In almost any civilization, the military is often a subdued institution, and because of that the military leaders from the ancient world continue to remain in higher regards despite a long period of time. Ancient world has witnessed lots of men that have attained great successes from their military expertise and practices. However, merely a small number of military geniuses could actually be regarded as the greatest military leaders in the history. This article is a compilation of great military commanders whose tactical charm molded just how the history unfolded. These leaders of the history are the honorable ones, despised ones, and the brave ones who just weren’t scared of fighting against all odds.

Here are 10 of the greatest military leaders from the ancient world.

1 Alexander the Great (356-323 BC)


Alexander the Great was the military master and the king of Macedon. There’s no doubt he is one of the venerated military leaders in history. Alexander became the king after his father’s assassination and was handed down with all the power in his hands.He then carried on to spread the kingdom, which was his father’s mission. With a purpose of growing his territory, Alexander used 50,000 armies and marched for 12 years.From Danube River to the upper-regions of the Nile and Adriatic Sea to the Indus River in India, Alexander expanded his kingdom like no one else in the history of mankind.

2 Julius Caesar (100-44 BC)


Julius Caesar wasn’t just a fantastic military general – he was also a politician, a builder and a lawgiver. Probably one of the most renowned commanders in the ancient history, Julius Caesar has made and impact on a wide range of people from ancient world – till today. Caesar is the very first Roman emperor who took a military expedition to the Britain. He inhibited Gaul which today comprises of Belgium, Switzerland, France and northern Italy. One fun fact about is name is that the word “emperor” has its roots in his name in various languages. For example – “czar” in Russian and “kaiser” in German.

3 Sun Tzu (ca. 5th century BC)


The Chinese military general, war strategist, and the author of “The art of war”, Sun Tzu changed eminently the way war was fought in the ancient time. Several of the nations, military commanders and intellectuals followed his book “The art of war.” For the last 2,000 years, the book has continued to be a very powerful military piece of writing in Asia. From the 20th century, The Art of War began to influence in America and Europe in several areas like politics, culture, sport, business, as well as modern warfare.


4 Cyrus the Great (c. 600-529 BC)

Cyrus the Great

Cyrus the Great was the first person in history to unify the whole Iran. Cyrus was the commander of the Persians who conquered the Medes. With a dream to build one of the biggest empires on earth, the first king of the Persian Empire began to grow his territory based on the western part of current day Iran. Having a gain access to the Mediterranean Sea port, Cyrus encroached upon the kingdom of Greek and Lydia conquering it in conjunction with the cast of Antonia. Cyrus was also the first leader to introduce the human rights concept in the history. Any type of slavery was illegal in his empire. In addition, the people from his empire were free to follow any kind of social customs or religions.

5 Hammurabi (ca. 1792-1750 BC)


Hammurabi is widely famous for the Hammurabi’s Code – one of the first written sets of laws. He was actually the first king of Babylon from the Amorite Dynasty. Hammurabi came in power in 1792 BC after his father’s demise. As soon as the Elamites (current day Iraq) encroached upon the central Mesopotamian lands from the east, Hammurabi united with Larsa, and conquered them. Following the conquest, he breached the coalition and infested the towns of Uruk and Lsin, building the connections with Lagash and Nippur.After that he inhibited Lagas, Nippur and Larsa. His great strategy in winning all of the rivals was shutting out the source of water to the town till the authority gave up.

Besides his fantastic battling strategies, Hammurabi was highly preferred among his people. His empire saw the breakthroughs in canals, buildings and law systems which was totally rare in those times. Still today, he is greatly acknowledged by several historians as the ancient-law giver. Hammurabi always made a great effort to enhance the lifestyle of the people during his rule.

See Also,

17 Facts that tells History of  Babylonian civilization 

6 Hannibal (247-183/182 BC)

greatest military leaders

With great many military strategies and tactics, Hannibal was probably one of the greatest military commanders. He was raised by his father and made to loathe Rome from a small age. Hannibal’s amazing military strategies, ingenious risk taking habits, make him different from rest of the military leaders in the history.Hannibal is typically known for his bold endeavor to cross mountain Alps with 9,000 cavalries, 50,000 infantries and 37 elephants which was almost believed to be impossible during those times. Plus, Hannibal has shown his outstanding military tactics in the war between Rome and Carthaginians.Regardless of all his hard works and greatest military approaches, t mission to defeat Rome came to an end when he took his own life by avoiding to fall into the Roman hands.

7 Trajan (c. 53-117 AD)


History has it that Trajan devoted all his life for various military campaigns. Having been largely recognized for the conquering of Dacia (present-day Moldova and Romania), that had bothered Romans all through the decade. Shortly after conquering Dacia, Trajan began a battle against the Parthians and even discomfited them.Trajan conquered Mesopotamia and made a new province out of it.

8 Joshua (ca. 13th century BC)


The primary figure of the was according to the books of the Hebrew Bible. Joshua was an impressive military leader that directed the Israelite people toward the conquering of the Promised Land, according to the books of the Hebrew Bible. Joshua was a primary figure of the Book of Joshua and the substitute of Moses.He is well known for demolishing the town of Jericho that initiated a number of triumphs resulting in the conquest of Canaan.

9 Ramses II (ca. 1303-1213 BC)


The greatest and probably the most recognized Pharaoh from the Ancient Egypt, Ramesses II initiated a number of military campaigns to protect the Egypt’s border. Even though Ramesses was chiefly committed to the growth of his empire by building monuments, temples, and big cities, he was also outrageously famous for his courage and tactic in the battleground. The entire military of 100,000 men restrained the territories kept by the Hittite and Nubian during his reign.He made use of various tactics and strategies during the earliest battle of Kadesh in 1247 BC.Irrespective of the technical mistakes during the war, he is well regarded for his plan, tactic and how large of an army he had in his reign.

10 Themistocles (ca. 528-462 BC)


Themistocles was one of the greatest military leaders from the ancient time. This Athenian general and a statesman had a major role in the definitive defeat of the Persians in the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC. He made the Persians aggress toward the narrow waters at Salamis that held them back from making use of their statistical supremacy. In spite of his glorious victory over Persia, he was subsequently banished from Athens for 10 years, which is why he fled to Persia and died