Some historical figures worth noting
Possibly the most successful ruler never to have been immortalised by a major Hollywood blockbuster, Julius Caesar, the man whose surname became synonymous for king, began the ascent of the Roman empire, ending a period of civil war and beginning a process of expansion that would last for centuries.
The East’s answer to Julius Caesar, part of a long dynasty of Kahn rulers. Lead the Mongols on a path of terror and conquest that even Hitler would have been proud of.
Alexander the Great
Took the Greek civilisation to its highest point, famous for his nice curly hair and military prowess.
Attila the Hun
Lead one of the most successful attacks on the Roman Empire, eventually made peace with them and died of a nose hemorrhage (what kind of warrior dies of a nose hemorrhage, seriously, what a soft way to go, imagine him in a post-life meeting with the other famous military leaders, comparing notes over deaths, no poisonous asp, no sword thrust from behind, a nose hemorrhage, how very lame). Attila, or Hunny to his friends – he didn’t have many friends, is also famous for eating a couple of his sons. True story, if you don’t want a family dynasty that may be an option to consider.
The last great leader of the French, some say Napoleon is one of the greatest military minds ever to have lived. I differ, if he was a great military mind he would have chosen a different nation to lead. I mean he wasn’t even born French, he was born Italian, Italians make much better cannon fodder… I mean soldiers. Armies of Frenchmen are only ever going to fail in the long term. Napoleon’s eventual exile to Elba was inevitable the French were always going to fail. Rumour has it that while in transit to Elba he offered up possibly the world’s coolest palindrome “Able was I ere I saw Elba” he’s worth noting just for that.
Showed that it was still in vogue for dictators to have cities named after them. Also helped transform Russia from international also-rans into international heavyweights. He was instrumental in creating the Soviet Union, which became one of the big powers of the twentieth century.
Proved that it was possible to be taken seriously even with a stupid moustache. It helped that he had a large and powerful army behind him. Also showed that the fashions of evil tyrants become unpopular very quickly after their failure – you don’t see many “square button” moustaches around these days do you.
George W. Bush
Proved that being an international powerbroker did not, as previously believed, require any intelligence or leadership ability. It does help to have a powerful father and a paranoid populace to work with. But these are obstacles that can be overcome with enough hard work and a little luck. Also demonstrated that preemptive defense is the best form of attack.