George I of Greece reigned as the king of Greece from 1863 until his murder in 1913. During his reign of nearly 50 years, which is the longest in the history of modern Greece, George helped expand Greece's territory significantly. During his reign, Greece also became increasingly prosperous and attained a popular place on the European stage.
Constantine II of Greece reigned as the King of the Hellenes from 1964 until 1973 when the Greek monarchy was abolished. His reign culminated in the Greek junta and the former King of Greece was forced into exile when the countercoup against the junta failed. Constantine is also a former sailor who won an Olympic gold in the 1960 Olympics.
Philip II of Macedon reigned as the king of Macedon from 359 BC to 336 BC. He is credited with reforming the Ancient Macedonian army, which helped secure several victories on the battlefield. Under his reign, the kingdom of Macedonia conquered and dominated Ancient Greece. He was succeeded by his son, Alexander the Great.
Greek king Pyrrhus, son of prince Aeacides, belonged to the Hellenistic period and ruled Epirus. His destructive losses in the wars that he fought gave rise to the term “Pyrrhic victory.” He fought against Rome in the Pyrrhic War and later died while fighting a street war in Argos.
Seleucus I Nicator was Alexander the Great’s right hand in his fight against Porus in India. He became the Babylonian governor after Alexander’s death and eventually formed the Seleucid empire. His conflict with Chandragupta Maurya ended with a marital alliance, and he secured his ties by sending Megasthenes to Pataliputra.
George II of Greece was the King of Greece for two terms, from 1922 to 1924 and from 1935 to 1947. He was the eldest son of King Constantine I and his wife, Sophia of Prussia. He reigned during a tumultuous time in Greek history. Upon his death, he was succeeded by his younger brother, Paul.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes reigned over the Seleucid Empire as a Hellenistic king from 175 BC to 164 BC. The first successful usurper of the Seleucid Empire, Antiochus' rise to power set an example for aspiring rulers of subsequent generations. His often eccentric behavior, such as appearing unannounced in the public bath houses, earned him the nickname, The Mad One.
Croesus reigned as the king of Lydia from 560 BC to 546 BC. Renowned for his wealth, Croesus ruled over a prosperous kingdom and is remembered for issuing the first genuine gold coins for general circulation. Croesus' defeat at the hands of Cyrus II of Persia in 546 BC had a great effect on the Greeks.
Otto of Greece was a Bavarian prince who reigned as the king of Greece from 1832 to 1862. He was largely unpopular throughout his reign as he failed to resolve Greece's poverty. He was deposed in 1862 and died in exile in 1867.
Paul of Greece served as the King of Greece from 1947 to 1964. Before succeeding to the throne, Paul trained as an army officer and then worked in an aircraft factory. As the king, he helped rebuild Greece's diplomatic and trade links after the end of the Greek Civil War.
Eastern Roman emperor Marcian is said to have a peaceful “golden age.” He was initially a soldier and contributed to his kingdom’s finances as an emperor, by staying away from wars and refusing to pay an annual tribute to the Huns. He held the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon.
Byzantine emperor John VI Cantacuzenus had started off as the chief advisor to Andronicus III Palaeologus. He was the regent for John V Palaeologus but later disputed with him, to join hands with the Turks, leading them to invade the Byzantine empire. He became a monk and a historian in his final years.
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.