The ancient world was famous for its kings, nobilities, warriors and wars. The ancient world saw several wars without modern-day weapons. In those days, wars were fought with daggers, swords, spears and shields. Some kingdoms had powerful warriors while some had battle capabilities, skills and tactics. These warriors made a name for themself because of their abilities to win. Some of them helped create the most powerful empire in history.
Let’s check out the 10 most powerful and greatest warriors in history with unparalleled fighting skills.
Spartacus, the famous gladiator from a group of Indo-European tribes known as the “Thracians”. Born in 111 BCE in modern-day Bulgaria, this rebel slave leader played a major role in the “Third Servile War”. He led the historic slave rebellion in 73-71 BCE against the Roman Republic.
Subsequently, Spartacus defeated a series of Roman attacks. Ultimately he was defeated. And his rebel army was destroyed and his followers were hunted down and crucified. His life and struggle is an inspiration to revolutionaries, a symbol of the poor and the repressed nationalities.
9. Shivaji Maharaj
The Indian warrior king Shivaji born in 1627 started his campaign as a warlord and became a legendary figure. Over the course of his life, Shivaji engaged in both alliances and hostilities with the Mughal Empire, Sultanate of Bijapur, Sultanate of Golkonda as well as European colonial powers. Shivaji’s military forces expanded the Maratha sphere of influence, capturing and building forts, and forming a Maratha navy.
Shivaji blocked the design of the Mughals to spread their rule over Indian sub-continent. His waves of conquests in Southern parts of India made him known as Chhatrapati, the monarch/emperor.
8. Hannibal Barca
Hannibal Barca is remembered as Rome’s greatest adversary for generations. He is considered as one of the greatest military warriors in history. Barca was a Carthaginian general, who made the Roman Empire in disarray. In the 2nd Punic War, Hannibal led his forces in a greatest-surprise-manner and crossed the most dangerous route of Alps Mountain.
He defeated the powerful Roman Empire in 3 great battles. Hannibal created the tactics of ‘Turning movement’ in a military battle. His stunning deployment of army is remembered even today. In 183 BCE, he died of poisoning.
7. Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte born in 1769 in France was a military leader and 1st warrior emperor of France. He conquered a vast area of Europe in the French Revolutionary Wars. Between the years 1793 and 1815, he waged wars against various European nations. He became the King of Italy in 1805.
Napoleon created a great French dominion. He was a dominating figure in global affairs for more than a decade. Napoleonic Wars and Napoleonic Code are considered remarkable. Battle of Waterloo was famous as he was finally defeated here (present-day Belgium) in 1814 by a British led Allied army.
Napoleon was the epitome of the Romantic hero, the persecuted, lonely, and flawed genius.
6. Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great was a legendary warrior born in 600 BC in ancient Persia. He became the king of four corners of the world. Cyrus went on to create the largest empire in the world. Achaemenid Empire (The First Persian Empire) having an enormous geographic size ranging from Balkans to Eastern Europe to Indus Valley. The empire spanned 5.5 million square kilometres at one point of time.
He defeated the Empires of Lydia, Asia Minor, Babylonia with his strong cavalry and navy. Cyrus’ Achaemenid Empire endured for a long period because of strong political infrastructure and his respect to other religions.
5. Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar, a famous Roman dictator was born in 100 BCE in Rome. Through a series of battles, Caesar expanded the Roman Republic across Europe. His biggest victory was the win over Gaul (present-day France and Belgium). This conquest has great prominence in world history.
He became the dictator of Rome for life. Julius Caesar is an all-time great leader and warrior who fought several wars and established the Roman Imperial System. He became the first Roman General to cross the English Channel to invade Britain. Julius Caesar was brutally assassinated at the age of 55, he was stabbed 23 times.
One of the greatest of the barbarian rulers, Attila was the King of Hun from 434 CE to 453 CE. This nomadic leaders’ role was significant in the great fall of the Roman Empire. He was a terror among his enemies and he surpassed all other barbarians in wildness. Attila built a vast empire within 10 years, virtually from ruins and rubble. He began his conquests in 451 CE with an army of 0.2 million men.
During his reign, he became the most feared enemies of the Western as well as Eastern Roman Empires. He crossed the Danube twice and plundered the Balkans. His empire stretched from Central Asia to modern-day France which extended up to Danube valley.
3. Richard the Lionheart
Richard I of England nicknamed as Richard the Lionheart is remembered as a valiant warrior. During 1198-1192, the European warriors, kings and leaders grouped to recapture the Holy land of Jerusalem from the grip of Muslim king Saladin. This campaign called Third Crusade was Richard’s ambition.
Richard’s crusade set off in 1190 and captured Sicily after defeating King Tancred. In 1191, he invaded Cyprus and conquered it. Richard defeated Saladin’s forces at the Battle of Arsuf. The Third Crusade failed to capture Jerusalem but after the war, Richard made a truce with Saladin. The truce forced Saladin and gave Christian pilgrims free access to Jerusalem.
Richard was a competent military leader, individual fighter and a great crusader. But, was often criticised for his viciousness, unforgiving nature, ruthless attitude and excessive cruelty. Richard, the Lionheart became an iconic figure both in England and France.
2. Genghis Khan
The legendary warrior Genghis Khan was born in 1162. Known as the Supreme Khan of the Mongols. In the early 13th Century, he unified the Mongolian nomadic tribes and started his invasion in all directions.
He indulged in plundering, pillaging, and revenge attacking during his invasion. Khan grew into a ruthless leader. Highly obnoxious to his enemies, he killed around 40 million people, conquered 12 million square miles of land. A genocidal ruler, his main tactic was injecting fear among the nemesis.
He defeated great empires of Khwarezm dynasty, Jin dynasty, Persian kingdoms, Qara Khitai, Georgia, Afghanistan and Bulgaria.
1. Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia, is arguably the greatest warrior of all time. Renowned for his creation of an empire that stretched across three continents. Born in 356 BC in ancient Greece, Aristotle tutored Alexander. He fought 20 battles and won all of them. Although, Alexander lived just 32 years but ruled 1/4th of the globe for over a decade.
He conquered Persia, Egypt, Mediterranean lands, and India. His greatest victory was in 331 BC at the battle of Gaugamela in the Persian War Campaign. Alexander was great in articulating the cavalry tactics, terrain, and clever maneuvers on the battlefields. He also fought on the front lines of every battle.