Top 10 Greek Generals of the Classical Period


Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
Slovenia, EU

What do you think of them?

I don't have 10 to put on my list. Of course I know most of names you write but I did not read enough on them. Alexander, Phillip II and Epaminondas are obvious choices but others less so. Some as Miltiades are more one hit wonders to me.
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Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
Yötebory Sveriya
The Tyrant of Athens?

Classical Greece isn't really my best area. But @Duke Valentino might have something to say in the thread.

Didn't really have justification for the other five picks. Just threw them in because maybe they were good enough. Didn't really know what order to put them in either.
The same.

He basically conquered Athens with bodyguards - and that was only the first time. Before his rulership of Athens, the city was comparatively minor. Athens was the sphere of influence of Megara who controlled the trade in the region. Peisistratus was instrumental in using tricky tactics to seize the Megaran port, and broke their power in doing so. This resulted in wealth flowing into Athens and bringing up the power of the coastal people to rival/exceed the plains people. He then politely asked if he could be made tyrant of the city in order to make things great, but neither of the two risen parties wished to yield. He began his own party, the hill folk, hill-billies if you will (though Peisistratus would no doubt demand that you call them hill-williamses). Somehow one of the parties beat Peisistratus up in secret, and when he demanded bodyguards to walk with him in the city - the people were on his side. He was granted his people, allowed by law to have their sticks, slings, and clubs. He then used his bodyguard to seize the acropolis!

Now sure this guy seems like he's had a lot of luck! And he might be forgettable, especially since a guy called MEGAcles drove him out of the city, thus restoring the previous government to Athens. But Peisistratus didn't just conquer Athens the one time, he didn't even just conquer it twice: THREE times! Three times he managed to trick and batter his way into Athens. You might be thinking, a city being conquered three times by the same tyrant can't be healthy for its economy. On the contrary, that city of mud and rocks that Peisistratus fought for was a city of gold and marble at the end of Peisistratus's third tyrany, and his death. They were now no longer a simple city under the dominance of another less simple city, but a world power, and the Pesistratids were friends with the most powerful trickster of the time: Darius the great of the Achaemenid Empire (The **** Darius pulled was even more crazy than Peisistratus).

If there is a better Greek General, I haven't heard of him (one of the most entertaining at the least, Alexander was a boring twit... except the way Michael Wood tells his story! Going across half the ancient world, getting drunk in various cities and pointing out that Alexander was probably there; that was actually great!).
Aug 2019
Honorable mentions: Thrasybulus and Cimon

10. Lysander (greatest Spartan military leader IMO)

9. Miltiades (the original Greek military genius)

8. Themistocles (Greatest naval commander of ancient Greece)

7. Parmenion (General of both Philip and Alexander, enough said)

6. Iphicrates (as our diocletian says, very underrated general. Great reformer.)

5. Xenephon (Theodore Ayrault Dodge: "the centuries since have devised nothing to surpass the genius of this warrior." Indeed an all-time great)

4. Alcibiades (universally praised by ancient sources as the greatest military genius of his age, undefeated on both land and sea)

3. Epaminondas (One of the most innovative generals in history)

2.Philip II

1. Alexander
(Philip and Alexander obviously first two places by the sheer grandeur of their campaigns)
Philip and alexander (both only macedonians) would never have achieved their status in history, hadn't it been for the sarissa spear and the phalanx formation.
Feb 2019
Philip and alexander (both only macedonians) would never have achieved their status in history, hadn't it been for the sarissa spear and the phalanx formation.
Possibly. But then again Epaminondas might not have achieved his status if not for Pagondas' tactics at the Battle of Delium, as a random example. What are you insinuating exactly?