOU DIDN'T INCLUDE CYRUS THE GREAT! Alexander was just a conquerer, so was Napolean and Genghis Khan. Odysseus was just a character of Homer's literature. You seriously need to review this list.

  37. West>east
    West>east at |

    lol Alexander WAS a brillliant military mind…BUt he wasn't a good ruler come on!!!

    just a mentally ill would say he was a good ruler, he abandoned his country, he embraced other cultures, rejecting his own…and after all when he was dying he was asked to whom he would give the empire, he said "to the strongest"…..he forgot all his lessons with aristotle…

    Odysseus…come on..we dont even fuckin know if he existed..and he abandoned his country for so many years…thats not a ruler feat…i mean lame history knowledge…

    this list is obviously made by someone with little knowledge…

    anyways to be a good ruler..first u need to be organized…quality that some of them lacks…

    hitler have it….so i wont say anything t him….caesar didnt even ruled the empire..the majority of his consulate he was in a campaign outside town….

    second u need to be in the country capital….

    grade of success in coups, revolution breaking etc…

    the laws, taxes, social acceptance etc is important

    is very very complex people this is not a light list

  38. Bill Hailey
    Bill Hailey at |

    Some of these people deserve to be on this list and others do not, however this is one man's opinion but of course the greatest King of all is mentioned but once in these comments(not even as the greatest King).

  39. Brond
    Brond at |

    lol lol lol lol lol
    you are really very fun!!!!
    every historian know that world most powerfull and mighty Empire was persian and its leader & founder Cyrus The Great was world most powrefull king and ruler…
    Cyrus the Great (ca.600 – 529 BCE) was a towering figure in the history of mankind
    undoubted world best and greatest ruler and leader was Cyrus The Great
    plz plz plz revise list and make it authoritative!!!

  40. ameer
    ameer at |

    Why we cant find Cyrus the great name here ?
    He was the king of the four corners of the world ! he should be the top 1

  41. Eric
    Eric at |

    First of all the bust shown of Augustus is actually a bust of Julius Caesar. Two different people. Augustus wasn’t assassinated in AD 14 either. He died of old age – he was 76. Julius Caesar was assasinated decades before that.

    Second – what is the criteria for this, different rulers were great for different reasons. Also. Abraham Lincoln is an ELECTED president. Presidents dont count as “rulers”. Besides, Lincoln was a great president for holding the union together and freeing slaves, but he is far from the greatest ruler of all time.

    You have to be more specific on these things. Here’s how a list like this should look:

    Greatest Conquerer – Alexander the Great (hand’s down – no contest. People can argue Ghengis Khan if they want, but frankly his accomplishments don’t come close to Alexander’s. Khan ran around with a bunch of bandits terrorizing people into submission. And it took several generations of Khans to accumulate thier entire empire. Alexander smashed the known world when he was still in his twenties, and did it in less than a decade. When Alexander defeated the mighty Persians his army was 10 to 20 times smaller than the Persians. He fought dozens of battles and never lost. He was brilliant at tactical manuevers and battlefield assessment. Could have done far more and was planning to, but tragically he died too soon, and no one was strong enough to hold it all together but him. He changed the world forever. If it wasn’t for him, Rome probably never would have existed.)

    Greatest Politician – Caesar Augustus (Augustus could have been killed as a youth soon after his great-uncle/adoptive father Julius Caesar was brutaly stabbed. But he masterfully played his cards for almost two decades – walking a fine line between keeping the senate happy, making promises to his loyal soldiers, using the name Caesar to bolster his love from the people, and battling off Mark Antony and Cleopatra. All this before he was emperor. Then, when he was finally on top, he played a masterful game of pretending that he did not want to rule Rome – even acting as if he would retire. Yet for 45 years he slowly acquired more and more titles until ultimately he was emperor and “father of his country”. He ruled for 45 years and set the bar for every emperor to come. Definitely brought peace and prosperity to Rome and left it better than when he found it.)

    Greatest Propagandist – Adolf Hitler (Hitler convinced an entire MODERN and CIVILIZED nation to become a bunch of Jew-hating, cold-blooded monsters; and to go to war against the rest of the western world. No one in modern times has been able to convince so many people to go along with such an outrageous and crazy ideology, and follow it lock-step until their country lie in ruins. He may have been a bad guy, but he was one of the most powerful men of all time.)

    Most Absolute Power – Ramesses II “the great” (Pharoah of Egypt during the New Kingdom, when Egypt was at its greatest glory. Ramesses II ruled for 67 years and is rumored to have sired more than 100 children from his many mistresses and queens. As Pharoah, you aren’t just a king – you are a living God and a decendant of the sun God Ra. When you are a God no one dares to question your absolute authority. You have complete power of your kingdom. Your subjects worship you and kneel before you because they arent allowed to look at you. You know you are powerful when people build the largest structures ever created just to hold your dead body: the pyramids)

    Most Extreme Wealth – Sulieman “the magnificent” (this islamic ruler of the ottoman empire is the reason why we have the image of the wealthly Sultans in the middle-east who lived lavish lifestyles. He conquered new territories and expanded the ottoman empire to its glory. Each new territory made him richer and richer. Right in the middle of the east-west trade routes the ottoman empire was the economic powerhouse of the 14th and 15th centuries. If you can imagine how rich Louis XIV was when he built Versailles, Sulieman was over 10 times as rich 200 years before Louis. It is said that Sulieman never wore the same clothes twice, ate of fgold plates and utensils that were lined with jewels, had one of the most lavish palaces of all time, and had a harem of over 300 women. He also spent lavishly on his empire building huge temples and other buildings.

    1. bob
      bob at |

      sorry your wrong about alexander being the greatest conqueror genghis khans empire was 4 times the size of alexanders and twice the size of romes empire and genghis struggled he 1st had to unite the mongols as one then go conquer and genghis khan conquered advaced civilized countries with his tribes he smashed china and at that time china was the most advanced technilogical country on earth and every other nation that never surrended to him he smashed as well and he was always outnumbered in battle and he never lost a battle well alexander inherited his power from his father and it was his fathers plan to conquer persia not his and he was outnumbered 5 to 1 against the persians not 10 to 20 and genghis smashed persia way worser then alexander he was a great millitary stratigest probably him and genghis are the greatest millitary stratigest of all tme but as conquerors genghis is on another level

      1. Jedi King
        Jedi King at |

        I agree with everything you just said and Genghis Khan to me ranks number #1 CLEARLY NO DEBATING!!!

  42. Emanon
    Emanon at |

    Um, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t apply to ALL slaves in the US. In fact, very few, if any, slaves were actually freed by it. He wasn’t a bad President, but he’s nowhere close to being the best.

  43. Patrick
    Patrick at |

    Abraham Lincoln, really? He doesn’t even top the list of US presidents (Washington), let alone histories leaders. Way to cave to a pop culture sentiment.

  44. tim
    tim at |

    how bout joseph stalin? certainly a tyrant but a dominating leader nontheless

  45. Weelet
    Weelet at |

    It was goign so well until … bahahaha. Clearly you’re American. Lincoln was most likely the greatest American ruler ever but I’m afriad throughout history he isn’t even close. Alexander and Napoleon are far, far above him

    1. Sandy INDIAN
      Sandy INDIAN at |

      do you know about Chandra Gupta Maurya?
      he was the king of INDIA when Alexander came to INDIA
      and Alexander had no courage to defeat him
      and he decided to go back to Macedonia.
      now you decide who is great ????????????

      1. Stupid INDIAN
        Stupid INDIAN at |

        You obviously know very little about history. Chandragupta didn’t found the Maurya empire until 321 BC, two years after Alexander’s death. The Nanda Empire ruled India then. Alexander wan’t to conquer them but his troops were exhausted which forced him to go home. In fact, it’s reported that they met in 1926 when Chandragupta was fourteen.

  46. shayan
    shayan at |

    Where is Cyrus The Great ????
    this list is so funny !!!

  47. Alan
    Alan at |

    Always interesting to read opinions. I just knew that the top result was going to be someone like Lincoln. After all, he is an American (Although I wonder what people from Mexico and Canada think of a country that feels it’s the “ONLY” people from America… i.e.; North America). Nether the less; being the centre of the universe, I guess it’s an ok pick. Plus, I would never suggest that someone that actually took a country filled with corruption, organized crime, a puppet of the country just to the north of it, and with a few men, took over a country. That they defeated a huge powerful country’s wished that up until then had its way with deciding who “They” wanted to lead different countries in the area. A leader that has one of the highest rated forms of medical care, education, low crime, and although I don’t agree, has had the same leader for over 40 years… AND, when there, the people actually don’t feel entrapped as some countries like to report. But then again; I liked Cuba. Plus, it isn’t me that when there has the quote as follows: “What’s the best thing about Cuba?…… No damm Americans!”

  48. Alan
    Alan at |

    Julius Caesar, not Augustus, was assassinated in 44 B.C. Augustus ruled from 27 B.C. until his death in 14 A.D. He died of natural causes.

  49. Joe Blabbah
    Joe Blabbah at |

    Very good list. Despite the website saying TOP 10 rulers, here is top 15: They aren’t ranked by Best to worst, because they are all good in their own special ways.

    1. Asoka the Great

    2. Charlemagne

    3. Caesar Augustus

    4. Abraham Lincoln

    5. Kublai Khan

    6. Genghis Khan

    7. Cyrus the Great

    8. Shaka Zulu

    9. Suleiman

    10. Darius

    11. Mansa Musa

    12. Sitting Bull

    13. Joseph the II

    14. Hammurabi

    15. Gandhi

    1. Benjamin Gerodias
      Benjamin Gerodias at |

      I think it is more practical if we get the Top 5 Rulers in Ancient and Top 5 Rulers in Modern History.
      The Top 5 Rulers in Ancient History are warrior kings and truly descriptive of the title while the Modern Top 5 are aptly called Top 5 Leaders of Modern History. As leaders they are more evaluated not by their personal fighting skill or prowess but by their management and handling of the country’s affair in time peace and in time of war and crises, guiding the country through thick and thin and a legacy after them or to future generations.

  50. Joe
    Joe at |

    8. Caesar?
    You are thinking of Augustus! He was a caesar. But so was a bunch of them, for that was a title for Roman emperors. If you’re thinking Caesar (capital C), then you have to talk about Julius Caesar, who was killed in 44 BC. His reign lasted only 5 year (from 49BC-44BC). He wasn’t a great ruler, but was a great general (undefeated troughout his military service).

  51. hakeem
    hakeem at |

    and where are the great muslim leaders such as Saladin. The whole europe could not beat him for Jerusalem and even his enemies praised him.
    and please remove the american leaders especially washington. He is hardly even known outside america.
    Prophet Muhammad should be inlcuded. He is believed by 1.5 billion muslims to be greatest leader. See Michael Hart’s, “100 most inflentual people..’
    Cyrus should be included. The Quran mentions him as just and great leader

    1. Jason
      Jason at |

      The non-prophet muhammad was not a great military leader of any sorts and he was only able to control people through religion. Personally the guy was a child abussing- wife whoreing-murderer. Saladin would be a good choice on this list, but come on. It is a top 10 list-not a top 1000 list. Lincoln should not be here.

      1. Mohamed Mohamed
        Mohamed Mohamed at |

        My list is more comprehensive then tis crap:
        1. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
        2. khalid ibn Walid
        3.Alexander the great
        4. Ghengis Khan
        5. Hitler
        6. Julius Ceaser
        7. The guy who built the Great wall of China
        8. Ghandi
        9. Omar bin Khattab
        10.Mansa Musa

        1. jk
          jk at |

          please dont show regional or religion feeling
          the question is who is the top 10 rulers….

    2. affer
      affer at |

      Mohammed had very little power, in fact his family was killed immediately after his death. He was completely dependent on his military rulers who did NOT listen to him and did whatever promised the biggest booty. Besides that fact that he married a 9 year old girl against the rules he set himself, so by his own standards he was a pedophile. LOL He also was not the most tolerant person either so as a leader I would say no, the islamic empire was created by others who used his ideology when he was long dead.

      1. Caleb Hobden
        Caleb Hobden at |


        Saladin shouldn’t even touch this list and maybe not even the top 100. Despite common perceptions about his skill as a commander he in fact was not even the best commander of the third crusade. Probably his most notorious victory at the horns of hattin was a result of a bad tactical move by the crusader army and not a tactical move of saladin. Richard te lionheart was by far a much better commander the times I’m which he meat Saladin in battle despite being outnumbered he one. If it hadn’t been for trouble at home their is a good chance that he would have captured Jerusalem. Even though he didnt his victories forced Saladin to sign a treaty. I would also have to disagree with putting the prophet muhammad on the list because it’s his teachings that are followed and much of his success happend after his death.


  52. Moses
    Moses at |

    No wonder some great leaders are missing..
    Leaders like.
    1) Obama
    2) George
    3) Clinton.
    4) M J (Michael Jordon / Michael Jackson)
    & the list goes on & on……. Till every tom dick & harry Amrican is listed in this list…
    I m sure this list will be Published by a proud amrican..

    Is Linkon ever discussed outside.. u s of A .

    Hey guys, havent you’ll heard of Leaders like
    )Ghandhi ji
    )Hitler (people still talk of him accross the world & he is there at 10 spot)
    )Fidel Castro

    Some of these leaders have changed the course of the world & not just of one country.

    1. Jason
      Jason at |

      Are you kidding me? Castro? He did nothing worthy of anything but tearing down a successful country. As for the American thing everyone on here makes it sound like there were 8 out of the top 10 leaders when in fact 1 (one), uno, ein, American was even listed and Lincoln held together a country that soon became the pride of the modern world so I would say that was a pretty big feat even if he isn’t even mentioned outside America.

    2. Josean
      Josean at |

      Ghandi was not a ruler, he was a pacifist. He never ruled India, just helped India become independent

      1. Sandy INDIAN
        Sandy INDIAN at |

        Gandhi was not a ruler but my friend ‘Chandra Gupta Maurya’ was a great ruler who ends up Alexander’s era and Macedonian era from great INDIA.
        do you know about him hummmm….

  53. bob
    bob at |

    this list is wrong Genghis Khan,Alexander,and Julius Caesar should be at the top of the list

  54. Ricard
    Ricard at |

    Who ever made this list isn’t exactly what you’d call a student of history.

    How is it that Sultan Suleyman is not on this list? Where is king Soloman? Men like Abraham Lincoln although being comtemporary leaders are not even close in relative terms as far as power and influence.

    Alexander as well should be much higher than 7th.

    1. bill Jackson
      bill Jackson at |

      Achaeology doesn’t jibe with the Biblical description of Solomon. He appears to lived in an era of warlords, and to have been credited with events of later times.
      Biblical literalists will take exception to that, but the Old Testament is not a valid historical document.

  55. onlysaneman
    onlysaneman at |

    hey guys..this is pointless….these people can not be compared..everyone had to face different challenges…everyone did great things in their own respects..everybody belonged to diff social and cultural sector…so comparisons are futile…there are many great people missing
    P:S:- my only humble request is that some Americans should stop thinking that everything great in the world should be American..same goes for many other partial bigots….please get a life

    1. Joseph Tan
      Joseph Tan at |


  56. xerxes
    xerxes at |

    this list is funny.when you don’t know anything about history don’t make such a funny list
    Xerxes the great and Cyrus the great should be on top

  57. anthesis
    anthesis at |

    TOP TEN:

    Agree, Cyrus the Great.

    Genghis Khan

    Ivan the Terrible

    Constantine I

    Alexander the Great

    Gaius Julius Caesar

    Constanine I


    Emperor Qin Shihuang



    Frederick Barbarossa

    Darius I

    Ramses II


    OH YEA,

    William the Conqueror



    – Benjamin Franklin

  58. anthesis
    anthesis at |


    Greatest Propagandist – Adolf Hitler / NO / crappy artist, yes.


    sick dwarf

  59. Josean
    Josean at |

    In my opinion:

    1- Charlemagne
    2-Cyrus the Great
    4-Ghengis Khan
    5-Alexander The Great
    7-Elizabeth 1
    8-King David
    10-Louis XIV

    Rulers in antiquity had far more power, riches and influence than any ruler in the last 300 years

    1. Nuraly
      Nuraly at |

      You forgot Napoleon

    2. Sasa
      Sasa at |

      Your idea of power, riches, and influence is wrong. Leaders of antiquity are SAID to have had more, however this is a great exaggeration. For instance, the United States developed the Atomic Bomb and deployed 2 in 1945. I am from the United States and I don’t care what you say about “Americans only thinking about America”, when the United States dropped those two bombs, there was no other nation that had achieved that sort of power in the history of humanity. No other weapon was as destructive or powerful, and the United States was the only nation with this weapon until 1948.

      Also, riches? I bet any of the nations on the Security Council in the UN has more money than any “rulers in antiquity”.

      I respect your opinion, but I beg you to take a modern perspective.

  60. Karlee
    Karlee at |

    Ghandi? I know he wasn’t a ruler, but he was a political leader!

  61. sajan
    sajan at |

    we are talking about great rulers. But i don’t know why name of george washington,abraham lincoln, gandhi are on the list..

    1. Sasa
      Sasa at |

      ghandi and GW aren’t on the list.

  62. muqeet
    muqeet at |

    this is incomplete if umar is not added

  63. affer
    affer at |

    Caesar was not an emperor and he did not go by the name Augustus. You meant his nephew.

    Putting Lincoln as a great leader must be a joke, guy destroyed a country because he was unwilling to allow democratic states to secede, slavery was just an excuse. His war dragged on for 3 years even though he had military supremacy from the very beginning and he was killed immediately afterwards, what were his successes???? If one should be credited then I would’ve said Sherman who destroyed the Southern will to fight with barely losing a single soldier.

    Hope American schools are not a faiult for this lousy list.

    1. Sasa
      Sasa at |

      Firstly, I’d like to applaud your knowledge of American History..I don’t believe I have met anyone outside the U.S that would know Sherman.

      Secondly, I agree, Lincoln should not be #1. He isn’t even the greatest President (George Washington, FDR, and possibly Theodore Roosevelt outdo him).

      Thirdly, he did not destroy a country..the southern didn’t appeal to Lincoln and ask to secede. They just seceded. Yes, slavery may have been an excuse, but the seceding of the states was not seen as a separation into two countries, but a division of the Union. Lincoln was not alone in that regard. Yes, it is seen as “northern aggression”, but that does not take away from the fact that he freed the slaves in the south (I don’t want to hear about “he only did it in several states”–no. Slavery was already illegal in the north (Missouri Compromise), it would have been pointless. Plus, he supported the 13th amendment, which had no military agenda.)

      Saying that he had military superiority is also false. First off, Lincoln is not in direct control of all his campaigns. Yes, the president is the Commander-in-Chief, but that is for much more broad strategy. For instance, President Obama could say “I want to conquer Canada” (ignore the fact that this would need to pass through congress, for the sake of my argument) and his military commanders do the specific tactical planning. So, Lincoln was not in immediate control of his troops–he left that to his Generals. Now, that is something he was very successful in–he fired General McClellan after his incompetence cost the guaranteed destruction of Confederate General Lee’s army. He hired Ulysses S. Grant in 1864, who closed out the war (I would call that a success)

      Also, I don’t really know how you blame his death on himself…I mean, he was shot in the head and survived for 4 hours, but he had a progressive agenda.

  64. vikram
    vikram at |

    The timeless ruler of the world should be Emperor ‘ASHOKA’ true to the ideal of power, peace and

    being a excellent administrator, probably the first ruler to ban slavery, respecting all religions, and the

    first ruler to promote environmental protection by banning deforestation, hunting etc. and he was so

    great that the Republic of INDIA has adopted his symbols as it national emblems.

    1. Sandy INDIAN
      Sandy INDIAN at |

      its true
      many names are missing in this list like Ashoka the great, Chandragupta Maurya, Prithviraj Chauhan and many more

    2. vin
      vin at |

      Agree Ashoka must be at first

  65. faisal
    faisal at |

    the Name of Hazrat Umer mis place in this List,,,,
    he was King of Kings and leader of leaders.
    read the History again then rank it again,,

    1. Salman
      Salman at |

      You are 100% correct. This is quite a bias ranking.

  66. Rock Kitaro
    Rock Kitaro at |

    I think the thing we have to remember here…is that it’s just a list someone made up. Debating it is one thing, but actually getting sensitive and taking to heart is another thing. If you think (whoever) deserves or doesn’t deserve to be on this list. Cool beans.

  67. Siavash
    Siavash at |

    Man is a fascinating creature & has fascinating manners. Specially, i’m talking about his ability to lie, even to himself. We can erase great names (like Cyrus the Great & Darius the Great; the Achaemenid Persian empire) in our small brains, but not from the true history. I’m wondering how [Queen Elizabeth I] or [Joseph II] can be among top 10 rulers in history !!! but Cyrus the great or Darius can’t be…
    We’ll all die, but true History remains alive. Don’t forget that.

  68. Buran
    Buran at |

    As I noticed here most ppl knows history from the Civilization game or from movies.
    Also some words to site admin/s; You have a good site but your history part really needs more attention. History must be taken serious and you must be aware of mislisting and miswriting. Before making a most 10’s list you’d better check at least Congress archieves or Times archieves. Anyways thanks for efforts…

  69. Nuraly
    Nuraly at |

    WTF, Gengis Khan conquered half of the world and created the strongest military power the world had ever seen. Hitler made Germany into a No1 country in the world and they make Lincoln the best leader, for winning civil war.

  70. Josh
    Josh at |

    Wt a,?????????? Gengis khan is unique!!!!!!Lincoln??WTF???????? Alexander,Elizabeth,caesar ….and hitler!!!!! All of them unique!!!!!!
    1. Chinggis khan
    2. Great Alexander
    3. Caesar
    4. Napoleon
    5. Khubilai khan
    6. Elizabeth 1
    7. Hitler
    8. Cyrus the great
    9. George Washington
    10. Ghandi It must be correct!!! Khubilai was grandson of Chinggis khan!!!so, Chinggis khan must be leader!!! Maybe 11. Bat khan,who was grandson of Chinggis khan,too and founder of Russian great future!!!

    1. Sandy INDIAN
      Sandy INDIAN at |

      where are the names of Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka The Great, Prithvi Raj Chauhan……….
      and many more

      this list is worthless

    2. Cici
      Cici at |

      Finally somebody mentioned Cyrus The Great!

  71. mirac
    mirac at |

    where is Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in this list?

  72. Edman91
    Edman91 at |

    Abraham Lincoln doesnt need to be so Idealized if the more people took the time to learn about him they would see he was not a good Leader.Gandhi,Winston Churchill,FDR,Peter the Great, and Otto von Bismarck diserve to be on this list more then Lincoln.

  73. Kriti
    Kriti at |

    Just study about chandragupta maurya the great and what he achieved in his lifetime and his sacrifices , then you will realise the above names stand nowhere in front of great emperor chandragupta maurya .

    1. Sandy INDIAN
      Sandy INDIAN at |


  74. bill Jackson
    bill Jackson at |

    Highly Eurocentric. The world is bigger than what our western schoolbooks focused on.

    Hitler had amazing leadership ability but his reign was an utter failure.

    Augustus Caesar was a great emperor by external standards but his overspending weakend Rome by forcing his successors into questionable means of raising funds. He did more harm to the empire than good.

    Alexander was a great warrrior but a lousy emperor. His empire collapsed after his death because he hadn’t established any stable system of governance.

    Odysseus wasn’t an emperor at all. He was a warlord. And although the legend doubtless represents an actual person, his exploits are myth. There’s no actual historical data on him.

  75. lincoln suck
    lincoln suck at |

    You say america has no empire every almost every european country has a united states airforce base of any intrest america just would appear like a bunch of aliens to invade europe a place of so much history btw ronald regan 10# led to econmic gains and jumped all over russia to finally help end the cold war by never surrendering and let the russian goverment dissovled soon after his term. we have an empire more vast than ever because only the mental mess with us, but unfornate only socialist lead. 1 has to be napoleon or alexander, lead to most gains in enlightment and were were a miltary force almost unstopable, took 6 colations to stop napoleon.
    LIst of Usa airforce bases of use by united states, the united states empire is friggin huge mate
    Bagram Airfield
    Shindand Airbase
    Kandahar International Airport
    Woomera Air Station
    Main article: Bulgarian-American Joint Military Facilities
    Bezmer Air Base
    Graf Ignatievo Air Base
    (NATO) Air Base Geilenkirchen, Geilenkirchen
    Ramstein Air Base
    Spangdahlem Air Base
    Thule Air Base
    Andersen Air Force Base
    Aviano Air Base
    Sigonella Naval Air Station
    Camp Darby (Pisa-Livorno)
    Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Prefecture
    Misawa Air Base, Misawa, Aomori
    Yokota Air Base, Tokyo
    Al Udeid Air Base
    Saudi Arabia[2]
    See also: United States withdrawal from Saudi Arabia
    Eskan Village Air Base
    Paya Lebar Air Base
    South Korea
    Kunsan Air Base
    Osan Air Base
    Transit Center at Manas
    Joint Force Command Brunssum
    Lajes Field, Azores
    Morón Air Base, Andalusia
    Morón de la Frontera, Andalusia
    Incirlik Air Base
    United Kingdom (tenant facilities only)
    RAF Lakenheath, Brandon, Suffolk
    RAF Menwith Hill, Yorkshire Dales
    RAF Mildenhall, Mildenhall
    RAF Croughton, Upper Heyford
    RAF Alconbury, Cambridgeshire

    1. magic carpet
      magic carpet at |

      having bases somewhere does not make it a colony or part of an empire also even if these bases formed and empire it would not compare to the size of most historic empires. Also your claim about Reagan is idiotic as he was only stubborn and he nearly forced the Russians away from the negotiating table in fact if it wasn’t for Gorbachev we would still be in the cold war. Also I’m sure your planes based in Europe wouldn’t be captured immediately at the start of a war.

  76. Sandy INDIAN
    Sandy INDIAN at |

    dear friends,
    i think you only study about the rulers of your country only.
    some of the names of the greatest rulers are missing here.
    is there anyone who knows about ‘ Chandragupt Maurya, Prithvi Raj Chauhan,
    Samundra Gupt, Vikramaditya, Ashoka The Great, Harshwardhan
    Maharana Pratap, Chatrapati Shivagi
    if anyone of them try to defeat the whole world
    the whole world would be in there feet .

    So if u don’t know them, then first of all know them
    after that u can decide who was the greatest

    So the original list would be:-

    1. Chandragupta Maura, (304–232 BC)

    who defeated Alexander’s army and ends the history of Alexander
    “ “Megasthenes was in the camp of Sandrocottus, which consisted of 400,000 men” ”

    —Strabo, Geographica, 15.1.53

    On the other hand, Pliny, who also drew from Megasthenes’ work, gives even larger numbers of 600,000 infantry, 30,000 cavalry, and 9,000 war elephants:
    “ “But the Prasii surpass in power and glory every other people, not only in this quarter, but one may say in all India, their capital Palibothra, a very large and wealthy city, after which some call the people itself the Palibothri,–nay even the whole tract along the Ganges. Their king has in his pay a standing army of 600,000-foot-soldiers, 30,000 cavalry, and 9,000 elephants: whence may be formed some conjecture as to the vastness of his resources.” ”

    —Pliny, Natural History VI, 22.4

    2. Prithviraj Chauhan (1149-1192 CE),

    who defeated Muhammad Gauri 16 time and ends Muhammad Gauri
    in his own kingdom in front of his army with blind eyes, without anyone’s help
    he did not know the word fear
    he was the most fearless and brave person in world history
    no one would defeat him until he died.

    3.Ashoka The Great (320 BC– 298 BC)

    Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from ca. 269 BC to 232 BC.[1] One of India’s greatest emperors, Ashoka reigned over most of present-day India after a number of military conquests. His empire stretched from present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan in the west, to the present-day Bangladesh
    He was later dedicated to the propagation of Buddhism across Asia
    Ashoka played a critical role in helping make Buddhism a world religion.[2] As the peace-loving ruler of one of the world’s largest, richest and most powerful multi-ethnic states

    4. Vikramaditya

    (102 BCE to 15 CE) was a legendary emperor of Ujjain, India, famed for his wisdom, valour and magnanimity.King Vikramaditya is a Sanskrit tatpurusha, from ?????? (vikrama) meaning “valour” and ?????? ?ditya, son of Aditi. One of the most famous sons of Aditi, or Adityas, was Surya the sun god; hence, Vikramaditya means Surya, translating to “(One) Of valour equal to the Sun”. He is also called Vikrama or Vikramarka (Sanskrit arka meaning the Sun)In the Hindu tradition in India and Nepal, the widely used ancient calendar is Vikrama Samvat or Vikrama’s era. This is said to have been started by the legendary king following his victory over the Sakas in 56 BCE.

    5.Samundragupta.(c. AD 335 – 375),

    he possessed a powerful navy in addition to his army. In addition to tributary kingdoms, many other rulers of foreign states like the Saka and Kushan kings accepted the suzerainty of Samudragupta and offered him their services

    6. Maharana Pratap(May 9, 1540 – January 19, 1597)

    was a Hindu ruler of north-western India.Pratap is considered to exemplify the qualities like bravery and chivalry . MAHARANA PRATAP is one of the bravest warrior that India had… he single handedly took on the mighty mugal army. he lived in jungles & vowed that he will never sleep on bed until he wipe out the last muslim army in India just like his grand father, Rana Sangha, Another Great warrior. He remained the last obstacles for the Akbar army to conquer the entire west India…

    7.Chatrapati Shivagi(February 1630 – 3 April 1680),

    was a Maratha aristocrat of the Bhosle clan who founded the Maratha empire.[5][6] Shivaji led a resistance to free the Maratha kingdom from the Sultanate of Bijapur, and establish Hindavi Swarajya (“self-rule of Hindu people”[7]). He created an independent Maratha kingdom with Raigad as its capital,[6] and successfully fought against the Mughals to defend his kingdom.[5] He was crowned as Chhatrapati – the Sovereign- of the Maratha Kingdom in 1674.
    8.Ranjit Singh (1780 – 1839)

    Ranjit Singh belonged to a Sikh clan of Northern India.Hespent years fighting the Afghans, driving them out of the Punjab. He also captured Pashtun territory including Peshawar (now referred to as North West Frontier Province and the Tribal Areas). He captured the province of Multan which encompassed the southern parts of Punjab, Peshawar (1818), Jammu and Kashmir (1819). Thus Ranjit Singh put an end to more than a Hundred years of Muslim rule in Multan Area. He also conquered the hill states north of Anandpur Sahib, the largest of which was Kangra.When the Foreign Minister of the Ranjit Singh’s court, Fakir Azizuddin, met the British Governor-General of India, Lord Auckland, in Simla, Lord Auckland asked Fakir Azizuddin which of the Maharaja’s eyes was missing, Azizuddin replied: “The Maharaja is like the sun and sun has only one eye. The splendor and luminosity of his single eye is so much that I have never dared to look at his other eye.”


    let us not forget the last Hindu king who sat on Delhi throne, Hemu Or Hemachandra. Being a brahmin & born to a purohit father, Hemu took up arms by seeing the suffering of his people by the hands of invading muslim army.He was never defeated by any kings. the only battle he was defeated where he wes beheaded by Mugal General in the battle of paniput.
    Till that time, Hindu Kings were used to be under Muskim rulers, But under Hemu, Afgan cheaftains consisted in his army & hence he was known as Vikramaditya.

    he was one of the greatest kings of INDIA
    defeated INDIA from enemies………………….

    this is not the end of the list
    friends, the names you given in the list are 0 in front of INDIAN rulers.
    INDIA is great and INDIAN’s are great
    HAR HAR MAHADEV!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Syphos
      Syphos at |

      You mentioned Akbar, but you didn’t include him on your list… wasn’t he one of the greatest if not the greatest indian leader in history? Or do you have personal dislikes against him? 🙂

      1. Sandy INDIAN
        Sandy INDIAN at |

        it’s not personal
        but his place is 11th

        1. khudadad
          khudadad at |

          Akbar was in number because he was muslim
          hindu are based basterds
          leaders are leaders but here he was based i want to know which hindu leader do something for whole world your hindu leaders never capture any land out side india

    2. Caleb Hobden
      Caleb Hobden at |

      That’s a completly ignorant comment especially since non of those men had empires the size of Alexander or the khans. Ps I hope you realize that makes you a hypocrite because you state that most people only study their own countries and then you go and do the same thing.


      1. Sandy INDIAN
        Sandy INDIAN at |

        No doubt that Alexander and khans etc. ruled a big part this world
        but they are very cruel.

        Ruling a big part is not a great thing but ruling in the great of people is a great thing.
        and the names i give are great

    3. John
      John at |

      Shut up

      1. Sandy INDIAN
        Sandy INDIAN at |

        u bloody john
        first of all know about Prithvi Raj Chauhan, Chandragupt Maurya, Shiva Ji .
        study about their courage, study about what they achieved in their lifetime and their sacrifices , then you will realise the above names stand nowhere in front of great emperor chandragupta maurya, Prithvi Raj Chauhan, Shivaji, Maharana Pratap,

        Prithvi Raj Chauhan defeated Muhammad Gauri 16 time and ends Muhammad Gauri
        in his own kingdom in front of his army with blind eyes, without anyone’s help, understand.
        he did not know the what is ‘fear’
        he was the most fearless and brave person in world history
        no one would defeat him until he died

        go and know about him.

    4. Sasa
      Sasa at |

      You open your comment by saying that “I think you study about the rulers of your country only”….and then you go on to list your 10 greatest leaders…from your country only.

      If you’re telling me that only Indian men are the 10 (11, Akbar) greatest leaders in history, then you are implying that India is the most powerful and greatest nation to ever exist…however India was conquered by England…so wouldn’t that mean that India was not so great and powerful?

      I have nothing against India and it’s people, but your list is bias and I disagree. These men have not had a large enough impact on the world to be considered the Greatest leaders ever. Yes, some may be the greatest in India or even Asia, but certainly not the world.

  77. Ali
    Ali at |

    Cyrus the great being not here is a total joke. He was the most respect leader by the people.

  78. Asgaard
    Asgaard at |

    What about some spaniard king? Phillip II for example.

    They control, for 3 centuries (1492-1808), most of europe (Portugal, Spain, Italia, Germany, Austria), america from the south pole to Texas, Nevada, California, African colonies, and some Pacific Island (Philipines for example… the island of Phillip)…

  79. Daniel
    Daniel at |

    I think Saladin, Suleiman the Magnificent and Fredrich The Great deserve to be on that list more then Hitler does.

    1. Eren Enrique
      Eren Enrique at |

      you should also consider looking into FATIH SULTAN MEHMET-RISE OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE AT AGE 21

  80. Syphos
    Syphos at |

    I absolutely agree with the Hitler point, you can argue as much as you want, but he did indeed greatly improve Germany (at the expense of Jews, which is why he doesn’t deserve 1st place, but the 10th is perfect for him)

    There were made, however, some weird decisions regarding who does deserve the place on the list and who doesn’t. Odysseus is completely missed, since even the title says “in history”, not “in mythology”. If you included him, you should as well include King Arthur (who was a better leader imo :D) Someone before me said that this is an eurocentric list. It is not, because the 1st place is occupied (very unreasonably) by Lincoln, so it’s obviouly and USA-centric list, but because of the lack of competent american leaders, the european ones have to be included. There is no way that Lincoln would deserve the 1st place more than Charlemagne. The guy basically created France and Germany. From french lands then went Normans to England and many centuries later sailed to the New World. Thus, if it wasn’t for Charlemagne, there would be no Lincoln, neither Napoleon, Elizabeth, Joseph etc. I think I’ve made clear that imo, Charlemagne should be 1st, only then the others.

    As stated before, the title is inappropriate, if anything it should say “Top 10 [MILITARY] Rulers in [WESTERN] History” Then you might be forgiven for forgetting great names as Cyrus, Tokugawa (sorry, those are to me most familiar eastern leaders) and the huge number of other indian, chinese, japanese etc. rulers, together with great many european rulers who didn’t expand that much but rather took care of their people prosperity – golden ages of a particular nation (Maria Theresa, Queen Victoria etc.)

  81. nitin
    nitin at |

    1. HITLER



    4. STALIN







    1. John
      John at |

      Come why hitler think about Chinngiss khan

  82. nitin
    nitin at |

    Hitler initially was good person he did it for his nation and his people. he was real patriot….

  83. mickyb23
    mickyb23 at |

    firstly hitler wasn’t a great leader he only had votes and support because of the class system in germany as the army and the elites hated the communists as they wanted to share wealth
    and hitler only survived in politics because of the ss and sa threating other parties and fighting and killing leaders

    here are some better leaders
    Lord Horatio Nelson Britains greatest naval commander respected even by his higher ranks
    Winston Churchill Saved Britain in ww2
    Vlad the impaler one of the best and most fearsome warriors of all times
    William the Conqueror conquered all of britain, his wars created the crossbow

    and more
    william wallace
    shaka zulu

  84. apo
    apo at |

    I definitivly disagree with Hitler and I suprised the the enemy of humanity figured in that list. My first number is Churchil/

    “Men, often with the best intention, do the greatest injury to society, and, with the worst, do it the most essential services”/ Of Crimes and Punishments, Cesare Beccaria

    1. apo
      apo at |

      Quotation is my answer for the argument that Hitler had good intentions for his nation

  85. Kristijonas
    Kristijonas at |

    Where’s Marcus Aurelius ?

  86. mickyb23
    mickyb23 at |

    to be fair the greatest leader of all time so far is winston churchill as he has had the hardest war to fight
    mostly because of the technology tanks,machine guns,planes etc

    1. Mikey
      Mikey at |

      Yeah yeah yeah, without USA England loses in Africka. Brit fighters couldn’t escort the bombers that leveled Gemanys manufacturing capacity so therefore Germany still outmanufactures Britain. His wasteful insistence on attacking Italy was and is the bane of logical thinking to historians everywhere. As a matter of fact, if the Luftwaffe doesn’t switch to terror bombing London instead of airfields, radar installations, and manufacturing facities, England is out of the war by early 1942.

  87. Eng Gentelman
    Eng Gentelman at |

    Hmm where is Jan III Sobieski? he saved us and rest of Europe from muslims and their sick faith!
    Please do more reserch and up date this ranking.

    P.S. Gilgamesh he was great king too but the historical evidence is week

  88. Cpp633
    Cpp633 at |

    In my consideration the list should be as follow-
    2.Chinggis Khan
    3.Louis IV
    4.Henry VIII
    8.Queen Victoria
    9.Tang Tai Tsung

    1. Moriarty
      Moriarty at |

      Hey where is so called Father of Nation in India Mahatma Gandhi, Probably one of the greatest leaders of all time. The famous Non-Coperation movement was one of the biggest factors to wipe out the british Rule From India Which had Lasted for More than 200 Years. Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.Gandhi strove to practice non-violence and truth. he eridicated Untouchbility, expanded Women Rights including Right to Education By womens,building religious and ethnic amity, increasing economic self-reliance, but above all for achieving Swaraj the independence of India from foreign domination. He was one of the most fearless leader who fought one of the biggest war in india by using just one weapon Non-Voilence

  89. Mikey
    Mikey at |

    Churchill was bailed out completely by Hitler going after Russia, Hitler saving Italy, and the USA building way more shipping then Germany can sink. Churchill at best was an opportunist and a mismanager on military and political decisions. Sorry England, Without the USA and USSR, you’re speaking German like the rest of western Europe.

  90. Eren Enrique
    Eren Enrique at |

    Why has not anyone written about the Ottoman Empire ..?

    Fatih Sultan Mehmet -Rise of Ottoman Empire
    Kanuni Sultan Suleyman (Suleyman the Magnificent) -Expand of ottoman Empire

  91. Jack
    Jack at |

    Abraham Lincoln? Are you serious!?

    Okay, never mind his over hyped and often misrepresented personality, we’re assuming Abraham Lincoln is in the top 10 because he kept the Union together, – correct?

    Firstly, the war started over his election. This is common knowledge.

    One that we never see in history concerning him was his illegal acts such as suspending the writ of habeus corpus and shutting down newspapers (some 300 of them) that spoke out against his actions. Is this the sign of a good ruler?

    Lastly, his signing the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t end slavery! I wish people would read it for a change instead of just quoting the title of it. The proclamation only ended slavery in Confederate held territory and kept it where the Union prevailed. Therefore, it done nothing in regards to ending slavery. The Constitution forbid the ending of slavery just by a Presidential order and he knew it. He got around the Habeus Corpus because he felt the Constitution gave him that power since the US was at war with itself. It took the 14th Amendment to end slavery – not his EP.

    When he was elected in 1860 he got a mere 39 percent of the vote (lowest in history for a win). The other candidates running gave him an easy win. The second election with only Northern states voting gave him a win with 55%, – something to think about when it was all Northern, or rather all Union States voting.

    So, imho he does not deserve a spot.

  92. Nobody
    Nobody at |

    I think there are lots of great rulers ever lived on Earth. For Cambodia, Jayavarman VII was the greatest emperor.

  93. kirubakaran
    kirubakaran at |

    Hi All,
    Do you really think it is unbiased. The Top 10 Rulers mean who had won more wars and conquered more positions in the map. In all the way, Genghis khan leads others. Then why he is it not No.1. I accept Napolean is also a fortitude warrior, but do you compare his territory with Genghis khan. Is nt it comparing India vs Srilanka?

    Genghis khan was brutal, I accept. Then all the remaining emperors are also did war in the same way, did nt they? Did they wave white flags in the wra.

    Those who don t know Genghis khan , search about him. The European historians misguide us for a very long time.

  94. Inam Bukhari
    Inam Bukhari at |

    What about Omar Khattab. The person who contoured the most on the face of the earth, EVER!

  95. Inam Bukhari
    Inam Bukhari at |

    My Dear,
    You even don;t know the name Omer Ibn-Khattab the Second Caliph of Muslims. Research it a bit, please.


  96. Akif
    Akif at |

    21-year-old Mehmed II conquered Istanbul and said the enemies of Suleiman the Magnificent, where even great. Have a list of multilateral!

  97. Dave Nielsen
    Dave Nielsen at |

    Augustus wasn’t assassinated.

  98. TroyG
    TroyG at |

    Just pointing this out hitler didn’t found the nazi party

  99. George Thomas
    George Thomas at |



  100. RobH
    RobH at |

    Joseph II was a very poor choice as one of the top ten Greatest Rulers. Though he pushed hard for freedom among the serfs he was a control freak in matters of religion. “Absolute power” did, in fact, corrupt him absolutely; though I think he was corrupt before his mother died and left him in charge.

  101. John
    John at |

    I do not thInk. Chinngiss khan was greatest Lincolin was nothing with Chinngiss khan

  102. dnt worry
    dnt worry at |

    u can tell this is made by an american as abraham lincoln is at the top. he is far from the best ruler ever and is not even regarded as one of the best to the rest of the world

  103. Akif
    Akif at |

    list should be:

    1-)2.Mehmet the Conqueror
    2-)Alexander the Great
    3-)Sultan 1. Selim Yavuz
    4-)Ceasar Augustus
    5-)Gengish Khan
    7-)Napolyon Bonapart
    8-)Suleiman the Magnificent

    prepare a list of a person who knows history

  104. Aditya
    Aditya at |

    I think the creater of this list is from america therefor many people from that place. Therefor they are not add the name of Chatrapati Shivaji maharaj & their family.

  105. Suhail
    Suhail at |

    Good post.

    I think you should consider adding late “sheikh Zayed founder of UAE” (may his soul rest in peace) he was a very great man.

  106. Jim Lomerson
    Jim Lomerson at |

    How about Harry Truman. After the atomic bombs were dropped the US had the most supreme power the world has ever seen. Harry made the decision and the whole world trembled. This is a great topic with excellent feedback all around.

  107. Benjamin Gerodias
    Benjamin Gerodias at |

    It is not Augustus, it is Julius Caesar, the first Emperor of Rome.
    Abraham Lincoln deserves to be number 1 because of his greatness. He preserved the Union and abolished slavery for the good of mankind.

    1. Sasa
      Sasa at |

      No. He abolished slavery for a military purpose…honestly, if the Civil War had not started during his presidency, he almost definitely would not have abolished slavery.

      I’m not saying he’s racist, but he certainly had a reason for abolishing slavery–he wanted to decrease morale in the south and encourage freed slaves to run to the North, which would destroy the South’s economy.

      1. Ben
        Ben at |

        We cannot just make conclusions without knowing the historical background to appreciate greatness. Lincoln from the outset was strongly against slavery. As early as 1820, the Missouri Compromise outlawed slavery above the 36-30′ parallell comprised of the industrial north, while those below, made up of the agricultural south. Lincoln return to politics as a result of the Kansas-Nebraska Act forming the states of Kansas and Nebraska which allowed settlers to decide whether they would or would not accept slavery. Lincoln saw this as a violation and a repeal of the Missouri Compromise of 1820. With the advent of the Republican Party, Lincoln became its standard bearer and won as President in January 1861. The south saw this as a threat and so, secession started. War started on March 1861. Emancipation Proclamation (abolition of slavery) by Lincoln was done in September 22,1862. He did not abolished slavery because of the Civil War. The Civil War was started by the south because of the slavery issue.

        1. Sasa
          Sasa at |

          I agree with just about everything you said, which was basically just reinforcing my points…until your last sentence. The south saw their secession as a formation of a new government. The north saw it as a rebellion. While the first battle of the war was initiated by the south (Sumter), it was because they feared the north would attack (which ended up happening at Bull Run, the next major battle, in which the north attacked the south). Lincoln wanted to “preserve the Union”, meaning that he saw the secession as a rebellion, not a separation.

        2. Benjamin Gerodias
          Benjamin Gerodias at |

          I am sure that secession is a violation of the US Constitution. Secession, rebellion and separation are the same. It can also be seen as treason.

          Lincoln even before he became president was a staunch anti-slavery advocate.

        3. Sasa
          Sasa at |

          no, secession and rebellion are not the same. Rebellion could be to lower taxes, not necessarily secede from a country.

          Yet lincoln saw it as a rebellion. And sought to end it.

          Do you have sources to back up his anti-slavery policies? I’d love to see them.

  108. milica
    milica at |

    abraham lincoln.. maybe in america.. but definitely not in the world..

  109. Danan
    Danan at |

    This list while not totally correct is a good list I think that Abe was a President that did what he had to do in the time that he lived but and i repeat BUT his was a political decision. There is one important person that is missing off of this list that was a great leader Hannibal Barca all these generals and leaders learned from him Napoleons tactics were not his own they were based off of previous leaders and warmongers. Yes George Washington should be on this list because of his great ability to lead he was not a great field general but he was a great leader of men and because of him the United States because a Nation his leadership at the time the first President was very serious and that is why he was asked to lead the country for 3 terms only other Person to do that was FDR. yes there are a lot of people missing from this list from different countries who many consider to be great rulers many have done great and powerful things in the times that they lead but we each have our own list just like in everything else good list and i even agree with Hitler but thank god he made his mistake of invading Russia in the winter. and to whoever said that Europe would be speaking Russian your wrong you would all be speaking German. Plus please remember Alexander the great may have been a great warrior but his governing skill were really bad overall i think the list is a good one …..

  110. Danan
    Danan at |

    Oh and yes Saladin should be on this list as an absolute I am not a Muslim but i know that he was a great leader of men , a nation and a people.

  111. Ishwar Kolge
    Ishwar Kolge at |


  112. Salman
    Salman at |

    The list lacks historical integrity because it doesn’t mention two of the most prosperous eras in history. The first is the kingdom of Israel and it’s ruler king Solomon. In addition to the early Islamic period and I am not going to mention prophet muhammed because he was a spiritual leader that laid the seeds of the Islamic civilisation but did not cultivate it himself but I must say that you need to include Umar bin Al-Khattab a great political leader and successor of the prophet and you can read further about his accomplishments. P.S. Abraham Lincoln should not be in the list of top rulers in history but he would absolutely be on the top of the most successful presidents of the unites states.

  113. Sasa
    Sasa at |

    Be careful…Hitler was an incredible public speaker. There is no other leader that inspired his country to go from being a country in 33 billion dollars in debt to the greatest military power on Earth in a little over twenty years….yes he was a total jerk, but he was a magnificent orator. I’m not totally sure where you are getting your facts, but the SS and SA were not exactly going around killing leaders and threatening people under Hitler’s command. Let’s remember that Times Magazine named him Man of the Year in 1938, so he must have done something right.

  114. vishal
    vishal at |

    this rating is ridiculous, hitler was more powerfull than nepolean and gengais khan was more powerfull than elizabeth, c class rating

  115. Saad
    Saad at |

    Mr Muhammad Ali Jinnah is the first Great leader in the world and he is also a founder of Pakistan.The legend of Pakistan no words to describe the beauty of Quaide e azam we are owe to our Quaid Muhammad Ali Jinnah.We salute him confidence and honesty love you Quaide we never forget you.

    1. Sasa
      Sasa at |

      How is he the first great leader in the world if people like Alexander came before him…by over 1,000 years…

  116. Zoe Koufalexi
    Zoe Koufalexi at |

    HAHAHAHAHAH! Odysseus was not even proven he existed…

  117. Ben
    Ben at |

    When you rebel, the next logical step is secession or separation by declaring independence just as the Americans did to the British. The intent is the same, we don’t presume just to lower taxes or whatever.

    1. Sasa
      Sasa at |

      that is not true. Most rebellions seek to take over the entire country. Usually, they do not end up seceding. The French Revolution was a rebellion, but there was no secession. The Robespierres took over France from Louis XVI in 1789. The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia was a rebellion, but there was no secession. The Bolsehviks led by Lenin took over Russia and killed the Tsar, forming the Soviet Union in 1917.

      The American Revolution WAS a war intended to lower taxes. When the war began, the Colonies had absolutely no intention of becoming an independent country. They were tired of being taxed by the British government, who ruled from overseas. Have you ever heard the phrase “no taxation without representation”? The American Colonies wanted to be represented in Parliament in England so they could fairly be taxed (even though their taxes were quite low).

      I can cite many more rebellions that had absolutely nothing to do with secession. Even in recent events, the Arab Spring is a string of revolutions around the Middle East and Africa in which governments are overthrown and replaced. THAT is how most rebellions end: the government is overthrown, or the rebellion is crushed.

      1. Ben
        Ben at |

        In the French revolution and in Russia there is no need to secede, just overthrow, take over or replace. Just as Cromwell take over England, no secession, just overthrow the King. There is no argument over that.

        Secession is more formal, preceded by declarations of secession before going to war which the south did because they are member of the Union. And they form their own, the Confederacy of Southern States. In a broader sense,it is just a matter of semantics but the intent is the same, rebellion, that is, rebellion against the Federal Union. As president, Lincoln chief duty is to preserve the Union, upheld the Constitution’s declaration of equality of man, regardless of race, creed, etc. etc. and therefore slavery is against and a violation of the Constitution.

        Lincoln dedicated the remaining years of his political life to make his advocacy which he started as early as 1854, comes true, that is the mark of a great man considering that he came from a poor family, but strive to educate himself and rise to great height, a self-made man.

        1. Sasa
          Sasa at |

          Yes, so we have established the fact that there is a difference between a secession and a rebellion/revolution.

          However, slavery was not unconstitutional at the beginning of the Civil War. Lincoln strove to place laws that would make it unequal. The “equality of man” as you put it only considered white men “men”. Therefore, the constitution only called for the protection of the rights of white men. African American men were considered property until after the Civil War.

          I do not deny that Abraham Lincoln was a great leader. Is he one of the Top 10 leaders of all time? Yes, he very well could be. But #1? That is something to debate about.

        2. Ben
          Ben at |

          What makes Lincoln great is that he has foresight. He saw sooner or later that slavery will be extinct in the US. That there cannot be a union, of states where half is for slavery and half is against slavery. Being not unconstitutional at the beginning of the Civil War does not make slavery right or justifiable. It is an accepted fact that the US Constitution is not perfect so that many amendments had been introduced in order to fill up what had been lacking or overlooked. And one thing about Lincoln, he made his speeches, great ones at that, and various letters, and made great debates with Stephen Douglas, his political rival, etc. etc.

        3. Sasa
          Sasa at |

          I’m not really sure what point you’re trying to make at the end there…how do his speeches, debates, and letters make him a better leader….? He could have been a fantastic orator but, as Theodore Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick”. Who cares what you can say, you have to back it up.

          I’m also not really sure where you are getting your “facts”…cite a source?

  118. Ben
    Ben at |

    To Sasa, your answer of September 9 have no provision for Reply at the end of your answer so I just use this comment box. Can’t you not see that he is a great thinker, writer, etc. He has the gift and he used it to the maximum to advance his advocacy while as far as I know Roosevelt does not have the gift because if he has the gift, I am sure he would make use of that gift also. So, there is no comparison. However, read Theodore Roosevelt comment in praise of Lincoln.

    An Introductory Note by Theodore Roosevelt

    Abraham Lincoln – 16th President of U.S.
    Immediately after Lincoln’s re-election to the Presidency, in an off-hand speech, delivered in response to a serenade by some of his admirers on the evening of November 10, 1864, he spoke as follows:

    “It has long been a grave question whether any government not too strong for the liberties of its people can be strong enough to maintain its existence in great emergencies. On this point, the present rebellion brought our republic to a severe test, and the Presidential election, occurring in regular course during the rebellion, added not a little to the strain…. The strife of the election is but human nature practically applied to the facts in the case. What has occurred in this case must ever occur in similar cases. Human nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad and as good. Let us therefore study the incidents in this as philosophy to learn wisdom from and none of them as wrongs to be avenged…. Now that the election is over, may not all having a common interest reunite in a common fort to save our common country? For my own part, I have striven and shall strive to avoid placing any obstacle in the way. So long as I have been here, I have not willingly planted a thorn in any man’s bosom. While I am deeply sensible to the high compliment of a re-election and duly grateful, as I trust, to Almighty God for having directed my countrymen to a right conclusion, as I think for their own good, it adds nothing to my satisfaction that any other man may be disappointed or pained by the result.”

    This speech has not attracted much general attention, yet it is in a peculiar degree both illustrative and typical of the great statesman who made it, alike in its strong common-sense and in its lofty standard of morality. Lincoln’s life, Lincoln’s deeds and words, are not only of consuming interest to the historian, but should be intimately known to every man engaged in the hard practical work of American political life. It is difficult to overstate how much it means to a nation to have as the two foremost figures in its history men like Washington and Lincoln. It is good for every man in any way concerned in public life to feel that the highest ambition any American can possibly have will be gratified just in proportion as he raises himself toward the standards set by these two men.

    It is a very poor thing, whether for nations or individuals, to advance the history of great deeds done in the past as an excuse for doing poorly in the present; but it is an excellent thing to study the history of the great deeds of the past, and of the great men who did them, with an earnest desire to profit thereby so as to render better service in the present. In their essentials, the men of the present day are much like the men of the past, and the live issues of the present can be faced to better advantage by men who have in good faith studied how the leaders of the nation faced the dead issues of the past. Such a study of Lincoln’s life will enable us to avoid the twin gulfs of immorality and inefficiency–the gulfs which always lie one on each side of the careers alike of man and of nation. It helps nothing to have avoided one if shipwreck is encountered in the other. The fanatic, the well-meaning moralist of unbalanced mind, the parlor critic who condemns others but has no power himself to do good and but little power to do ill–all these were as alien to Lincoln as the vicious and unpatriotic themselves. His life teaches our people that they must act with wisdom, because otherwise adherence to right will be mere sound and fury without substance; and that they must also act high-mindedly, or else what seems to be wisdom will in the end turn out to be the most destructive kind of folly.

    Throughout his entire life, and especially after he rose to leadership in his party, Lincoln was stirred to his depths by the sense of fealty to a lofty ideal; but throughout his entire life, he also accepted human nature as it is, and worked with keen, practical good sense to achieve results with the instruments at hand. It is impossible to conceive of a man farther removed from baseness, farther removed from corruption, from mere self-seeking; but it is also impossible to conceive of a man of more sane and healthy mind–a man less under the influence of that fantastic and diseased morality (so fantastic and diseased as to be in reality profoundly immoral) which makes a man in this work-a-day world refuse to do what is possible because he cannot accomplish the impossible.

    In the fifth volume of Lecky’s History of England, the historian draws an interesting distinction between the qualities needed for a successful political career in modern society and those which lead to eminence in the spheres of pure intellect or pure moral effort. He says:

    “….the moral qualities that are required in the higher spheres of statesmanship [are not] those of a hero or a saint. Passionate earnestness and self-devotion, complete concentration of every faculty on an unselfish aim, uncalculating daring, a delicacy of conscience and a loftiness of aim far exceeding those of the average of men, are here likely to prove rather a hindrance than an assistance. The politician deals very largely with the superficial and the commonplace; his art is in a great measure that of skilful compromise, and in the conditions of modern life, the statesman is likely to succeed best who possesses secondary qualities to an unusual degree, who is in the closest intellectual and moral sympathy with the average of the intelligent men of his time, and who pursues common ideals with more than common ability…. Tact, business talent, knowledge of men, resolution, promptitude and sagacity in dealing with immediate emergencies, a character which lends itself easily to conciliation, diminishes friction and inspires confidence, are especially needed, and they are more likely to be found among shrewd and enlightened men of the world than among men of great original genius or of an heroic type of character.”

    The American people should feel profoundly grateful that the greatest American statesman since Washington, the statesman who in this absolutely democratic republic succeeded best, was the very man who actually combined the two sets of qualities which the historian thus puts in antithesis. Abraham Lincoln, the rail-splitter, the Western country lawyer, was one of the shrewdest and most enlightened men of the world, and he had all the practical qualities which enable such a man to guide his countrymen; and yet he was also a genius of the heroic type, a leader who rose level to the greatest crisis through which this nation or any other nation had to pass in the nineteenth century.


    1. Sasa
      Sasa at |

      I’m sorry i have no time to read that whole letter…I am not denying the fact that lincoln is a great leader. Fantastic, even, and I did not at any point say that Theodore Roosevelt would say he was not a great leader.

      I deny the fact that Lincoln was the greatest. If you want to debate who the greatest AMERICAN leader was, sure, Lincoln is certainly there, along with several others.

      Also I’m not really sure what “The Gift” is…do you mean his oratory skills? Because I can assure you there are many people who have equivalent, if not better, talent at words than Lincoln.

      1. Ben
        Ben at |

        Yes, there are equivalent if not better but they did not have the opportunity to use it as Lincoln did and so they cannot claim or attributed with greatness. You did not say that Teddy Roosevelt would say that he was not a great leader, on the contrary, he said Lincoln was a great leader, just read the last portion above. I am convince that he was the greatest and he deserved number 1 because I have studied his life. If you want proofs, just search in Google Lincoln’s debates, speeches, quotes , and letters, inaugural address. I have no time to research for you..

        1. Sasa
          Sasa at |

          You believe that Lincoln is the best based on his speeches and debates? I still am not sure what you’re trying to get at with this whole Teddy Roosevelt point..I am not trying to compare Roosevelt and Lincoln, that is not my point. I was simply restating a quote from Roosevelt that I believe rings true, “Speak softly but carry a big stick”.

          Again, that quote pertains to what you have just said–Lincoln’s speeches, debates, essays, quotes, inaugural addresses, and letters–mean absolutely nothing if he did not back them up with action. I don’t believe in a man who can TELL me what they can do, I believe in a man who can SHOW me, and DO the things he says he will do.

          During Lincoln’s presidency, around 750,000 American soldiers died. That is the bloodiest presidency of the United States. I am not really sure how that is a success in his line of work…

        2. Ben Gerodias
          Ben Gerodias at |

          Yes, and most admired is his Gettysburg address which he wrote on the train going to Gettysburg and his draft is still preserved. Neither do I compare Teddy with Lincoln because there is no comparison. People compare Lincoln with Franklin Roosevelt, both are Aquarian, both are faced with the problem of saving the country. Better read the biography or accomplishments of Lincoln how he backed up or carry out what he said in his inaugural addresses so that you can better appreciate the man and his efforts to solve the problems that arose during his terms. A single quotation from Teddy which is his motto during the various wars he led against the enemies of the US does not make much of greatness. The price of peace is 750,000 Americans dead on both sides is seen as a success.

  119. HEMANT
    HEMANT at |

    And What About Indian kings Like Chhatrapati Shivaji , Samudragupta ,Prithviraj Chauhan & more in this list Only Western Kings R not eligible for this list

    1. B
      B at |

      You know this is all opinions right, man? Cause none of y’all could really get the best leaders

  120. Tyler
    Tyler at |

    Hitler was a great ruler. Let`s exclude the fact he killed millions, started a war, etc. “He got things done.” As Bernie Ecclestone said. Germany was like Zimbabwe, mass-unemployment, hyperflation, where a loaf cost BILLIONS, and Germany had lost parts of Germany. He turned the country into the most technological, and military in the world. and Nazi Germany made many advances in science which are still in use today, they were the first to ban hunting, the first environmentalists Hitler admired the British Empire, you can go on and on. People say, The Holocaust is the most evil event ever,” but Jews have been persecuted FOREVER. By the Catholic Church, England, Spain, Russia. And so on. And his Eugenics programme was copied from America. But you never hear this. Or hear about how Commie Jews in the USSR killed FAR more than he did. Hitler`s only problem was that he were mad..

  121. ?
    ? at |

    he was a leader but not a ruler and a fighter… insted of Lincoln there should be Atila the Hun

  122. Gilbert
    Gilbert at |

    I’m unsure whether this was previously mentioned or not, but why is Frederick the Great not on this list? I agree with those saying the opinion of this list is skewed. (Although, come to think of it, almost every “Top Whatever” list sparks a similar reaction to this one!!)

  123. george
    george at |

    what about Saladin he was the best read about him and you’ll know

  124. mario
    mario at |

    lol sultan suleyman at least in the number then

  125. Lola Phillips
    Lola Phillips at |

    Ok, I’m pretty sure that Odysseus was not REAL.

  126. tanv
    tanv at |

    In the period of Genghis Khan and their emperors they make us set, organized livable and lovable to all the human beings due to this we all are organized/set in rest of the world thanks to all of them for giving this good history to the world and us.

  127. jeff
    jeff at |

    How can you be so ignorant to the truth of the bible or even history so as not to include Solomon as the greatest king/kingdom ever until the reign of Jesus Christ in the millennium. I know the bible is not popular among the so called intellectuals and scholarly egg heads, but you can’t hold water in a bucket with this list. Read 2 Chronicles 8 and 9 and pay close attention to 9:22.

    1. Jeff
      Jeff at |

      Archaeological evidence shows that Solomon’s kingdom was not the greatest kingdom or even that much of a kingdom. He ruled an insignificant city state which would be conquered several times over by real empires such as the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, Muslim, and Ottoman empires. The bible is not popular among scholarly intellectuals because it is based on little to no evidence. And the events and people in the bible who are true such as Solomon are exaggerated greatly. Please read “David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible’s Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition.” Try to use outside sources to prove the bible rather than just accept it automatically as true.

  128. jeff
    jeff at |

    Catherine the Great? and Peter the Great?

  129. Abe.Lincoln
    Abe.Lincoln at |

    Abraham Lincoln is greatest leader of all time?
    Totally disagree.
    Author speaks as if Civil War and Emancipation Proclamation are two separate great achievements of Lincoln. But, wasn’t Civil War heavily caused by slavery? I believe they should be counted as one, a good one though.

  130. gamer
    gamer at |

    Just check out CIVILIZATION 5 the pc game and you will get a list of the greatest leaders ever.also i feel its unfair to rank them and enlisting the top 100 in no perticular order would be a much better option

  131. dan
    dan at |

    1-Cyrus the great
    2- Alexander the Great
    3- Darius the great
    4- Charlemagne
    5- Napoleon
    6- Caesar
    7- Genghis Khan
    8- Asoka
    9- Suleiman
    10- Huang Ti

  132. Augustus
    Augustus at |

    I just wanted to say that the information you have above about Caesar is wrong. Julius Caesar conquered Gaul and sent his legions to probe Britan for possible conquest as well (see: The Gallic War). Because of Caesar’s conquests and his way with self promotion the senate became weary of Caesar and demanded he lay down command of his legions and return to Rome. Caesar refused stating famously “I’d rather be the first man in Gaul than the second man in Rome.” He marched on Rome with his legions (This had been done once before by Sulla Felix). Caesar had himself declared Dictator for life.
    In truth Imperator was a complicated title during the republic. It could be any magistrate with imperium or an honorific title bestowed on a commander. Ceasar possesed both forms of imperium but he was officially a dictator like Fabius Maximus of Sulla Felix. Ceasar was assassinated on the ides of March in 44BC. Octavian, Caesar’s successor died in 14AD. He was the first Emperor(Augustus) and started the style of government known as the principate. During this period the Emperors gave the illusion that the republic was still alive and they were nearly the first among peers.

  133. Umer
    Umer at |

    You started this page with introductory passage
    “There have truly been many great rulers in history. Some managed to conquer the world, some managed to end violence and put their countries into periods of peace and stability, and some changed not only their nations, but the world”.

    by looking at all these things, i think Muhammad, may peace be upon him, is the world greatest ruler and leader, who still is and always will be.

  134. Cici
    Cici at |

    I think you need to redefine “ruler” because presidents do not rule a nation, they govern it. You can’t rule in a democracy. Abraham Lincoln was a great leader but he was no ruler. He doesn’t even compare to some of the greatest rulers. What about Stalin? Ramses II? Or even Cyrus The Great? He built one of the greatest empires oh his time and was one of the most compassionate rulers.

    1. Ben Gerodias
      Ben Gerodias at |

      I agree, It should not be Top 10 Rulers but Top 10 Leaders. Top 10 Rulers applies to ancient up to late middle ages era. Ancient barbarian and late middle ages rulers who conquered and ruled with the sword is not comparable to leaders who governs.

  135. Ben MM
    Ben MM at |

    Hey not sure if this has been pointed out already, but Julius Caesar and Augustus were not the same people. Also Augustus wasn’t assassinated Julius Caesar was. I think the confusion lies in the name Octavian Caesar was Julius’ Caesar’s adopted son who went on to rule as stated above from 27BC -14CE, however he is usually know as Caesar Augustus.

    Just wanted to clarify

  136. Devendra
    Devendra at |

    The graetest ruler is yet to come.
    he’s on the way coming to make this world again like a heaven and end this evil permanently.,
    he’ll be the one [ KING DACK ] (L.P.T.D)

  137. RIZWAN
    RIZWAN at |

    try to study history of great muslim ruler UMER IBN E KHITAAB.i think he is the most popular ruler of the world .

  138. Ibrahim
    Ibrahim at |

    WTF! No Salah Ideen?

  139. od
    od at |

    Chinggis khan should be No 1. It is actually not pronounced like Genghis by Mongolians.

  140. Pramod Bapat
    Pramod Bapat at |

    The list cannot even begin without the greatest king ever produced in the history of world – The great Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivajee. He had the best of all the qualities – Great warrior himself, great politician, great administrator, and above all, excellent human being who worked hard thoughout his life for wellbeing of the people of his kingdom, selflessly. No historian could ever find a single blot on his character. He is one of those great warriors who never lost a single battle in his life.
    Please go through the history to know details about him and the battles he fought. It’s all amazing and you will never come out of it ever.

  141. ehfo0
    ehfo0 at |

    Hitler is in it but not the Great Cyrus seriously!

  142. Andrew
    Andrew at |

    There are plenty of problems with this list, but chief among them is the inclusion of Adolf Hitler. If you define ‘leadership’ as creating a momentary industrial powerhouse through unsustainable scapegoating, forced labor, and military production, and then further define it as megalomania that results in some of the worst military and strategic decisions the world has ever seen, then sure, he’s a great leader. But then of course you also have to ask yourself how a great leader could begin and prosecute a war so badly planned that it resulted in the complete destruction of his entire country.

    So basically, even if you don’t automatically excise him from this list because of the Holocaust, you should do so because he was actually remarkably BAD for Germany.

  143. Andrew
    Andrew at |


    – Genghis Khan gets a very undeserved reputation for brutality, and in fact his empire was remarkably inclusive and fair. His war tactics were brutal, but at the time so were everyone else’s – he was simply a great deal better at it.

    – As has been mentioned, you are confusing Augustus and Juluis Caesar here. Augustus is called Caesar after Julius as he took over after the latter’s assassination and became the first emperor of Rome.

    – The Emancipation didn’t free a single slave; it was a promise to free slaves in rebelling territories not yet under Lincoln’s control. It was a symbolic end to slavery, but American slavery did not end until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in early 1865.

    We can definitely argue about who else should be on this list, but these are three pretty egregious historical errors right off the bat.

  144. aaron white
    aaron white at |

    Abraham Lincoln the greatest ruler ever? this was obviously done by an American?! Get your head out of your own pathetic Arses! all of the above where better and more worthy than Abraham Lincoln, Edward VII was better than Licoln for god sake.

  145. Josip
    Josip at |

    Caesar should have been first, and frankly none of the American presidents belong on that list, give Lincoln’s spot to Marisa Theresa, and put her in 8th where Caesar is

  146. SoaringMuse
    SoaringMuse at |

    The list itself isn’t terrible but the ethnocentrism coming out in the comments is frankly shameful. None of the American presidents did anything great enough to make the list. Think about this list in perspective: the US has less than 300 years of history while the entirety of recorded human history is several millennia. What makes the US so great is its technology, not the singular accomplishments of its leaders who didn’t even wield absolute power.

    Joseph II was hardly a fitting choice, and while I applaud the inclusion of a character like Hitler he arguably could have been left off as well. Augustus should be way higher; the Roman Emperors took their imperial title from his name 14 centuries after his death.

  147. vin
    vin at |

    O hello are you stupid or what ??..have you heard the name “Ashoka The Great”.. he had ability to rule over the world, but he didn’t!!!..because he believe in peace .. please i request you to go to library and take history lesson .. if you can’t do that then vote for it.!! i’m damm sure ashoka will be on the top

  148. anurag
    anurag at |

    why ashoka is not in this list or morya or guptas they also had large area and rulead well in there time

  149. sam
    sam at |

    I partially agree with what sandy indian says but there are much greater rulers from India. Someone find about Kartavirya Arjuna who ruled the entire earth for 85000 years.

  150. Red forest
    Red forest at |

    Where is Stalin? Stalin was more powerful than all the above listed leaders together. He freed Europe from fashists and made Russia to a superpower and ruled until his death remaining the absolute dictator of many countries including East Germany, Hungary, Finland, Poland, Chechoslovacka , Baltic states and many other Eastern countries. He kept China and North Korea under his strong influence. In 1945 he was more powerful than Roosevelt, Churchill and hitler together. Being a born leader he did not lead his country to destruction like that mentally ill hitler but turn it to superpower with atomic bomb and growing economy.

  151. Tim
    Tim at |

    Number one should be the Duke of Wellington. A brilliant strategist not hampered by traditional theories. Bernard Montgomery who led the US forces to victory in Europe after they became bogged down by stiff German resistance and poor leadership. Henry V pulled the rabbit out of a hat at Agincourt through strategy, planning and innovation. Heinz Guderian who revolutionised modern warfare and was instrumental in Nazi Germany’s European vacation of 1940.

    By the way, by late 1940 Britain was manufacturing more tanks, aircraft and ships than Germany. Britain was never the lame duck that the Americans like to think they were.

  152. Petola
    Petola at |

    You’re mixing up Julius Caesar with his adoptive son Octavius. The latter is known as Augustus Caesar and is considered the first emperor of Rome, thus you post a picture of Julius Caesar with your description. You should change the picture to one of Octavius Augustus and rename the title “Augustus” instead of just “Caesar” to avoid confusion.

  153. Farshad Karimi
    Farshad Karimi at |

    Cyrus the Great was the greatest ruler of all time.

  154. Smith
    Smith at |

    oh please all of knew just Cyrus the Great

  155. yash sharma
    yash sharma at |

    vaibhav i agree wid u but it was chandragupta maurya dynasty..

    chandragupta maurya is the greatest king of all time..

  156. yash sharma
    yash sharma at |

    akbar , askoka and maharana pratap should also be added

  157. Raven
    Raven at |

    This list is ludicrously biased list as the person who made list primarily highlighted the western people.

    Ghenghis Khan deserved to be number one because his kingdom was considerably large which include China, South east Asia, central Asia, west Asia, Some parts of Russia and Western Europe. In a nutshell, he had a gigantic Eurasian kingdom and no king had ever conquered this much. Therefore, Ghenghis khan deservedly to be ranked one.

    Rest of list should go like this:

    2. Alexander the great
    3. Attila
    4. Napolean
    5. Timurlane
    6. Asoka the great
    7. Cyrus the great
    8. Ceaser
    9. Kublai Khan
    10. Charle

  158. Dew
    Dew at |

    Just disgusting top 10 i have ever seen before. how Abraham Lincoln can become top 1 rulers. shame to the writers

  159. Anonymous
    Anonymous at |

    Ashoka should be 1st

  160. Vinoth
    Vinoth at |

    Where is raja raja cholan? He is the one of the greatest and still he has marks (temple) in thailand, vietnam, sri lanka, java sumatra etc…..

  161. Real history
    Real history at |

    Why there is no Cyrus the great of Persia ?!? He was the first king that made human rights and also he was one of the strongest warrior of all time

  162. Sina
    Sina at |

    with no doubt the most powerful and fair king in the history is the Darius the first who ruled the largest empire in history and conquered a lot of it without any bloodshed . However The Alexander the great and Jenghiz khan made a bloodbath of people at the time… I CAN SAY IN THE TIME OF ALL OF RULERS IN UR LIST Was slevery of black people…but u cant find such a thing about all time of persia…AND LAST: United States and other countries who has been tried to ruin Iran and its history for the latest issues fed you basically false cinematic movies like “300” and “Alexander” and a lot other movies….I hope there be one day everybody can live in honesty and peace….ALWAYS LEGENDS RISE FROM ENEMY’S LIES.

  163. Viktor
    Viktor at |

    Hey, I think you’ve gotten Gaius Julius Caesar (Commonly known as Julius Caesar) and Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian Augustus (Commonly known as Augustus | Octavian) deaths confused. Julius Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March (44BC) which then paved the way for Augustus to follow in his adoptive fathers shoes. Augustus died of an illness in 14AD at the age of 75, which is quite a long time given the period of time, he was not assassinated.

    Also a comment on the Charlemagne section, unsure why you didn’t state that he founded the HRE (Holy Roman Empire) in the year 800, plus that he became known as “The Father of Europe” seems an impressive title.


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