Ancient world was famous for its kings, warriors and wars. The ancient world saw several wars without the modern-day weapons. Those were the days when the wars were with daggers, swords, spears and shields. Some of the kingdoms had powerful warriors on their side. Some of them had powerful battle capabilities, skills and tactics. Few of them were great for their abilities to win wars and battles. We will see some great warriors in history who will mesmerize us. Some of them belong to the most powerful empires in history like the Romans and the Mongols.
Check the 10 most powerful and greatest warriors in history with superhuman fighting skills:
Spartacus, the famous gladiator was from a group of Indo-European tribes known as the “Thracians”. Born in 111 BCE in the 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. He was in the Roman army, sold into slavery. Spartacus escaped from the clutches of the army and took refuge on Mount Vesuvius. A born rebel and warrior, he was chosen as the leader by the army of runaway slaves. Their strength exceeded more than a lakh. Subsequently Spartacus defeated a series of Roman attacks. Later his rebel army was destroyed and his followers were hunted down and crucified. The life and struggle of Spartacus is an inspiration to revolutionaries, a symbol of emancipation of the poor and the repressed nationalities.
9. Shivaji Maharaj
The Indian warrior king Shivaji is in the lineage as he always fought with more powerful enemies in his entire life. Born in 1627 in Maharashtra, India, he started his campaign as a warlord and became a legendary figure. In the one-on-one battle with Afzal Khan, General of King Adilshah, Shivaji won and his troops attacked the City of Bijapur. Thus he came into the limelight. In the Battle of Pratapgarh he defeated Sultan of Bijapur in 1659 where Sultan’s 3000 soldiers were killed. Shivaji defeated Bijapur army in the same year in the Battle of Kolhapur where 2000 horses were killed.
Irked by the development, Mughal King Aurangzeb sieged the Fort of Panhala, but Shivaji escaped from there, and hit back strongly at the City of Surat where he took a larger booty. At Agra near Delhi, Aurangzeb arrested Shivaji and again he escaped in disguise. Shivaji’s surprise ambush on the powerful army of Shaista Khan in 1663 was stunning. 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. Shiavji is attributed to the introduction of guerrilla warfare in India.
8. Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte born in 1769 in France was a military leader and 1st emperor of France. As per Encyclopedia of Military History, he fought 60 battles and lost only 8 of them. He conquered vast tracts of Europe in the French Revolutionary Wars. Between the years 1793 and 1815, he waged wars against various coalitions of European nations. He became the King of Italy in 1805. Napoleon created a great French dominion. He was a dominating figure in the global affairs for more than a decade. Napoleonic Wars and Napoleonic Code are considered as remarkable. Battle of Waterloo was famous as he was finally defeated here (present day Belgium) in 1814 by a British led Allied army. To end, here is a memorable quote from the legend – “Death is nothing; but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.”
7. Attila the Hun
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 Roman Empire. He was a terror among his enemies and he surpassed all other barbarians in wildness in life. In his earlier life, he joined with former adversaries, the Visigoths (the German tribal) and destroyed Roman cities. 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 and conquered Gallia Belgica Province (present day Belgium).
In one of the deadliest military conflicts in history, he was halted or probably defeated in the Battle of Catalaunian Fields. He ravaged Italy in 452 CE, but the campaign was abandoned due to plague which broke out in his army. His empire stretched from Central Asia to modern-day France which extended up to Danube valley. He died under mysterious circumstances on his wedding night. It is alleged that due to over indulgence in food and drinks he had burst a blood vessel and the blood in his throat choked him to death.
6. Richard the Lionheart
Richard I of England nicknamed as Richard the Lionheart is remembered as a valiant warrior for his passionate involvement in the Third Crusade. 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 was called Third Crusade and this was Richard’s ambition in his life. Richard was a competent military leader, individual fighter and a great crusader. At the same time he was criticized often by many historians for his viciousness, unforgiving nature, ruthless attitude and excessive cruelty. Once he killed 2700 prisoners at one single go whom he had kept as hostage. Nevertheless, he was seen as a “man of God” by the people of Victorian Era.
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 Battle of Jaffa, Richard made a truce with Saladin. The truce forced Saladin and gave Christian pilgrims free access to Jerusalem. A sizable coastal strip of Palestine lands was retained by the crusaders. Richard, the Lionheart became an iconic figure both in England and France.
5. Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great was a legendary warrior born in 600 BC in ancient Persia. He was called the king of four corners of the world. Cyrus went on to create the largest empire in the world. The Greek historian Herodotus described about the super human qualities of Cyrus and called him a legend in his book “Histories”. Cyrus is the founder of Achaemenid Empire (The First Persian Empire) having enormous geographic size ranging from Balkans to the Eastern Europe to Indus Valley. The empire spanned 5.5 million square kilometers 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 due to his creation of strong political infrastructure and his respect to other religions. Cyrus established first credible postal system in history. He had absolute monarchy and reigned in power for 29 years from 559 BC till his death.
4. 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. The series of wars between Carthage and Rome is named as “Punic” In the 1st Punic War which lasted for 23 years (264 – 241 BCE), Carthage headed by Hannibal’s father was defeated heavily. Since then Hannibal nudged vengeance against Rome.
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. The Battle of Trebia (218 BC) saw a great loss to Rome where its army lost 32,000 soldiers. The Battle of Lake Trasimene (217 BC) saw the largest ambush in military history. In the Battle of Cannae (216 BC), Hannibal killed more than 70,000 Roman soldiers but lost only 4,000 on his side. Hannibal introduced, rather invented, the tactics of ‘Turning movement’ in military battle. His stunning deployment of army is remembered even today. In 183 BCE, he died because of drinking poison.
3. 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 (the present day France and Belgium). The war lasted for 8 years from 58 BC to 50 BC against the Gallic tribes. This conquest has great prominence in the world history. Further in 48 BC, he drew out his enemies from Italy. Caesar reconstructed the ruined cities of Carthage and Corinth. He won the battles of North Africa in 46 BC and Spain in 45 BC.
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 was the first Roman General to cross the English Channel to invade Britain. Caesar had relationships with the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and fathered a son called Caesarion. Julius Caesar was brutally assassinated at the age of 55, he was stabbed 23 times. His best friends Brutus and Longinus were behind the murder.
2. Genghis Khan
The legendary warrior Genghis Khan was born with the name Temujin in 1162. He was known as the Supreme Khan of the Mongols. In the early 13th Century, he unified the Mongolia nomadic tribes and started his invasion in all the 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. He practiced the massacres of defeated population to gain the psychological advantage. A genocidal ruler, his main tactic was injecting fear among the nemesis. His tactics were ruthlessness, brutality, savagery, intense spy networks, resultant terror and so on. He defeated great empires of Khwarezm dynasty, Jin dynasty, Persian kingdoms, Qara Khitai, Khwarazmian Empire, empires in Georgia, Afghanistan and Bulgaria.
1. Alexander the Great
The epithet “The Great” conferred on Alexander, King of Macedonia for his creation of an empire that stretched across three continents. Born in 356 BC in the ancient Greece, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle. He fought 20 battles and won all of them. Alexander lived just 32 years but ruled one-fourth 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 employed an ancient Greek warfare known as “Phalanx” which perplexed most of his opponent armies. He was great in articulating the cavalry tactics, use of touch terrain and clever maneuvers in the battlefields. He enjoyed the staunch loyalty of his troops. Alexander found 20 cities in the name of Alexanderia around the world.