This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
In Persia, the title "the Great" at first seems to have been a colloquial version of the Old Persian title "Great King". It was first used by Cyrus II of Persia. The title was inherited by Alexander III when he conquered the Persian Empire, and the epithet eventually became personally associated with him. The first reference to this is in a comedy by Plautus, in which it is assumed that everyone knew who "Alexander the Great" was; however, there is no evidence that he was called "the Great" before this. The early Seleucid kings, who succeeded Alexander in Persia, used "Great King" in local documents, but the title was most notably used for Antiochus the Great. Once the term gained currency, it was broadened to include persons in other fields, such as the philosopher Albert the Great.
Later rulers and commanders were given the epithet during their lifetime, for example the Roman general Pompey. Others received the title posthumously, such as the Carthaginian Hanno and the Indian emperor Ashoka. As there are no objective criteria for "greatness", the persistence of the designation varies greatly. For example, Louis XIV of France was often referred to as "the Great" in his lifetime, but is rarely called such nowadays. German Emperor Wilhelm I was often called "the Great" in the time of his grandson Wilhelm II, but rarely before or after.
|Abbas I of Persia (1571–1629)||Fifth Shahanshah of Persia Safavid Empire, (in present-day Iran)|
|Akbar (1542–1605)||Mughal emperor (India)|
|Alexander I of Georgia (1386–1446)||King of Georgia|
|Alexander III of Macedon (356 BC–323 BC)||King of Macedonia and Persia. Pharaoh of Egypt.|
|Alfonso III of Asturias (c. 848–910)||King of León, Galicia and Asturias|
|Alfred I of England (848/849–899)||King of Wessex, England|
|Antiochus III (c. 241–187 BC)||Ruler of the Seleucid Empire|
|Ashoka (c. 304–232 BC)||Indian emperor of the Maurya dynasty|
|Askia Mohammad I (c. 1442–1538)||Ruler of the Songhai Empire|
|Bhumibol Adulyadej (1927–2016)||King of Thailand|
|Bolesław I the Brave (967–1025)||First king of Poland|
|Casimir III of Poland (1310–1370)||King of Poland (1333–70)|
|Catherine II (1729–1796)||Empress of Russia|
|Charlemagne (died 814)
("Charles the Great")
|King of the Franks and Emperor of the Romans|
|Chlothar II (584–629)||King of Neustria and King of the Franks|
|Chulalongkorn (1853–1910)||King of Siam (In present-day: Thailand)|
|Constantine I (c. 272–337)||Roman emperor|
|Cnut the Great (c. 985 or 995–1035)||King of England (1016–35), Denmark (1018–35) and Norway (1028–35).|
|Cyrus II of Persia (c. 600 BC or 576 BC–530 BC)||Founder and First Shahanshah of Persia Achaemenid Empire, (in present-day Iran)|
|Darius I of Persia (550–486 BC)||Third Shahanshah of Persia Achaemenid Empire, (in present-day Iran)|
|Eucratides I (reigned c. 170–145 BC)||Ruler of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom and the Indo-Greek Kingdom|
|Ewuare (1440–1473)||Founder and Oba (king) of the Benin Empire (in present-day Nigeria)|
|Farrukhan||Ispahbadh of Tabaristan (712–728)|
|Ferdinand I of León (c. 1015–1065)||King of León and Count of Castile|
|Frederick II (1712–1786)||King of Prussia|
|Genghis Khan (1162–1227)||Founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire|
|Gustavus Adolphus (1594–1632)||King of Sweden (1611–32), founder of the Swedish Empire, and noted military leader|
|Gwanggaeto||King of Goguryeo, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea|
|Hanno the Great||Three leaders of Carthage, in the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd centuries BC|
|Henry IV of France (1553–1610)||King of France and King of Navarre|
|Herod I (73/74 BC–4 BC)||King of Judea|
|Hugh Magnus (1007–1025)||Co-King of France|
|Ivan III of Russia (1440–1505)||Grand Prince of Moscow|
|John I of Portugal (1358–1433)||King of Portugal and the Algarve|
|John II of Aragon and Navarre (1398–1479)||King of Aragon and, through his wife, King of Navarre|
|Justinian I (483–565)||Roman Emperor (Eastern)|
|Kamehameha I (c. 1758–1819)||First king of Hawaii|
|Kangxi Emperor (1654–1722)||Emperor of Qing China|
|Kanishka (died c. 127)||Ruler of the Kushan Empire in Central Asia and parts of India|
|Kvirike III of Kakheti (1010–1029)||King of Kakheti in eastern Georgia|
|Kublai Khan (1215–1294)||Mongol ruler in the 13th century and Emperor of China; founder of the Yuan Dynasty|
|Llywelyn the Great (c. 1172–1240)||King of Gwynedd and de facto ruler of most of Wales|
|Louis I of Hungary (1326–1382)||King of Hungary, Croatia and Poland|
|Louis XIV of France (1638–1715)||King of France and Navarre|
|Manuel I Komnenos (1118-1180)||Byzantine Emperor|
|Emperor Meiji (1852–1912)||Emperor of Japan|
|Mircea I of Wallachia (1355–1418)||Ruler of Wallachia|
|Mithridates II of Parthia (121-91 BC)||Ninth Shahanshah of Persia Parthian Empire, (in present-day Iran)|
|Mithridates VI of Pontus (134 BC–63 BC)||Ruler of Pontus and the Bosporan Kingdom|
|Mubarak Al-Sabah (1840–1915)||Ruler of Kuwait|
|Mstislav I of Kiev (1076–1132)||Grand Prince of Kievan Rus'|
|Narai (1633–1688)||King of Ayutthaya Kingdom (in present-day Thailand)|
|Naresuan (1590–1605)||King of Ayutthaya Kingdom (in present-day Thailand)|
|Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor (912–973)||Holy Roman Emperor|
|K'inich Janaab' Pakal (603–683)||Ruler of the Mayan city-state of Palenque|
|Parakramabahu I (1123–1186)||King of Sri Lanka|
|Peter Krešimir IV of Croatia (1059-1075)||King of Croatia|
|Peter Alexeyevich (1672–1725)||Tsar of Russia|
|Peter III of Aragon (1239–1285)||King of Aragon and King of Sicily|
|Phutthayotfa Chulalok (1782–1809)||King of Siam (In present-day: Thailand)|
|Qin Shi Huang (259 BC–210 BC)||First emperor of China, who unified China from Warring States|
|Radama I (1793–1828)||First king of greater Madagascar|
|Raja Raja Chola I (947 CE– 1014 CE)||The Great Chola Emperor from present day South India who ruled over the Chola kingdom between 985 and 1014 CE.|
|Ramesses II (reigned 1279 BC–1213 BC)||Pharaoh of Egypt known for his temples, monuments, and military feats.|
|Ram Khamhaeng (around 1237 to 1247–1298)||King of Sukhothai (In present-day: Thailand)|
|Reza Shah (1878–1944)||Founder and First Shahanshah of Persia Pahlavi dynasty, (in present-day Iran)|
|Rhodri the Great (c. 820–878)||King of Gwynedd (in present-day Wales)|
|Roman the Great (after 1160–1205)||Grand Prince of Kiev|
|Sancho III of Pamplona (c. 992–1035)||King of Navarre|
|Sargon of Akkad (died c. 2215 BC)||Ruler of the Akkadian Empire|
|Sejong the Great (1397–1450)||Korean king|
|Shapur I (215–270)||Second Shahanshah of Persia Sassanid Empire, (in present-day Iran)|
|Shapur II (309–379)||Tenth Shahanshah of Persia Sassanid Empire, (in present-day Iran)|
|Simeon I of Bulgaria (864–927)||Tsar (emperor) of Bulgaria|
|Stephen III of Moldavia (1433–1504)||Prince of Moldavia (Romania)|
|Stefan Uroš I (c. 1223–1277)||King of Serbia (1243–76)|
|Stefan Dušan (c. 1308-1355)||King of Serbia (1331–45) and Emperor of the Serbs and Greeks (1345–55)|
|Sultan Agung of Mataram (1593-1645)||Ruler of Mataram Sultanate (present day, Yogyakarta and most of Java island, Indonesia) from 1613 to 1645|
|Taksin (1734–1782)||King of the Thonburi Kingdom (In present-day: Thailand)|
|Tamar of Georgia (1160–1223)||Queen of the Georgian Empire|
|Emperor Taizong of Tang (598–649)||Emperor of Tang (China)|
|Theodoric the Amal (454–526)||King of the Ostrogoths, regent of the Visigoths and a viceroy of the Byzantine Empire|
|Theodosius I (347–395)||Roman emperor|
|Tigranes II (140–55 BC)||Emperor of Armenia|
|Timur (1336–1405)||Better known as Tamerlane, founder of the Timurid Dynasty|
|Tiridates III of Armenia (285-339)||King of Armenia|
|Valdemar I of Denmark (1131–1182)||King of Denmark|
|Valentinian I (364-375)||Roman emperor|
|Vladimir of Kiev (c. 958–1015)||Kievan Rus' ruler; Prince of Novgorod and Grand Prince of Kiev|
|Vytautas (c. 1350–1430)||Archduke of the Lithuanian Grand Duchy|
|Emperor Wu of Han (156 BC–87 BCE)||Emperor of Han China, from whose reign dynasty the Chinese majority people are named|
|Xerxes I (519–465 BC)||Fourth Shahanshah of Persia Achaemenid Empire, (in present-day Iran)|
|Yuknoom Ch'een II (c. 600–680s)||Mayan king of Kaan|
- Alain I of Albret (1440–1522), French aristocrat
- Bruno (925–965), Archbishop of Cologne and Duke of Lotharingia
- Conrad, Margrave of Meissen (c. 1097–1157)
- Gerard, Duke of Lorraine (c. 1020-1070)
- Gerhard III, Count of Holstein-Rendsburg (c. 1292–1340), German prince who ruled Schauenburg and Holstein-Rendsburg and for a while a large part of Denmark
- Gero (c. 900–965), ruler of Marca Geronis, a very large march in Europe
- Henry I, Duke of Burgundy (946–1002), Duke of Burgundy
- Hugh the Great (898–956), Count of Paris and Duke of the Franks
- Hugh, Count of Vermandois (1057–1101)
- Humphrey I de Bohun (died c. 1123), Anglo-Norman aristocrat
- Matteo Rosso Orsini (1178–1246), Roman politician and father of Pope Nicholas III
- Odo the Great (died c. 735), Duke of Aquitaine
- Pompey (106-48 BC), military and political leader of the late Roman Republic
- Ralph IV of Valois (c. 1025–1074), Count of Valois, Bar, Vexin, Vitry, Amiens, Montdidier and Tardenois
- Ramon Berenguer III, Count of Barcelona (1082–1131), also Count of Provence and various other counties
- Robert I, Count of Dreux (c. 1123–1188)
- Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, also Earl of Arundel
- Theobald II, Count of Champagne (1090–1151), Count of Blois and of Chartres as Theobald IV, Count of Champagne and of Brie
- William I, Count of Burgundy (1020–1087), Count of Burgundy and Mâcon
- William V, Duke of Aquitaine (969–1030), Duke of Aquitaine, Count of Poitou
- Abraham Kidunaia (died c. 366), hermit, priest, and Christian saint of Mesopotamia
- Abraham the Great of Kashkar (ca. 492–586), monk and saint of the Church of the East
- Albertus Magnus (1193/1206–1280), medieval German philosopher and theologian
- Anthony the Great (c. 251–356), early Christian saint of Egypt
- Arsenius the Great (354–445), Roman anchorite saint in Egypt
- Athanasius of Alexandria (296-373), early Christian saint and bishop of Alexandria
- Babai the Great (c. 551–628), Assyrian church leader
- Basil of Caesarea (330–379), Greek bishop and theologian
- Bertin (615-709), a Frankish Abbot of a monastery that was named after him after he died
- Bruno the Great (925–965), Archbishop of Cologne and Duke of Lotharingia (also listed in the previous section)
- Euthymius the Great (377–473), abbot and Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox saint
- Gertrude the Great (1256–c. 1302), German Benedictine, mystic, theologian and Roman Catholic saint
- Pope Gregory I (c. 540–604)
- Hugh of Cluny (1024–1109), Abbot of Cluny
- Joannicius the Great (752–846), Byzantine hermit, theologian and saint
- Pope John Paul II (1920–2005)
- Pope Leo I (c. 391 or 400–461)
- Macarius of Egypt (c. 300–391), Egyptian hermit
- Pope Nicholas I (c. 800–867)
- Photius I of Constantinople (c. 810–c. 893), Eastern Orthodox saint and Patriarch of Constantinople
- William of Maleval (died 1157), founder of the Catholic congregation of Williamites
- Aaron ben Jacob of Karlin (1736–1772), Hasidic rabbi
- Eliezer ben Hurcanus, 1st century rabbi in Judea
- Hiyya the Great 3rd-century rabbi in Judea
- Afonso de Albuquerque (c. 1453–1515), Portuguese general, statesman and empire builder
- Melias, distinguished 10th-century Byzantine general of Armenian origin, called "Mleh the Great" in Armenian sources
- Prokop the Great, Hussite general in Bohemia
Legendary and mythological people
- Ajax the Great, in Greek mythology
- Beli Mawr, in medieval Welsh mythology and literature
- Yu the Great (c. 2200–2100 BC), legendary ruler in ancient China
- List of monarchs by nickname
- List of nicknames of European royalty and nobility
- James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby (1607–1651), "Yn Stanlagh Mooar" ("the Great Stanley"), also Lord of Mann
- Bantul the Great, a Bengali comic strip character
- In a clay cylinder (online). The first Persian ruler to use the title in an Iranian context was Darius I of Persia (Darius the Great), in the Behistun Inscription (online).
- Plautus, Mostellaria 775.
- Eskandar Beg Monshi (1978). History of Shah 'Abbas the Great: (Tarîk-e 'Alamara-ye 'Abbasi). Westview Press.
- Sir William Wilson Hunter (1886). The Indian Empire: Its People, History, and Products. Asian Educational Services. pp. 291–. ISBN 978-81-206-1581-6.
- Monika Khanna (2011). Ashoka, the Great: The Great Reformist Emperor of India. Farsight Publishers & Distributors. ISBN 978-81-89297-75-6.
- Flora Shaw (23 December 2010). A Tropical Dependency: An Outline of the Ancient History of the Western Soudan with an Account of the Modern Settlement of Northern Nigeria. Cambridge University Press. p. 199. ISBN 978-1-108-02492-1.
- Patrick J. Geary (2010). Readings in Medieval History. University of Toronto Press. pp. 642–. ISBN 978-1-4426-0120-8.
- Asiatic Society of Bengal (1840). Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Soc. p. 533.
- Bernard Lewis; Charles Pellat (1982). The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Brill. p. 298.
- Korean Culture and Information Service Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (15 January 2015). FACTS ABOUT KOREA: South korea, Past and Present. 길잡이미디어. pp. 191–. ISBN 978-89-7375-584-4.
- Vjekoslav Klaić (1972). Povijest Hrvata od najstarijih vremena do svršetka XIX stoljeća. Nakladni zavod Matice hrvatske. p. 129.
- Christoph Bluth; Gareth Schott (2007). Korea. Polity. p. 10. ISBN 0-7456-3356-0.
- R. J. Crampton (24 November 2005). A Concise History of Bulgaria. Cambridge University Press. p. 270. ISBN 978-1-139-44823-9.
- Konstantin Jireček (1967). Geschichte der Serben. Hakkert. p. 310.
- A History of the Balkan Peoples. Ardent Media. 1971. p. 35. GGKEY:69RCKY1X0FZ.
- Gerald W. Fry; Gayla S. Nieminen; Harold E. Smith (8 August 2013). Historical Dictionary of Thailand. Scarecrow Press. p. 401. ISBN 978-0-8108-7525-8.
- Beate Dignas; Engelbert Winter (13 September 2007). Rome and Persia in Late Antiquity: Neighbours and Rivals. Cambridge University Press. pp. 180–. ISBN 978-0-521-84925-8.
- Lester B. Orfield (1953). The Growth of Scandinavian Law. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. pp. 38–. ISBN 978-1-58477-180-7.
- Thomas Banchich; Eugene Lane (26 January 2009). The History of Zonaras: From Alexander Severus to the Death of Theodosius the Great. Routledge. pp. 261–. ISBN 978-1-134-42473-3.
- Mike Dixon-Kennedy (1998). Encyclopedia of Russian and Slavic Myth and Legend. ABC-CLIO. p. 239. ISBN 978-1-57607-063-5.
- Giedrė Mickūnaitė (2006). Making a Great Ruler: Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania. Central European University Press. pp. 4–. ISBN 978-963-7326-58-5.
- Jacob Abbott (1850). History of Xerxes the Great. Harper & Brothers, publishers.
- Brian D. Starr (2006). Tree of Saints. Brian Daniel Starr. pp. 121–. ISBN 978-1-4196-3302-7.
- Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. (1 May 2008). Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. p. 23. ISBN 978-1-59339-492-9.