Top 10 Rulers in History


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. Here are history’s greatest rulers:

10. Hitler

Yes, that’s right. The creator of the Nazi party, the man responsible for mass genocide during World War II, was indeed a great ruler. Germany was in bad times when Hitler rose to power, and Hitler was the charamistic leader that the Germans could look up to. This one man blamed all of Germany’s problems on a scapegoat: the Jews living in Germany at the time, and somehow managed to convince the entire country of Germany that it really was the Jews’ fault for all of Germany’s problems. Even if it was a terrible thing to do, it was no mean feat and required the skills and prowess of a great leader.

9. Odysseus

In Greek mythology, Odysseus was the Greek king of Ithaca with achievements so great he was immortalized in Homer’s epic The Odyssey. Odysseus’s renowned intelligence and cunning supplements his strong combative skills. Odysseus managed to trick the Trojans during the Trojan War by building a wooden horse and hiding his soldiers in it. The Trojans took the horse into their city and into their walls, and just like that, the Greeks got past the impenetrable walls of Troy. Odysseus also managed to take back his kingdom of Ithaca after it was overrun with selfish tyrants and single-handedly saved his kingdom.

8. Caesar

Caesar, also known as Augustus, became the first emperor of the Roman Empire and ruled from 27 BC until his assassination in 14 AD. His rule established an era of unfamiliar peace and quiet, known as the Pax Romana, a feat that had never before been accomplished. Caesar managed to acquire total power but he didn’t have to use any false promises and lies like rulers before him.

7. Alexander the Great

Known for his brutal and legendary military tactics, Alexander was probably one of the best if not the best military commanders of all time. He was definitely one of the most successful, however, conquering much of the world at the time and sometimes making entire cities surrender to him without killing a single person.

6. Joseph II

Joseph II was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1765 to 1790. He was the first ruler of Austrian dominions of the House of Lorraine. Joseph is probably history’s most unselfish ruler. If anyone doesn’t apply to the phrase “absolute power corrupts absolutely,” it is him. He truly wanted what was best for his people and even abolished slavery and serfdom.

5. Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan was perhaps the most brutal leader the world has ever seen, but he was one of the most successful. He founded the Mongol Empire, one of the most powerful forces in the world at that time. Genghis Khan’s brilliant military strategies and tactics puts him on this list. He conquered most of the world during his prime and united many nomadic tribes in Asia.

4. Queen Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I was the Queen of England and Ireland from 1558 until the day she died. She has had many nicknames, the most famous of which being the Virgin Queen, because of the fact that she never depended on a King, but ruled quite well herself. Queen Elizabeth I set the model for a female ruler at that time and is probably one of the most successful female rulers in history. Before her reign, most females weren’t thought to be fit of such power and they were secondary to Kings or other male heirs. Elizabeth managed to prove that her gender could match and even do better than the rule of men.

3. Charlemagne

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Charlemagne was the King of the Franks from 768 to his death. He has had a long record of accomplishments that prove his worth to be on this list. He expanded and united the Frankish kingdoms into the single, powerful Frankish Empire. His rule is also associated with the Carolingian Renaissance, the period in which art and other cultural artifacts revived and peaked through the Catholic Church.

2. Napoleon

Napoleon I of France, later known as Emperor Napoleon, was a prominent military and political leader of France and he heavily influenced European politics in the early 19th century. He basically dominated continental Europe through superior military tactics and intelligence. He continued to prosper until the French invasion of Russia in 1812, and his success steadily declined. But his establishment of the Napoleon code laid the administrative and judicial foundations for much of Western Europe.

1. Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States and led the country through its greatest internal struggle, the Civil War. He successfully preserved the union; if not for Abraham Lincoln, the United States would probably be divided into two countries right now. He also signed the Emancipation Proclamation, abolishing slavery in America. Abraham Lincoln is widely considered one of the greatest US presidents, if not one of the greatest leaders in history.

Written by Johnny Dunn

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    chandragupta maurya is the greatest king of all time..

  4. 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

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

  6. 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…..

  7. Real history on

    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. I can’t believe that CYRUS THE GREAT is not in the list.
    He was indeed a great King of all times. He established the great Persian empire which was the FIRST EMPIRE of the world. And though he was a great king, he was extremely unselfish. He destroyed the slavery in all his lands, and made the Cyrus Cylinder, the first example of human rights in the world, while slavery existed in western countries even in 19th century.
    I am sure he was on of the great kings in the world, and I think that justice is more important Than the land or military .

  11. I disagree with this list. Few points:
    – Hitler should not be here. Great leaders listen to others and make rational decision. Hitler lacked that ability. All 3rd Reich success was due to talented German marshals.
    – Genghis khaan cannot be the most brutal. Other rulers at his time were as brutal as Genghis, if not bloodthristier than him. Genghis killed for reason, not to entertain himself. He is supposed to be ranked a lot higher on the list if you consider he built his empire from zero, he didn’t have opportunity to learn from someone like Aristotle, he didn’t have luxury to train himself while being guarded in a palace, etc. Pure natural phenomenon. You cannot deny it, whatever your stereotypical brain might say.
    Just for your information, there is a big difference between “Khan” and “Khaan” in Mongolian. While “khaan” equivalent to “king”, “khan” has been introduced late-medeaval time becoming a title for provincial or tribal leaders.