Muhammad Ali of Egypt was the de facto ruler of Egypt from 1805 to 1848. He was also the Albanian Ottoman governor and is considered the founder of modern Egypt. He implemented drastic reforms in the military, economic and cultural spheres in Egypt. He established the Muhammad Ali dynasty that ruled Egypt until the revolution of 1952.
Solon was an Athenian lawmaker, statesman, and poet. He is best remembered for his efforts to legislate against the moral, economic, and political decline in archaic Athens. Although his efforts did not prove to be fruitful during his lifetime, Solon is often credited with laying the foundation for Athenian democracy.
After losing his father as a child, Alcibiades came under the tutelage of Socrates. He was known for his shifting allegiance, siding with Athens first, and then Sparta, during the Peloponnesian War. He was known to win wars more with his deceptive means than his military tactics.
Maria Amalia Mercouri was a Greek actress, singer, politician, activist, and socialist. Mercouri had a profound acting career and is remembered for her portrayal of Ilya in the film Never on Sunday, which earned her a Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award. As a politician, Mercouri served as the Minister of Culture and Sports, the first female to do so.
Alexis Tsipras is a Greek politician who served as the Prime Minister of the country from 2015 to 2019. From 2018 to 2019, he served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The current Leader of the Opposition, Alexis Tsipras has also been serving as the president of Syriza, the left wing political party in Greece . In 2015, he was named among 100 most influential people by Time.
Irene of Athens ruled over the Eastern Roman Empire between 797 and 802. She started her political career by becoming the empress consort to Emperor Leo IV. She then served as regent during her son Constantine VI's rule before co-ruling along with him. In 797, she organized a conspiracy to gouge out her son's eyes to become the sole ruler.
Yanis Varoufakis is a Greek-Australian economist and politician who served as minister of finance for a few months in 2015 under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Essex. He began a career in academic economics before entering politics. Along with US Senator Bernie Sanders, he launched the Progressive International.
Eleuthérios Venizélos was a Greek statesman who played a prominent role in the Greek national liberation movement. He served as the Prime Minister of Greece on eight occasions between 1910 and 1933. As a politician, he contributed immensely to the expansion of Greece. Eleuthérios Venizelos is often called the Maker of Modern Greece due to his influence on the country.
An ancient Athenian legislator, Cleisthenes is often referred to as the father of Athenian democracy. He not only served as the chief archon, or the top-most magistrate, of Athens, but also transformed the Athenian constitution and made it more democratic. He is believed to have introduced ostracism as a punishment.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis is a Greek politician who has been serving as the president of the New Democracy political party since 2016. The current Prime Minister of Greece, Mitsotakis also served as the Minister of Administrative Reform between 2013 and 2015. He is also one of the most controversial leaders, having been associated with the Siemens Greek bribery scandal in 2007.
Greek judge Katerina Sakellaropoulou, who specializes in environmental and constitutional law, became the first female president of Greece back in 2020. Previously, she has also been the first female president of the Council of State, the highest administrative court in her country. She also regularly contributes to various academic journals.
Georgios Papadopoulos was a Greek soldier remembered for leading a military coup d'état in Greece in 1967, which led to a regime of the colonels that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974. After seizing power in 1967, Papadopoulos remained Greece's dictator until 1973, when he was overthrown by Dimitrios Ioannidis. Papadopoulos also played an important role during World War II.
Ioannis Kapodistrias was a Greek statesman who served as the first Governor of Greece from 1828 to 1831. One of the most distinguished diplomats and politicians of Europe, Kapodistrias had served as the Foreign Minister of Russia from 1816 to 1822. Considered an architect of Greek independence, Ioannis Kapodistrias is also regarded as the founder of the modern Greek state.
Greek military general Ioannis Metaxas also served as the prime minister of Greece during what is known as a dictatorial regime. He had been part of the Balkan Wars. Though appointed the country’s minister of army affairs initially, he began his dictatorship, or the Fourth of August Regime, on August 4, 1936.
The king of Thrace and the successor of Alexander the Great, Lysimachus was initially a Macedonian general and one of the bodyguards of Alexander during his invasion in Asia. On the insistence of his third wife, Arsinoe II, he executed his eldest son, Agathocles, but was eventually killed by Seleucus.
Nikolaos Michaloliakos is a Greek politician best known for founding and leading the far-right political party Golden Dawn. A convicted criminal, Michaloliakos and 67 other political leaders from his party, were found guilty by the Athens Appeals Court of leading a criminal organization.
Epaminondas was a Greek statesman who is credited with transforming the Ancient Greek city-state and reshaping the political map of Greece. Epaminondas, who served as the general of Thebes, was an influential military figure who invented many important battlefield tactics. His actions led to the defeat of the Spartans and the liberation of the Messenian helots.
New Democracy member Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who has served as the president of Greece, is also a former minister of the interior. Born to a teacher, he initially studied law and then served in the Hellenic Army, before eventually joining the faculty of law at the University of Athens.
Eva Kaili is a Greek politician and former television news presenter. Since 2014, Kaili has been serving as an important Member of the European Parliament. She is also the current Vice-President of the European Parliament, after having assumed office on 18 January 2022.
Miltiades the Younger was a Greek Athenian military leader who served as an eponymous archon of Athens from 524 to 523 BC. He is best remembered for playing a major role in the Battle of Marathon against the invading Persian force. The battle resulted in the crushing defeat of the Persians and gave rise to the famous Greco-Persian Wars.
Andreas Papandreou was a Greek politician and economist. An influential political figure, Papandreou is credited with founding PASOK, a political party which he led between 1974 and 1996. Andreas Papandreou also served as the Prime Minister of Greece on two occasions. He is also remembered for popularizing turtleneck sweaters among his political supporters, causing an uproar among his political foes.
While he initially aspired to be a civil engineer, Alexis Georgoulis later joined a drama school. He soared to fame as an actor with the sitcom You Are My Mate and later appeared in films such as Oxygono. He became an international sensation with the film My Life in Ruins.
George Papandreou is a Greek politician who is currently serving as the President of the Socialist International (SI). From 2009 to 2011, he served as the Prime Minister of Greece. He has also served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs on two occasions.
Georgios Papandreou was a Greek politician who served as the Prime Minister of Greece on three occasions between 1944 and 1965. Papandreou, whose illustrious political career spanned over 50 years, is also credited with founding the Papandreou political dynasty. Georgios Papandreou was also counted among the best orators in Greece.
Former Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras was born into an affluent family and had even won the Greek Teen Tennis Championship at 17. He boasts of a Harvard MBA and, as a New Democracy party member, has held several ministerial positions. He had founded the short-lived political party Political Spring.
Ivan Savvidis is a Russian-Greek politician and businessman best known for his close association with Russian President Vladimir Putin. A former member of the Russian Parliament, Savvidis is currently one of Russia's wealthiest men.
Cimon was an Athenian statesman in mid-5th century BC Greece. Also a general, Cimon played an important role in building the dominant Athenian maritime empire. His military prowess exhibited in various battles, including the Battle of Salamis and the Battle of the Eurymedon river, established him as a celebrated military hero.
Ptolemy III Euergetes served as the third pharaoh of Egypt's Ptolemaic dynasty from 246 to 222 BC. He is credited with helping the Ptolemaic Kingdom reach the peak of its economic and military power during his reign.
Aristides was an Athenian statesman remembered for his impact as a general in the Persian War. Aristides has been mentioned by the ancient historian Herodotus as "the best and most honourable man in Athens." A statue of Aristides stands tall at Louisburg Square, Boston, USA. Charles Brocas' 1806 painting of Aristides is preserved at the Musée des Augustins in France.
Agesilaus II reigned as the king of Sparta from 399 to 358 BC. Widely regarded as the most prominent king in the Spartan history, Agesilaus II played a vital role during the Spartan hegemony period that followed the Peloponnesian War. Although he was small in stature, Agesilaus' guerrilla warfare tactics and his bravery was seldom questioned during his time.
Konstantinos Karamanlis had been a 2-time president and 4-time prime minister of Greece. A qualified lawyer, he stepped into politics with the Populist Party and held important cabinet posts, such as that of the minister of labor. His efforts led to Greece joining the European Economic Community.
Konstantinos Mitsotakis was a Greek politician who served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs on two occasions; from 1980 to 1981 and then in 1992. From 1990 to 1993, he also served as the Prime Minister of Greece. Konstantinos Mitsotakis is also credited with nurturing his son Kyriakos Mitsotakis' political career, who is the current Prime Minister of Greece.
Herodes Atticus was an Athenian philanthropic magnate and rhetorician who taught rhetoric to Roman emperors Lucius Verus and Marcus Aurelius. Also among his students were Polydeukes, Memnon, and Achilles. Widely regarded as one of the most popular personalities of the Antonine Period, Herodes Atticus also served as a Roman senator.
Critias was an ancient Athenian author and political figure. He is best remembered as one of the leading members of the infamous pro-Spartan oligarchy, The Thirty Tyrants. As an author, Critias is remembered for his prose works, elegies, and tragedies.
Ephialtes was an ancient Athenian politician who led a democratic movement. Ephialtes invented and implemented certain reforms that decreased the power of the Areopagus. This is widely regarded as the dawn of the radical democracy, which would later become famous in Athens.
Konstantinos Stephanopoulos was a Greek politician best remembered for serving two successive terms as the nation's president from 1995 to 2005. One of the most honored and respected politicians, Konstantinos Stephanopoulos was known for his gentlemanly behavior, one to keep a low-key profile even during his presidency.
Manolis Glezos was a politician, author, journalist, and folk hero. He is best remembered for his participation in the Greek resistance during World War II. During the Axis occupation of Greece, Glezos marched towards the Acropolis of Athens where he took down the flag of Nazi Germany. He was also an award-winning journalist and helped popularize Rizospastis and I Avgi.
Dora Bakoyannis is a Greek politician who served as the Minister for Culture from 1992 to 1993. From 2003 to 2006, she served as the first female mayor of Athens. She also became the first woman to hold the mayor's office of a city hosting the Olympics. Bakoyannis also served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2009.
Alexandros Papagos was a Greek army officer who played a key role during World War II where he led the Hellenic Army. He was also influential in the final outcome of the subsequent Greek Civil War. Also a successful politician, Alexandros Papagos served as the Prime Minister of Greece from 1952 to 1955.
Karolos Papoulias was a Greek politician who served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs on two occasions; from 1985 to 1989 and again from 1993 to 1996. An influential and popular politician, Karolos Papoulias also served as Greece's President from 2005 to 2015.
Kostas Karamanlis is a Greek politician who served as the leader of the New Democracy party, which was established by his uncle Konstantinos Karamanlis, between 1997 and 2009. From 2004 to 2006, he was the Minister for Culture and Sports. Kostas Karamanlis also served as Greece's Prime Minister from 2004 to 2009.
Alexandros Mavrokordatos was a Greek statesman, politician, diplomat, and member of the famous Mavrocordatos family of Phanariotes. He served as the President of the Provisional Administration of Greece from 1822 to 1823. An influential politician, who played a key role during the Greek Revolution, Mavrokordatos also served as the Prime Minister of Greece on four occasions between 1833 and 1855.
Aeschines was a Greek statesman best remembered as one of the ten Attic orators, who were regarded as the greatest logographers and orators of the classical era. His famous oration Against Timarchus, which was an inspirational speech accusing Timarchus of being unworthy of the fruits of public life, is considered important due to the volume of Athenian laws it cites.
Pelopidas was a Theban statesman and warrior who served as a general in Greece. Pelopidas played a major role in establishing the famous Theban hegemony after the triumph over the Spartans in 371 BC at Leuctra. Many of his life events, including death, inspired artworks like paintings by artistes like Andrey Ivanov, who painted Death of Pelopidas in the early-1800s.
Lucas Papademos is a Greek economist and politician who served as the Governor of the Bank of Greece from 1994 to 2002. From 2002 to 2010, he served as Vice-President of the European Central Bank. An influential figure, Lucas Papademos also served as the Prime Minister of Greece from 2011 to 2012.
Grigoris Lambrakis was a Greek physician, politician, and track and field athlete. He played an important role during the Second World War as a prominent member of the Greek resistance to the occupation of Greece by the Axis Powers. After the war, Grigoris Lambrakis went on to become a popular anti-war activist.
Philopoemen was a skilled and popular Greek general and statesman who served as an Achaean strategos on eight occasions. Starting from 209 BC, the time he was appointed as strategos, Philopoemen helped the Achaean League become a prominent military power in Greece.
Phocion was an Athenian military general and statesman. A successful politician, Phocion was one of the subjects of Plutarch's famous work Parallel Lives. He was also a respected strategos, who served in this position for a record 45 terms in office. As a result, Phocion was in charge of the most prominent Athenian offices during most of his 84-year life.
Aristagoras was a political leader who led the Ionian city of Miletus during the initial stages of the Ionian Revolt against the Achaemenid Empire. The son-in-law of Histiaeus, who had ruled Miletus in the 6th century BC, Aristagoras inherited the tyranny from his father-in-law and led Miletus in the late 6th century and early 5th century BC.
Theramenes was an Athenian statesman who played an important role during the last 10 years of the infamous Peloponnesian War. Along with Critias, Theramenes was one of the two leading members of Thirty Tyrants, a pro-Spartan oligarchy in ancient Athens.