7. Napoleon Bonaparte (August 1769 to May 1821)
A French military and political leader, Napoleon Bonaparte was an emperor from 1804 to 1814, who controlled most of the Europe during his reign. When he rose to power after French Revolution, Napoleon started war campaigns and succeeded in extending the French territory like never before. His rule also saw reforms, including abolition of feudalism. Napoleon’s campaigns are still studied at military academics worldwide and his legal code, Napoleonic code, has influenced numerous civil laws. Even though he had to spend the last 6 years of his life in confinement in Britain, Napoleon is considered the greatest commanders in history, who amazed his enemies with unprecedented tactics.
6. Asoka the great (304 BCE to 232 BCE)
Asoka was an Indian emperor of Mauryan dynasty who ruled almost the entire Indian subcontinent. His empire stretched from what is now Afghanistan to Bangladesh, making him the most powerful person of his era. But, after a destructive war against the state of Kalinga in 260 BCE, where he witnessed the mass death of more than 100,000 people, Asoka felt guilty for the sufferings of people and entranced Buddhism to find the way of peace. He dedicated his later life to spread Buddhism across Asia, making several significant sites on his way. Asoka remains the only “Samrat Chakravartin”-ruler of all directions- in the books of history.
5. Mao Zedong (December 1893 to September 1976)
Also referred to as ‘Chairman Mao’ Mao Zedong was the Chinese communist revolutionary and the founding father of the People’s Republic of China. His Marxist-Leninist theories, military strategies, and political policies, collectively known as Maoism, still influence the ideologies of the east. As the chairman of the Communist Party of China (CPC) from its establishment until death, Mao fought during the Chinese Civil War with his Red Army to proclaim People’s Republic of China a one party socialist state. In 1957 he launched campaign known as ‘Great Leap Forward’ to transform China’s economy from agro based to industrial. Though he is characterized by few as a dictator who abused human rights, Mao Zedong is credited for modernizing China and making it a leading world power.
4. Alexander the Great (356 BC to 323 BC)
Residing over the throne at an early age of 20, Alexander was the king of the Greek kingdom of Macedon who turned out to be the greatest emperor the world has ever seen. His unprecedented military campaign throughout Asia and northeast Africa constructed the largest empire from Greece to Egypt into present day Pakistan. Seeking to reach the “Ends of the World”, he invaded India in 326 BC but was forced to turn back. In a short span of 30 years, Alexander spread the Greek culture in the east and resulted in a new Hellenistic civilization. Undefeated in his campaigns, his tactics are still taught by military academics.