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List of people known as The Great

This is a list of people whose names in English are commonly appended with the phrase "the Great", or who were called that or an equivalent phrase in their own language. Other languages have their own suffixes such as e Bozorg and e azam in Persian and Urdu respectively.

Introduction

The title "the Great" at first seems to be a simplification/colloquialism of the Persian title "Great King". This title was first used by the conqueror Cyrus II of Persia.

The Persian title was inherited by Alexander III of Macedon (336323 BC) when he conquered the Persian Empire, and the epithet "Great" eventually became personally associated with him. The first reference (in a comedy by Plautus) assumes that everyone knew who "Alexander the Great" was. However, there is no earlier evidence that Alexander III of Macedon was called "the Great".

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 (223187 BC); probably since he was the only Seleucid king to fight the Romans.

Later rulers and commanders began to use the epithet "the Great" as a personal name, like the Roman general Pompey. Others received the surname retrospectively, like the Carthaginian Hanno and the Indian emperor Ashoka the Great and the Hindu king Sivaji the Great. Once the surname gained currency, it was also used as an honorific surname for people without political careers, like the philosopher Albert the Great.

"The Greats"

The following people normally have the words "the Great" appended to their names.

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