Greatest ruler of antiquity

Jul 2018
25
Colorado
#71
Thutmosis III
While the likes of Alexander, Caesar and Augustus were undeniably great, I think we see them as being above others due to the huge stage they acted on. Also Caesar and Augustus had a pre-existing empire in which to work. On the other hand, Thutmosis III created an empire.

I could vote for Thuthmose. He certainly was the greatest Pharaoh Egypt ever produced. Militarily, diplomatically, politically, he had the goods. And his influence was profound and long lasting. Good call.



Ptolemy I is also good, and while the Egyptians may have disagreed, after all, nobody like a foreign ruler, he was a genius at fusing the two cultures

He was at that. I'm not exactly a Ptolemy fanboy, but of all Alexander's companions, he's always had the lion's share of my respect. The man had vision, not just ambition.
 
Likes: macon
Jul 2018
25
Colorado
#72
Yeah, (Mithradates is) completely overrated. A great organiser and power player, but didn't know when to stop, when to consolidate and how to shore up his weaknesses.
I think to some extent his downfall was preordained -- but he certainly hastened it by picking the worst moments to gamble.

I'd have to disagree here. Philip "thrived at war and at peace" just as Ptolemy did. You are aware that Philip is considered by many historians nowadays as a master diplomat and grand strategist? Even the ancient sources tell us that Philip preferred diplomacy over war.


Philip was a soldier first and foremost. I'm not saying he wasn't capable of occasional brilliance in other spheres -- he was. But the record doesn't lie. The man was at war for the vast majority of his reign. He may have claimed to prefer peace, but he always found a battlefield. When the battlefields weren't finding him, that is.


Ptolemy had excellent starting resources: Egypt itself and its revenues, the 20,000 strong Macedonian/Greek force left there by Alexander to garrison the satrapy, and the massive treasury of Cleomenes.

Ptolemy secured himself excellent starting resources. He pushed for the partition of Babylon. He executed Cleomenes. And he secured the loyalty of the Macedonian garrison (no mean feat considering the fickle nature of that beast). None of those things were guaranteed, he had to win them and keep them. Both of which he did with style.
 
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Likes: macon
Jan 2015
3,522
Australia
#73
I think to some extent his downfall was preordained -- but he certainly hastened it by picking the worst moments to gamble.





Philip was a soldier first and foremost. I'm not saying he wasn't capable of occasional brilliance in other spheres -- he was. But the record doesn't lie. The man was at war for the vast majority of his reign. He may have claimed to prefer peace, but he always found a battlefield. When the battlefields weren't finding him, that is.





Ptolemy secured himself excellent starting resources. He pushed for the partition of Babylon. He executed Cleomenes. And he secured the loyalty of the Macedonian garrison (no mean feat considering the fickle nature of that beast). None of those things were guaranteed, he had to win them and keep them. Both of which he did with style.
None of these names belong on this list, but assuming that you're talking about Mithridates of Pontus your comments are totally off base. He chose the time to act very carefully. He invaded Asia Minor when he knew Rome was busy fighting a civil war. He later funded Sertorius, to also try and keep Rome busy doing something else. He and Tigranes also waited until the death of the King of Parthia before the Eastern expansion kicked into gear. The timing was also sort of forced on Mithridates, in that he had to repel a Roman invasion. To the degree he picked the timing at all, he chose a very good moment to invade.
 
Jul 2017
2,281
Australia
#74
Philip was a soldier first and foremost. I'm not saying he wasn't capable of occasional brilliance in other spheres -- he was. But the record doesn't lie. The man was at war for the vast majority of his reign. He may have claimed to prefer peace, but he always found a battlefield. When the battlefields weren't finding him, that is.
Diodorus and Justin would disagree with you. How much do you know about Philip?

Ptolemy secured himself excellent starting resources. He pushed for the partition of Babylon. He executed Cleomenes. And he secured the loyalty of the Macedonian garrison (no mean feat considering the fickle nature of that beast). None of those things were guaranteed, he had to win them and keep them. Both of which he did with style.
I'm not saying Ptolemy wasn't skilled - he definitely was. I think you're quoting a response I made to macon in comparing Philip and Ptolemy, to which I pointed out that Ptolemy was better off from the start in comparison to Philip.

None of these names belong on this list, but assuming that you're talking about Mithridates of Pontus your comments are totally off base. He chose the time to act very carefully. He invaded Asia Minor when he knew Rome was busy fighting a civil war. He later funded Sertorius, to also try and keep Rome busy doing something else. He and Tigranes also waited until the death of the King of Parthia before the Eastern expansion kicked into gear. The timing was also sort of forced on Mithridates, in that he had to repel a Roman invasion. To the degree he picked the timing at all, he chose a very good moment to invade.
I think Jack Judah is talking about the decisions that resulted in massive failures.
 
Jan 2019
1
Queensland, Australia
#75
If Christianity caused the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the weakening of the Eastern one, then it only makes Christianity look even better. So terrible that a slaver authoritarian government ruled by an absolutist monarch fell!

Of course, Christian kingdoms could be just as absolutist, but just the fact that natives could assert themselves and create their own nation and their own state, causing a balance of power and forcing monarchs to minimise their authoritarian absolutism, is a development we should all praise.

Edit: Philosophy was basically the Greek word for religion. Should be pointed out that those Greek "philosophers" that held a rather atheistic worldview (this being the reason why their works didn't survive even before Constantine) never called themselves "philosophers" and Greek writers like Diogenes Laertius were simply trying to validate their religious worldview by saying even these impious atheists had to rely on divine knowledge from Zeus. Plato outright excluded atheists from his definition of philosopher, this being the reason he called them "sophists" instead.
Philosophy literally means in Greek, Love of wisdom or love of sophistry, sophistry was debate, 'religion' was a Roman term from 'religio' to tie or bond, that grew out of post Hellenic orthodoxy in beliefs, in the accretion of worldly power. The ancient Greeks had mythology and philosophy, there was mythological beliefs that explained the world, or love of debate that explained the world, being a focally practical people. Plato began debating ideas of spirit and body dichotomy together with after life world for these bodily spirits that survived corporeal death, to match beliefs of under world, and debate about the Heavens, in Greek philosophy and mythology. Christianity began philosophy about a father of life that resided in the mysterious heavens, and adopted Plato's body-spirit philosophy, with spirit indestructibility afterlife in the heavens, with the father God of all life and the saviour of the world. The Father God in Heaven was an idea by Jesus that was designed to trivialise, delegitimise and ultimately disempower the Imperial secular martial power of the Emperor, in favour of Religious entrepreneurial patriarchal power. It later became an orthodoxy that consolidated worldly power and denied, then murderously persecuted and extinguished free thinking philosophy, education and science, in order to create an unimpeachable institutional orthodoxy of social control that ruled Europe, Britain, Russia and missionary target colonies of Europe. Historians debate whether the strict and all encompassing orthodoxical religious entrepreneurial institution of Christianity that extinguished all free thinking, secular education, science and the scientific health care of the Aesclepian Campuses, was the substantial cause of contagion, depopulation and the inability to martially control the former Empire of Rome and led to the millennial economic depression of ' the dark ages' in the Western world.
 
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Sep 2014
869
Texas
#77
Cyrus. World had a somewhat 19th-20th centuryish balance of power between four powers. Cyrus took three out of four over(and set up his son to do the honors for the fourth) created an empire that was well over three times larger than any previous and encompassed over 40 percent of the global population. He did this all in the span of about twenty to thirty years. Alexander took out one entity by slaying the king and he went for the empire's frontier before proceeding into the Middle Eastern heartland.
Absolutely Cyrus.
 
Mar 2018
711
UK
#79
In Cyrus' defence, he had to conquer several foes, rather than just decapitating an existing empire. And, besides just the conquest, he actually made it into an empire that survived a few centuries. That points to him being a statesman in ways that Alexander did not demonstrate.

But honestly, they're just hard to compare. Alexander died young, so his achievements were cut off - but so were potential mistakes and the consequences of mistakes he already had made. And there is just so little material about Cyrus compared to Alexander, it's simply incredibly hard to say what the man actually did himself and how much of a direct influence the force of his character was.
 

macon

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
3,867
Slovenia, EU
#80
In Cyrus' defence, he had to conquer several foes, rather than just decapitating an existing empire. And, besides just the conquest, he actually made it into an empire that survived a few centuries. That points to him being a statesman in ways that Alexander did not demonstrate.

But honestly, they're just hard to compare. Alexander died young, so his achievements were cut off - but so were potential mistakes and the consequences of mistakes he already had made. And there is just so little material about Cyrus compared to Alexander, it's simply incredibly hard to say what the man actually did himself and how much of a direct influence the force of his character was.
Cyrus' enemies were defeated one by one (not cooperating against him) while Alexander had to fight united power of all Cyrus' enemies. Alexander's conquest was because of that harder- because of a disparity of resources. What would become of Cyrus if he would have to fight a Babylonian/Lydian coallition and let''s add in few tumens of Scythians (because they were active in an anti Assyrian coalition). It would mean three fronts for Persians/Medians- western, southern and northern.
 

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