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4,885 results for "great lives"
Great Lives 19: Llywelyn the Great By History World
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During Llywelyn's boyhood, Gwynedd was ruled by two of his uncles, who split the kingdom between them, following the death of Llywelyn's grandfather, Owain Gwynedd, in 1170. Llywelyn had a strong... More > claim to be the legitimate ruler and began a campaign to win power at an early age. He was sole ruler of Gwynedd by 1200 and made a treaty with King John of England that year. Llywelyn's relations with John remained good for the next ten years. He married John's natural daughter Joan in 1205, and when John arrested Gwenwynwyn ab Owain of Powys in 1208, Llywelyn took the opportunity to annex southern Powys. In 1210, relations deteriorated, and John invaded Gwynedd in 1211.< Less
Great Lives 12: Constantine the Great By History World
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Constantine the Great (c. 27 February 272 – 22 May 337), also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to... More > convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed tolerance of all religions throughout the empire.< Less
Great Lives 13: Cyrus the Great By History World
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The reign of Cyrus the Great lasted between 29 and 31 years. Cyrus built his empire by conquering first the Median Empire, then the Lydian Empire and eventually the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Either... More > before or after Babylon, he led an expedition into central Asia, which resulted in major campaigns that were described as having brought "into subjection every nation without exception". Cyrus did not venture into Egypt, as he himself died in battle, fighting the Massagetae along the Syr Darya in December 530 BC. He was succeeded by his son, Cambyses II, who managed to add to the empire by conquering Egypt, Nubia, and Cyrenaica during his short rule.< Less
Great Lives 15: Frederick the Great By History World
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Interested primarily in music and philosophy and not the arts of war during his youth, Frederick unsuccessfully attempted to flee from his authoritarian father, Frederick William I, with childhood... More > friend Hans Hermann von Katte, whose execution he was forced to watch after they were captured. Upon ascending to the Prussian throne, he attacked Austria and claimed Silesia during the Silesian Wars, winning military acclaim for himself and Prussia. Near the end of his life, Frederick physically connected most of his realm by conquering Polish territories in the First Partition of Poland.< Less
Great Lives 4: Alfred the Great By History World
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Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899. Alfred successfully defended his kingdom against the Viking attempt at conquest, and by his death had become the dominant ruler in England. He is... More > the only English monarch to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself "King of the Anglo-Saxons". Details of his life are described in a work by the 10th century Welsh scholar and bishop Asser. Alfred was a learned and merciful man who encouraged education and improved his kingdom's legal system and military structure< Less
Great Lives 9: Catherine the Great By History World
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In both her accession to power and in rule of her empire, Catherine often relied on her noble favourites, most notably Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin. Assisted by highly successful generals such... More > as Pyotr Rumyantsev and Alexander Suvorov, and admirals such as Fyodor Ushakov, she governed at a time when the Russian Empire was expanding rapidly by conquest and diplomacy. In the south, the Crimean Khanate was crushed following victories over the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish wars, and Russia colonised the vast territories of Novorossiya along the coasts of the Black and Azov Seas. In the west, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, ruled by Catherine's former lover, king Stanisław August Poniatowski, was eventually partitioned, with the Russian Empire gaining the largest share. In the east, Russia started to colonise Alaska, establishing Russian America.< Less
Great Lives 3: Alexander the Great By History World
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Alexander succeeded his father, Philip II of Macedon, to the throne in 336 BC after Philip was assassinated. Upon Philip's death, Alexander inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. He was... More > awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his father's military expansion plans. In 334 BC, he invaded Persian-ruled Asia Minor and began a series of campaigns that lasted ten years. Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela. He subsequently overthrew the Persian King Darius III and conquered the entirety of the Persian Empire. At that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River.< Less
Great Lives 5: Ashoka the Great By History World
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In the history of India, Ashoka is referred to as Samraat Chakravartin Ashoka – the "Emperor of Emperors Ashoka". His name "aśoka" means "painless, without... More > sorrow" in Sanskrit (the a privativum and śoka "pain, distress"). In his edicts, he is referred to as Devānāmpriya (Pali Devānaṃpiya or "The Beloved Of The Gods"), and Priyadarśin (Pali Piyadasī or "He who regards everyone with affection"). Along with the Edicts of Ashoka, his legend is related in the later 2nd-century Aśokāvadāna ("Narrative of Asoka") and Divyāvadāna ("Divine narrative"), and in the Sri Lankan text Mahavamsa ("Great Chronicle").< Less
Great Lives 8: Cnut the Great By History World
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Cnut was of Danish and Slavic descent. His father was Sweyn Forkbeard, King of Denmark (which gave Cnut the patronym Sweynsson, Old Norse Sveinsson). Cnut's mother was the daughter of the first duke... More > of the Polans, Mieszko I; her name may have been Świętosława, but the Oxford DNB article on Cnut states that her name is unknown. As a prince of Denmark, Cnut won the throne of England in 1016 in the wake of centuries of Viking activity in northwestern Europe. His accession to the Danish throne in 1018 brought the crowns of England and Denmark together. Cnut held this power-base together by uniting Danes and Englishmen under cultural bonds of wealth and custom, rather than sheer brutality. After a decade of conflict with opponents in Scandinavia, Cnut claimed the crown of Norway in Trondheim in 1028. The Swedish city Sigtuna was held by Cnut. He had coins struck which called him king there, but there is no narrative record of his occupation.< Less
Great Lives 10: Charlemagne By History World
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Becoming King of the Franks in 768 following the death of his father, Charlemagne was initially co-ruler with his brother Carloman I. Carloman I's sudden death in 771 under unexplained circumstances... More > left Charlemagne as the undisputed ruler of the Frankish Kingdom. Through his military conquests, he expanded his kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe.< Less