Famous 6th Century Emperors & Kings

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 1 
Cyrus the Great
(Founder of First Persian Empire)
Cyrus the Great
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Birthdate: 0590 BC
Birthplace: Anshan, Iran
Died: 0530 BC

Cyrus II, or Cyrus the Great, founded the first Persian empire, the Achaemenid Empire. His kingdom extended from Western Asia to Central Asia. He advocated centralized administration, with the help of local governors. The biblical Edict of Cyrus, named after him, talks about the return of the Jews to Israel.

 2 
Darius the Great
(King of Persia)
Darius the Great
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Birthdate: 0550 AD
Birthplace: Iran
Died: September 30, 0487

Darius the Great was a Persian ruler. He served as the third King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 522 BCE until he died in 486 BCE. The empire was at the peak of its glory under his reign and included much of Western Asia and parts of the Balkans. He invested a lot in construction projects.  

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Xerxes I
(King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire (486-465))
Xerxes I
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Birthdate: 0519 BC
Birthplace: Achaemenid Empire
Died: July 31, 0466

Xerxes I ruled the Achaemenid Empire from 486 to 465 BC as the fourth King of Kings. During his reign, Xerxes I supervised the completion of several construction projects at Persepolis and Susa. A popular ruler, his life has been adapted into several plays and films; in the 1960 movie Esther and the King, Xerxes is played by Richard Egan.

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 4 
Justinian I
(Byzantine Emperor)
Justinian I
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Birthdate: 0482 AD
Birthplace: Tauresium, Dardania, then part of Diocese of Dacia (in today's Republic of Macedonia
Died: November 14, 0565

Also known as Justinian the Great, Justinian I was the Eastern Roman emperor from 527 to 565. Even though he came from a peasant family, he was well educated in jurisprudence, theology, and Roman history. As emperor, he was known to be highly energetic and ambitious. He brought about several judicial reforms in his kingdom.

 5 
Theodoric the Great
(King of the Ostrogoths (471–526))
Theodoric the Great
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Birthdate: 0454 AD
Birthplace: Petronell-Carnuntum, Austria
Died: August 30, 0526
 6 
Uthman
(The Third Caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate and the Son-in-Law of Prophet Muhammad)
Uthman
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Birthdate: 0576 AD
Birthplace: Taif, Saudi Arabia
Died: June 17, 0656
Uthman, also known as Osman, was the second cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad served as the third caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate. An affluent merchant of the Umayyad clan, he became the Prophet’s first convert of a high social class. He died fighting Egyptian rebels.
 7 
Romulus Augustus
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Birthdate: 0465 AD
Birthplace: Pannonia, Austria
Died: 0511 AD

Romulus Augustus went down in history as the last Western Roman emperor. The son of Orestes, who was killed by German warrior Odoacer, Romulus was spared and allowed to move to southern Italy. Though not much is known of him, it is believed he lived till the rule of Theoderic.

 8 
Cambyses II
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Birthdate: 0559 BC
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: June 30, 0522

Cambyses II was the second King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire. He ruled from 530 BC to 522 BC. He was the son of Cyrus the Great and Cassandane. Before claiming the throne, he served as the governor of northern Babylonia under his father. His reign was relatively brief and marked by his conquests in Africa, notably Egypt. 

 9 
Clovis I
(First king of the Franks to unite all of the Frankish tribes under one ruler.)
Clovis I
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Birthdate: 0466 AD
Birthplace: Tournai (present-day Belgium)
Died: November 27, 0511

Clovis I, regarded as the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, united the Frankish tribes under one leader and thus transformed the leadership system which had previously been based on leadership by a group of chieftains. His conversion to Catholicism led to widespread conversion among the Frankish people.

 10 
Heraclius
(Emperor of Byzantine Empire)
Heraclius
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Birthdate: 0575 AD
Birthplace: Cappadocia, present-day Turkey
Died: February 11, 0641

A skilled military leader, Heraclius was also deeply religious, having once read out passages from the Bible when his men wanted to invade Persia. He also treated his prisoners with respect. He is best remembered for his exploits in the Byzantine–Sasanian War and his clashes with the Arabs.

 11 
Bardiya
(King)
Bardiya
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Birthplace: Pasargadae, Iran
Died: 0522 AD

Born to Cyrus the Great of Persia, Bardiya was also known as Tanyoxarces. Though most sources believe he was the king of Persia, some sources claim an impersonator ruled Persia, pretending to be the real son of Cyrus. Both historian Herodotus and king Darius believed the impersonator was Gaumata, a magus.

Rædwald of East Anglia
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Birthdate: 0560 AD
Birthplace: United Kingdom
Died: 0624 AD
 13 
Khosrau II
(considered to be the last great Sasanian king (shah) of Iran, ruling from 590 to 628, with an interruption of one year)
Khosrau II
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Birthdate: 0570 AD
Birthplace: Ctesiphon, Iraq
Died: February 28, 0628
 14 
Harshavardhana
(Indian emperor)
Harshavardhana
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Birthdate: 0590 AD
Died: 0647 AD

Harshavardhana, the second son of king Prabhakaravardhana of Thanesar, became a king at 16. Also known as Harsha, he reigned over a vast region of North and Northwestern India from 606 to 647 CE. Hieun Tsang’s Harshacharita detailed how Harsha converted from Hinduism to Buddhism, banned animal slaughter, and built monasteries.

 15 
Khosrow I
(Sasanian King of Kings of Iran from 531 to 579)
Khosrow I
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Birthdate: 0501 AD
Birthplace: Ardestan, Iran
Died: January 31, 0579

Khosrow I was a 6th-century Persian king of the Sasanian Empire. Though most of the information on him is known through legends, he is believed to have been a patron of the arts. He introduced major tax reforms and also brought changes to the Sasanian bureaucracy.

 16 
Phocas
(Eastern Roman emperor from 602 to 610)
Phocas
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Birthdate: 0547 AD
Birthplace: Thracia, Turkey
Died: 0610 AD
 17 
Cerdic
(King of Wessex)
Cerdic
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Birthdate: 0467 AD
Birthplace: Germany
Died: 0534 AD
 18 
Ceol
(King)
Ceol
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Birthplace: unknown
Died: 0597 AD
 19 
Aethelberht I
(King of Kent)
Aethelberht I
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Birthdate: 0550 AD
Birthplace: Kingdom of Kent
Died: February 24, 0616
 20 
Emperor Yang of Sui
(Emperor of China’s Sui dynasty)
Emperor Yang of Sui
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Birthdate: 0569 AD
Birthplace: Daxing District, Beijing, China
Died: April 11, 0618

Emperor Yang of Sui is remembered for constructing countless canals and palaces in China during his reign. He apparently took over the throne after executing his father and brother. Though a patron of the arts, he killed two poets when he found they wrote better poetry than him.

 21 
Peisistratos
(Ruler of Ancient Athens)
Peisistratos
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Birthdate: 0600 AD
Birthplace: Athens, Greece
Died: 0527 AD
 22 
Tiberius II Constantine
(Was Eastern Roman emperor from 574 to 582)
Tiberius II Constantine
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Birthdate: 0520 AD
Birthplace: Thrace
Died: August 14, 0582
 23 
Tarquinius Priscus
(Fifth king of Rome)
Tarquinius Priscus
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Birthplace: Roman
Died: 0578 AD
 24 
Cambyses I
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Birthdate: 0600 BC
Birthplace: Anshan, Iran
Died: 0559 BC

Cambyses I was the king of Anshan from c. 580 to 559 BC. He was an early member of the Achaemenid dynasty and was a great-grandson of its founder Achaemenes. Not much is known about his life other than the fact that he reigned under the overlordship of Astyages.  

 25 
Chlothar I
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Birthdate: 0497 AD
Birthplace: Soissons, France
Died: November 29, 0561
 26 
Phalaris
(Tyrant of Acragas)
Phalaris
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Birthplace: Italy
Died: 0554 AD
 27 
Cyrus I
(King)
Cyrus I
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Birthdate: 0649 AD
Birthplace: Iran
Died: 0580 AD
 28 
Ceawlin of Wessex
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Birthplace: Wessex, Great Britain
Died: 0593 AD
 29 
Chlotar II
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Birthdate: 0584 AD
Birthplace: Cambrai, France
Died: October 18, 0629
 30 
Śuddhodana
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Birthplace: Kapilavastu, Shakya
 31 
Alaric II
(King of the Visigoths from 484 until 507)
Alaric II
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Birthdate: 0458 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: July 31, 0507
 32 
Dhu Nuwas
(Ruler)
Dhu Nuwas
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Birthdate: 0450 AD
Birthplace: Himyar
Died: 0523 AD
 33 
Psamtik III
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Birthplace: Egypt
Died: 0535 AD
 34 
Apries
(Pharaoh)
Apries
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Birthplace: Egypt
Died: 0567 AD
 35 
Kavadh I
(Sasanian King of Kings of Iran from 488 to 531)
Kavadh I
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Birthdate: 0473 AD
Birthplace: Iran
Died: September 13, 0531
 36 
Polycrates
(Son of Aeaces, was the tyrant of Samos from the 540s BC to 522 BC)
Polycrates
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Birthdate: 0574 AD
Birthplace: Samos, Greece
Died: 0522 AD

Polycrates was a tyrant who ruled over Samos, a Greek island which is separated by the 1.6-kilometre wide Mycale Strait from present-day Turkey, from the 540s to 522 BC. Polycrates is credited with achieving engineering and technological expertise of unprecedented levels in ancient Greece. The Tunnel of Eupalinos, which is 1,036 metres long, was an aqueduct constructed during his time.

 37 
Kaleb of Axum
(Sovereign)
Kaleb of Axum
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Birthplace: Kingdom of Aksum
Died: 0540 AD
 38 
Gundobad
(King)
Gundobad
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Birthplace: Ancient Rome
Died: 0516 AD
 39 
Cynric
(King)
Cynric
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Birthplace: Wessex, England
Died: 0560 AD
 40 
Ida of Bernicia
(King of Bernicia)
Ida of Bernicia
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Birthplace: Bernicia
Died: 0559 AD
 41 
Hormizd IV
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Birthdate: 0540 AD
Birthplace: Ctesiphon, Iraq
Died: 0590 AD
 42 
Bahram Chobin
(Nobleman, General, and Political Leader of the Late Sasanian Empire)
Bahram Chobin
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Birthplace: Unknwon
Died: 0591 AD

Bahram Chobin was a nobleman, political leader, and general of the late Sasanian Empire. He also served as its ruler from 590 to 591. A respected political leader renowned for his character, skills, and accomplishments, Bahram Chobin came to be known as a hero and his life inspired several folktales and literary works.

 43 
Aethelfrith
(King of Bernicia and Deira)
Aethelfrith
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Birthdate: 0567 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: 0616 AD
 44 
Áedán mac Gabráin
(King of Dál Riata)
Áedán mac Gabráin
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Birthplace: -
Died: April 17, 0609
 45 
Psamtik II
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Birthplace: Egypt
Died: February 9, 0589
 46 
Leovigild
(King of Hispania)
Leovigild
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Birthdate: 0519 AD
Birthplace: Spain
Died: April 21, 0586
 47 
Alyattes of Lydia
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Birthdate: 0620 AD
Birthplace: Mermnad dynasty
Died: October 31, 0560
 48 
Demaratus
(King)
Demaratus
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Birthplace: Sparta, Greece
Died: 0491 AD
 49 
Chlodomer
(King of Orléans)
Chlodomer
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Birthdate: 0495 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: June 21, 0524
 50 
Vitiges
(King)
Vitiges
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Birthplace: Vitigis
Died: 0542 AD