Emperors & Kings

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 1 
Alexander the Great
(King of Macedonia from 336 BC to 323 BC)
Alexander the Great
152
Birthdate: 0356
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pella, Greece
Died: May 31, 0323

Counted amongst the greatest military commanders of all times, Alexander the Great successfully created one of the largest empires—from Macedonia to Persia and India—of the ancient world. The son of King of Macedonia, Philip II, he ascended the throne at the age of 20 and achieved unprecedented success before he died at the age of 33.  

 2 
Napoleon Bonaparte
(Emperor of the French (1804-1814))
Napoleon Bonaparte
112
Birthdate: August 15, 1769
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ajaccio, France
Died: May 5, 1821
French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte ruled as the French emperor from 1804 to 1814 and again in 1815. He strengthened France’s position in Europe through the Napoleonic Wars and extended his kingdom. However, he was eventually defeated by the Seventh Coalition at the Battle of Waterloo and sent to exile. 
 3 
Julius Caesar
(Roman General and Statesman)
Julius Caesar
92
Birthdate: 0100
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: March 15, 0044

Julius Caesar is considered one of the greatest military commanders in history and played an important role in the events that led to the downfall of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He assumed control of the government after a civil war. He was assassinated by rebel senators on the Ides of March, 44 BC.

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 4 
Genghis Khan
(Great Khan of the Mongol Empire (1206 - 1227))
Genghis Khan
104
Birthdate: 1158 AD
Birthplace: Khentii Mountains, Mongolia
Died: August 18, 1227

The founder and first Great Khan and Emperor of the Mongol Empire, Genghis Khan is often considered to be the greatest conqueror of all time. A brutal ruler, he enjoyed exceptional military successes and occupied a substantial portion of Central Asia and China. Besides his military accomplishments, he is also credited with revitalizing the Mongol Empire's writing system.

 5 
Augustus
(Roman Emperor)
Augustus
73
Birthdate: September 23, 0063
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: August 19, 0014

Augustus, the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, ruled from 27 BC to 14 AD. He transformed Rome from a republic to an empire after Julius Caesar’s assassination. He annexed new territories, brought about peace and prosperity and laid the foundation of an empire that lasted for nearly 1500 years. Historians regard him as an effective but controversial leader.

 6 
Ashoka
(Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty)
Ashoka
105
Birthdate: 0304 BC
Birthplace: Pataliputra
Died: 0232 BC
Ashoka the Great of the Maurya Dynasty was the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya and ruled the Indian subcontinent from c. 268 to 232 BCE. Following the death and destruction caused by the Kalinga War, which was part of his expansion plan, he converted to Buddhism and propagated the faith.
 7 
Charlemagne
(1st Emperor of the Romans from 800 to 814)
Charlemagne
62
Birthdate: April 2, 0747
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Aachen, Germany
Died: January 28, 0814

Also known as Charles the Great, Charlemagne ruled as the king of the Franks, king of the Lombards, and emperor of the Romans at different time periods. Not surprisingly, he had a major impact during the Early Middle Ages as he went about uniting the majority of central and western Europe, for which he is called the Father of Europe.

 8 
Marcus Aurelius
(Philosopher)
Marcus Aurelius
51
Birthdate: April 26, 0121
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: March 17, 0180

Marcus Aurelius played an important role in the Roman Empire. A Stoic philosopher, Marcus was part of the Five Good Emperors and the last emperor of the Pax Romana—a 200-year-long period of relative peace in the Roman Empire. Also a writer, his work Meditations is regarded by many as one of the greatest works of philosophy.

 9 
Alfred the Great
(King of the West Saxons)
Alfred the Great
50
Birthdate: 0849 AD
Birthplace: Wantage, England
Died: October 26, 0899

Alfred the Great, king of Wessex, cemented his place in history as a legendary ruler who led his kingdom to victory in wars that seemed hopeless. He is known for his brilliant strategies and defensive measures. He prevented England from falling to the Danes during his rule from circa 871 to 886. He’s also credited with promoting learning and literacy and curbing corruption.

 10 
William the Conqueror
(Former King of England (1066 - 1087))
William the Conqueror
43
Birthdate: 1028 AD
Birthplace: Falaise, France
Died: September 9, 1087

William the Conqueror was the first Norman King of England who ruled from 1066 to 1087. William's conquest had a profound impact on England; his government merged elements of the Norman and English systems that laid the foundations of the medieval English kingdom. He is credited with building castles, mottes, and keeps, including the White Tower and Tower of London.

 11 
Suleiman The Magnificent
(10th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire)
Suleiman The Magnificent
63
Birthdate: November 6, 1494
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Trabzon, Turkey
Died: September 6, 1566
Suleiman The Magnificent ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1520 to 1566 and was instrumental in the empire’s expansion, leading the conquests of Belgrade, Rhodes, and Hungary. He was a patron of art and culture, and a talented poet and goldsmith himself. He married Roxelana, a Christian-turned-Muslim from his harem.
 12 
Constantine the Great
(Roman Emperor)
Constantine the Great
37
Birthdate: February 27, 0272
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Naissus, Moesia, Roman Empire
Died: May 22, 0337

Constantine the Great served as the Roman emperor between 306 and 337. During his reign, he enacted financial, administrative, military, and social reforms to strengthen the empire. Constantine the Great is also credited with introducing the solidus, a gold coin which became the standard for European and Byzantine currencies for over a thousand years.

 13 
Chandragupta Maurya
(Emperor of India and Founder of the Mauryan Dynasty)
Chandragupta Maurya
56
Birthdate: 0340 BC
Birthplace: Pataliputra
Died: 0297 BC

Chandragupta Maurya established the Maurya Empire in India. He was mostly advised by philosopher Chanakya. He conquered the Nanda Empire and fought the Seleucid-Mauryan War, too. His reign was marked by religious tolerance, and cultural and economic prosperity. He later relinquished his throne and became a Jain monk.

 14 
Cyrus the Great
(Founder of First Persian Empire)
Cyrus the Great
47
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.

 15 
Peter the Great
(First Emperor of Russia)
Peter the Great
47
Birthdate: June 9, 1672
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Moscow
Died: February 8, 1725
Peter the Great ruled the Tsardom of Russia, and then the Russian Empire, from 1682 to 1725. He ushered in the Enlightenment and cultural revolution in Russia. He also strengthened the Russian navy and launched the Russo-Persian War. Saint Petersburg, the capital of Russia till 1917, was established by him.
 16 
Qin Shi Huang
(Emperor of the Qin Dynasty from 221 BC to 210 BC)
Qin Shi Huang
32
Birthdate: February 18, 0259
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: China
Died: 0210 AD

Qin Shi Huang is credited with founding the Qin dynasty, the first dynasty of Imperial China. He reigned as the first emperor of a unified China from 221 BC to 210 BC. Under his rule, the Chinese state expanded greatly and he also enacted major political and economic reforms. His life and work inspired several films like The Emperor's Shadow.

 17 
Louis XIV of France
(King of France from 1643 to 1715)
Louis XIV of France
41
Birthdate: September 5, 1638
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Died: September 1, 1715

Louis XIV of France reigned as the King of France from 1643 to 1715. Louis XIV is the longest-reigning monarch of a sovereign country in the history of Europe. Under his rule, France often asserted its military prowess and emerged as the most dominant European monarchy. His life inspired several films, such as The Taking of Power by Louis XIV.

 18 
Mehmed II
(Sultan of the Ottoman Empire)
Mehmed II
31
Birthdate: March 30, 1432
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Edirne, Rumelia Eyalet, Ottoman Sultanate
Died: May 3, 1481

Mehmed II reigned as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire on two separate occasions; from 1444 to 1446 and again from 1451 to 1481. During his first reign, Mehmed II defeated the military expedition led by John Hunyadi. During his second reign, Mehmed II strengthened the Ottoman navy and conquered Constantinople at age 21, which ended the Byzantine Empire. 

 19 
Alexander II of Russia
(Emperor of Russia (1855 - 1881))
Alexander II of Russia
26
Birthdate: April 29, 1818
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: March 13, 1881

Alexander II of Russia was the Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and King of Poland from 1855 to 1881. He became known as Alexander the Liberator for his most significant reform, which was the Emancipation Reform of 1861. He is also credited with reorganizing the judicial system, abolishing corporal punishment, and imposing universal military service in Russia.

 20 
Claudius
(4th Roman Emperor Who Ruled from AD 41 to 54)
Claudius
27
Birthdate: August 1, 0010
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lugdunum
Died: October 13, 0054

Claudius was made the Roman emperor by the Praetorian Guard after the assassination of Caligula, his nephew and predecessor, and ruled from 41 to 54 A.D. He was slightly limp and deaf since childhood, but his reign was marked by financial stability. He was succeeded by his grand-nephew, tyrant Nero.

 21 
Timur
(Amir of the Timurid Empire from 1370 to 1405)
Timur
46
Birthdate: April 9, 1336
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Shahrisabz, Uzbekistan
Died: February 18, 1405

Widely considered one of the greatest tacticians and military leaders in history, Timur is credited with founding the Timurid Empire, which attained its greatest extent under the leadership of Timur. His empire laid the foundation for the rise of the more prominent Islamic gunpowder empires, such as the Mughal Empire, which then ruled the Indian subcontinent for almost 330 years.

 22 
Henry VII of England
(Monarch of England (1485-1509))
Henry VII of England
39
Birthdate: January 28, 1457
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Died: April 21, 1509

Henry VII of England played an important role in popularizing the House of Tudor by becoming the first monarch of the house; he ruled as the king of England from 1485 until his death in 1509. He is credited with several economic, diplomatic, and administrative initiatives.

 23 
Vlad the Impaler
(Wallachian Ruler Regarded as One of the Most Important Rulers in Wallachian History and a Romanian National Hero)
Vlad the Impaler
36
Birthdate: 1431 AD
Birthplace: Sighișoara, Romania
Died: November 30, 1476

Often considered a national hero of Romania, Vlad the Impaler was an important ruler in Wallachian history. Also known as Vlad Dracula, his reputation for cruelty inspired the name of the famous fictitious vampire Count Dracula. Books describing his cruelty were among the first-known bestsellers in the German-speaking territories.

 24 
King James I
(King of Scotland)
King James I
23
Birthdate: June 19, 1566
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Died: March 27, 1625

King James I of England and Ireland was also the king of Scotland as James VI. Son of Mary, Queen of Scots, he believed in royal absolutism. He had major conflicts with the Parliament and its ever-growing powers, which eventually led to revolts against his successor, Charles I.

 25 
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
(The Last Shah of Iran Who Ruled from 1941 to 1979)
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
85
Birthdate: October 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Died: July 27, 1980

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi served as the last king of Iran from 1941 to 1979. During his reign, Iran witnessed rapid military and industrial modernization and several social and economic reforms. During his rule, Iran also enjoyed a spike in economic growth, surpassing France, England, and the US. However, the Iranian Revolution, which was unusual in many ways, overthrew the king.

 26 
Ramesses II
( Pharaoh of Egypt from 1279 BC to 1213 BC)
Ramesses II
16
Birthdate: 1303 BC
Birthplace: Egypt
Died: 1213 BC

Ramesses II, son of Seti I, was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty. Also known as the “Great Ancestor,” he is remembered for his aggressive military expeditions to Nubia and Canaan. The second longest-reigning ruler of Egypt, he is credited for building monuments and cities such as the Pi-Ramesses.

 27 
Kublai Khan
(Founder of the Yuan dynasty in Mongolia and China,)
Kublai Khan
33
Birthdate: September 23, 1215
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mongolia
Died: February 18, 1294

Also known as the Emperor Shizu of Yuan, Kublai Khan served as the fifth khagan of the famous Mongol Empire. After the division of the empire, Kublai Khan founded the Yuan dynasty in China and ruled as the first Yuan emperor from 1271 until his death in 1294. Hence, he played an important role in re-creating a militarily powerful China.

 28 
Solomon
(King of Israel)
Solomon
28
Birthdate: 0990 BC
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Died: 0931 BC
Also known as Jedidiah, Israeli king Solomon, known for his wisdom, is a figure that appears in the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, the Quran, and Hadiths. He ruled over the United Monarchy. His sins such as idolatry and marrying foreign women led to the disintegration of his kingdom.
 29 
Saladin
(Sultan of Egypt and Syria (1174 - 1193))
Saladin
36
Birthdate: 1138 AD
Birthplace: Tikrit, Iraq
Died: March 4, 1193
Named the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Saladin founded the Ayyubid Dynasty. He abolished the Fatimid Caliphate and later defeated the Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin, thus taking control of Palestine. As the de facto Caliph of Islam, he controlled a vast area, including Egypt, Syria, and Yemen.
 30 
Raja Raja Chola I
(Chola Emperor Who was the Most Powerful King in South India During His Reign)
Raja Raja Chola I
10
Birthdate: 0947 AD
Died: 1014 AD

Raja Raja Chola I was an emperor who reigned over south India from 985 to 1014. Also known as Rajaraja the Great, the emperor was deemed the most powerful southern king. He is remembered for resuscitating the Chola power and controlling south India and Indian Ocean. He is also credited with building the Brihadisvara Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 31 
David
(King of Israel from 1010 to 970 BCE)
David
12
Birthdate: 1040 AD
Birthplace: Bethlehem, Israel
Died: 0970 AD

King David of Israel remains a significant figure not just in Christianity, but also in Judaism and Islam. The Books of Samuel describe him as a shepherd. Legends also mention how he killed the giant Goliath and had an affair with Bathsheba. He was also a poet and a psalmist.

 32 
Philip II of Spain
(King of Spain (1556 - 1598), King of Portugal (1580 - 1598))
Philip II of Spain
28
Birthdate: May 21, 1527
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Valladolid, Spain
Died: September 13, 1598
Philip II, son of Charles V, was a 16-th century king of Spain and Portugal. Also known as Philip the Prudent, he became the king of Ireland and England through his marriage to Mary I. Following Mary’s death, he attempted to overthrow Elizabeth I with his armada invasions, but failed.
 33 
Darius the Great
(King of Persia)
Darius the Great
19
Birthdate: 0550 BC
Birthplace: Iran
Died: September 30, 0486

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.  

 34 
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
(Former Holy Roman Emperor)
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
21
Birthdate: February 24, 1500
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ghent
Died: September 21, 1558

Charles V served as the Holy Roman Emperor, King of Italy, and King of Germany from 1519 to 1556. From 1516 to 1556, he ruled as the King of Spain. His personal union of the American and European territories was the first collection of kingdoms that were described the empire on which the Sun never sets.

 35 
Tutankhamun
(King of Egypt from 1332 BC to 1323 BC)
Tutankhamun
35
Birthdate: 1341 BC
Birthplace: Amarna
Died: 1323 BC

Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh who ruled between 1334 and 1325 BC. He is one of the most studied ancient Egyptian pharaohs, thanks to his well-preserved tomb. Although he was not a popular ruler, the global exhibitions of artifacts associated with him have made Tutankhamun the most renowned pharaoh in the modern world.

 36 
Xerxes I
(King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 486 BC to 465 BC)
Xerxes I
27
Birthdate: 0519 AD
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.

 37 
George V
(King of the United Kingdom (1910-36))
George V
51
Birthdate: June 3, 1865
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 20, 1936

George V became the King of Great Britain and the British Dominions in 1910. During the World War I, he played an active role in supporting the troops. The rise of socialism, communism, fascism and the Indian independence movement was witnessed during his rule. His reign also saw the supremacy of the elected British House of Commons established by the Parliament.

 38 
Osman I
(Political Leader)
Osman I
21
Birthdate: 1258 AD
Birthplace: Söğüt, Turkey
Died: August 1, 1326

Osman I was the founder of the Ottoman dynasty, which ruled the Ottoman Empire between 1299 and 1922. One of the most important historical figures in Turkey, Osman I is often depicted in popular culture. Interestingly, he is also one of the least documented leaders of the Ottoman Turks, making the factual information of his biographies questionable.

 39 
Gilgamesh
(5th king of the Sumerian city-state of Uruk)
Gilgamesh
20
Birthplace: Iraq
Mesopotamian hero Gilgamesh is the leading character in the 2nd millennium B.C. Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh. Experts believe he was a Sumerian ruler from 2900-2500 B.C., who became a legendary figure in the Third Dynasty of Ur. Gilgamesh’s tale is said to have inspired the Iliad and the Odyssey.
 40 
Edward III of England
(King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1327 to 1377)
Edward III of England
17
Birthdate: November 13, 1312
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Windsor, England
Died: June 21, 1377
Edward III, or Edward of Windsor, was the King of England and the Lord of Ireland from 1327 to 1377. He took to the throne after his father, Edward II, was deposed by his mother, Isabella, and Roger Mortimer. He strengthened the military and participated in the Hundred Years' War.
 41 
Louis IX of France
(King of France from 1226 to 1270)
Louis IX of France
15
Birthdate: April 25, 1214
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Poissy, France
Died: August 25, 1270
Louis IX, also known as Saint Louis, reigned as the king of France from 1226 to 1270. He remains the only French king who was canonized in the Catholic Church. He reformed the French justice system. His reign is remembered for its economic prosperity. He died fighting the Eighth crusade.
 42 
Frederick The Great
(Former King of Prussia (1740 - 1786))
Frederick The Great
19
Birthdate: January 24, 1712
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: August 17, 1786
Prussian king Frederick II, also known as Frederick the Great and The Old Fritz, was the longest-reigning Hohenzollern king. He is known for his involvement in the Silesian Wars and the Partitions of Poland. He also supported art and culture, and reformed the judicial system of Prussia.
 43 
Haile Selassie
(Former Emperor of Ethiopia (1930 - 1936, 1941 - 1974))
Haile Selassie
30
Birthdate: July 23, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ejersa Goro, Ethiopia
Died: August 27, 1975

Haile Selassie, served his country, Ethiopia, as its regent from 1916 to 1930 and as its emperor from 1930 to 1974. He introduced the first Ethiopian constitution, abolished slavery, chaired the Organisation of African Unity, and helped Ethiopia enter the UN. He inspired the Rastafari movement, too.

 44 
Ivan the Terrible
(Former Tsar of Russia (1547 - 1575))
Ivan the Terrible
37
Birthdate: August 25, 1530
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kolomenskoye, Moscow, Russia
Died: March 28, 1584
Ivan the Terrible, son of Vasili III, served as the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 to 1547. The “Chosen Council” declared him the tsar at 16 and established the Tsardom of Russia. Ivan’s reign was known for wars such as the Livonian War, which damaged Russia’s economy. 
 45 
Hadrian
(Roman Emperor)
Hadrian
13
Birthdate: January 24, 0076
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Italica, Hispania
Died: July 10, 0138
Hadrian was the Roman emperor from 117 to 138. Though he was married to Vibia Sabina, he was said to have many male lovers. He reconstructed the Pantheon and built the Temple of Venus and Roma. He also supported military discipline and came to be known as a benevolent dictator.
 46 
Trajan
(Roman Emperor)
Trajan
14
Birthdate: September 18, 0053
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hispania Baetica
Died: August 8, 0117

Trajan was the Roman emperor from 98 to 117 CE. Remembered as a successful soldier-emperor, he presided over a great military expansion, leading the Roman Empire to attain its maximum territorial extent by the time of his death. He was the second of the Five Good Emperors and focused on implementing social welfare policies for the benefit of his citizens.

 47 
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
(Founder of the Maratha Kingdom of India)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
80
Birthdate: February 19, 1630
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Maharashtra, India
Died: April 3, 1680

Shivaji was an Indian warrior-king. He is credited with founding the Maratha Empire, which became a force to reckon with during the 18th century. He is also credited with creating his own navy. Considered one of the most important Indian kings and a hero of the Hindus, Shivaji's life and work have inspired several works of art, including films.

 48 
Henry V of England
(King of England (1413 – 1422))
Henry V of England
20
Birthdate: August 9, 1386
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Monmouth Castle, Monmouth, Principality of Wales
Died: August 31, 1422

One of the most renowned kings in English history, Henry V ascended the throne at the age of 26 in 1413 and ruled England till his death in 1422. Though his reign was short, it was marked by great successes in the Hundred Years' War against France which established England as one of the strongest kingdoms in entire Europe.

 49 
Mansa Musa
(Emperor of Mali from 1312 to 1337)
Mansa Musa
17
Birthplace: Mali Empire
Died: 1337 AD

Mansa Musa was the tenth Mansa, or emperor, of the Mali Empire in West Africa and ruled from c.1312 to c.1337. Nicknamed the Emir of Melle, he was one of the richest people of his time, due to Mali’s gold reserves. He also patronized science, arts, and literature.

 50 
Franz Joseph I of Austria
(Emperor of Austria King of Hungary (1848 - 1916))
Franz Joseph I of Austria
25
Birthdate: August 18, 1830
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: November 21, 1916

Franz Joseph I of Austria reigned as the Emperor of Austria from 1848 until his death in 1916. He also served as the King of Hungary, Bohemia, and Croatia and monarch of other states of Austria-Hungary. During his reign, Austria-Hungary decided to wage war against the Kingdom of Serbia, which eventually resulted in the First World War.