Top 10 Best Warriors From History Immortalized By Their Deeds

Tags: #SunTzu ,   #GenghisKhan ,   #warriors ,   #History

Dan N. Scarborough

Dan N. Scarborough

Last updated:  2022-09-26 06:00:06

The history of humankind is one constant struggle for power, wealth, and resources. Therefore, you can say that Earth is a perpetual battlefield. In that state of constant war, some people excel in combat ability. The greatest warriors, strategists, and tacticians were able to decide the outcome of battles. As history recorded those exceptional individuals, we praise them even today. Therefore, we study their lives, battle prowess, and exploits. Here are the top ten of the greatest warriors this planet has ever seen.

10. Richard I The Lionheart

The brave king that led the Third Crusade

King Richard didn't rule for a long time - only ten years. Regardless, historians remember him as one of the greatest warriors of his era. He led the Third Crusade along with Frederich Barbarossa and Godfrey of Bouillon. He excelled in combat and strategy, thus earning Coeur de Leon or Lionheart. We also remember him as one of the rare English kings known better by their nicknames rather than names. 

At the zenith of his power, his territory included Normandy, Anjou, Cyprus, Brittany, Gascony, Aquitaine, and Nantes. As the best warrior as a military leader during the Crusade, he became the commander of the Christian army against Saladin. However, he eventually realized he couldn't defend Jerusalem even if he conquered it. After that, he signed a peace treaty and returned to France, where he ended his rule.  

9. Saladin

Saladin rose from the commoner to Sultan in less than 20 years

Saladin is often infamous as the villain of The Third Crusade in Western history sources. However, in the Middle East, he is praised as a hero who defeated and drove back Western conquerors. He also returned Jerusalem to Muslims' hands, which remained until after World War II. 

Saladin was born a commoner in 12th century Mesopotamia but founded the Ayyub dynasty. He also became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria. Being trained as a warrior from a young age, Saladin led the armies even after becoming the Sultan. During his 20-years long rule, he was the example of a generous sovereign, giving most of his wealth to the poor. 

8. Sun Tzu

He wrote the best strategy book of all time, "The Art of War"

Sun Tzu is well known for writing one of the most influential strategy books of all time, "The Art of War." This piece has influenced the strategies of many military leaders, Eastern and Western alike. Sun Tzu's most prominent achievement was transforming the king's concubines into a powerful military force. Sounds weird? Yes, but it worked. 

"The Art of War" served as a guide to military leaders and strategists. You can read about various tactical maneuvers, terrain importance, and war philosophies. According to Sun Tzu, the most important weapon is information about your enemy's dispositions, deployments, and movements.   

7. Spartacus

Legendary leader of the slave army against Romans

Even today, Spartacus is a symbol of freedom and rebellion against oppression. This brave warrior was born in today's Romania. After being recruited by the Roman Empire, he refused to fight against Germanic tribes. Consequently, he became a slave, with his fighting skills earned him the rank of a gladiator. Soon, Spartacus led the rebellion and gathered around 90,000 people under his flag. 

What made Spartacus such a great leader wasn't only his fighting and strategy prowess. He was also courageous and compassionate, showing mercy and respect to his enemies. Although he died in battle and Romans broke the rebellion, he is still a tremendous inspirational figure for people everywhere.

6. Leonidas I of Sparta

The leader of the most famous last stand

Leonidas is one of the most recognizable ancient heroes, thanks to the movie "300" and its lasting influence. His most prominent deed is holding the last stand against the vastly greater army of Persians at the Pass of Thermopylae. Not much is known about his life outside the famous battle, with some saying he's a direct descendant of Heracles. He became the warrior king of Sparta and led his troops to defend Greece against the  Xerxes' Persian army. 

Although legends often overestimate the number of Persian troops, Greek forces led by Spartans managed to resist for a long time. The turning point in the battle was a betrayal by some Greek soldiers. Realizing the Persians would surround them, Leonidas let all the soldiers go except his 300 troops. Then the brave king and his men made one of the most famous last stands in history. 

5. Gaius Julius Caesar

Man who conquered half of the world, European edition

He's the most famous Roman person of all time, thanks to his military and political success. He rose to glory in the military when he went from a common soldier to a general of Roman legions. He led successful campaigns all over Europe, conquering Germany, Brittain, and Gauls. After his triumphant return as a general, he became a politician. Starting as a questor, he quickly got to the title of proconsul. 

The Senate wasn't comfortable with Caesar's quick rise to power, so they ordered him to disband his troops. After some serious thinking, Caesar decided to risk everything and cross the Rubicon with his soldiers, becoming the dictator of Rome soon afterward. Caesar's ambition was ultimately his demise, as he was famously assassinated at the stair of the Senate.   

4. Attila the Hun

His fearsome army ravaged Roman Empire

Huns were one of the most feared people during the rule of the Roman Republic. This nomad folk took entire Europe by surprise thanks to their exceptional skills on the horse and with a bow. Their leader, Attila, was described as a wild and ruthless man bent on pillage and destruction. However, Attila was born into wealth and power, and despite his love of treasure, he lived pretty modestly.   

Although he signed the peace treaty with Romans as soon as he came to power, Attila soon began pillaging Europe. He was so vicious and fearsome he got the nickname "Scourge of God." His exploit lasted for more than a decade, spreading his empire to the Rhine. His career as a conqueror ended abruptly after a bizarre accident in which he lost his life. However, the residents of Hungary claim they're descendants of Huns.

3. Miyamoto Musashi

The best samurai warrior of all time

Musashi is the most famous samurai, renowned for his combat ability and tactics. He was, without any doubt, one of the greatest warriors who ever walked the Earth. After his father's death, Musashi started to train with his uncle and challenged people when he was 13. He survived the Battle of Sekigahara and started the quest to become the best warrior under the sun. 

Musashi stayed undefeated and won more than 60 duels throughout his fighting career. He had his most famous duel on Ganryu Island against Sasaki Kojiro. When Musashi passed his fighting prime, he learned the art and wrote his famous "Book of Five Rings." Allegedly, he died with a sword in his hand. Musashi is still an inspiration for people who walk the warrior path.

2. Genghis Khan

Man who conquered half of the world, Asian edition

Genghis Khan is among the greatest conquerors in history. Yet, he started pretty modestly as a leader of one of the tribes of Mongolia. Soon after, Khan united all the nomadic tribes and made the Mongolian Empire, ruled by his dynasty. After that, he turned his eyes to the territory west of Ural and started his European conquest. European countries fell one by one in the wake of the Mongolian campaign, and historians described Genghis Khan as the scariest man that ever lived.  

Genghis Khan's campaign wasn't the first nomadic crusade in Eurasia, but it was of enormous scale and importance. Many of his most celebrated generals were his former enemies, and the ranks were based on meritocracy. Despite being tolerant, he never left any score unsettled, which resulted in more than 40 million deaths. His demise and burial place remains a mystery, but there are a lot of theories about it. Lastly, Mongolia, the country he made, still exists, which might be his most significant achievement. 

1. Alexander the Great 

The greatest warrior and general in history

Alexander III of Macedonia, also known as Alexander the Great, created the largest empire known to a man in more than ten years. He inherited the Macedonian throne when he was 20, after the assassination of his father, Phillip II. Luckily, he spent most of his young days under the tutelage of great Aristotle. With that supreme background, he quickly subdued all the local enemies. But that wasn't enough for the young king, so he started increasing his empire further to the south.  

He won crucial territories of the Persian Empire without losing a battle before moving on to the east. Alexander the Great created a vast empire for the next eight years, spreading over three continents. The empire was around two million square miles big and reached from Greece to Egypt in the south and to Punjab in the east. His most prominent trait was to detect the crucial moment in a battle and use it to prevail. Who knows how the world would look today if he lived long enough to achieve his plans. 

History is full of amazing warriors, making this top ten list hard to create. There are many great warriors left unmentioned, which we'll correct in the following articles. Those we honored here are just a top of the heap of the greatest war heroes of all time. 

What's your favorite warrior from history? Who would you add to our list? 


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Delaney Says:

I can't imagine the bravery of these men to do what they did.

September 02 at 09:31:35 AM

Slayer938 Says:

Miyamoto Musashi's story is fascinating, although not enough people know about him.

June 16 at 08:02:48 AM

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