Everyone knows the likes of Charlemagne, Genghis Khan, and Octavian. But what about ancient rulers who—while their accomplishments weren’t as great—had names that sound so awesome (or names that are so awesomely unpronounceable) that they deserve to enter modern consciousness? This is their story.
Yes, his name was Pithon. He was one of Alexander the Great’s lieutenant’s. For his efforts, Alexander made him Viceroy of the Indus region (think Pakistan/northwest India) and then later Babylon.
But wait, there’s more!
There was a second Pithon, although he wasn’t really a ruler—he was one of Alexander the Great’s bodyguards—but his name, one that no doubt intimidated would-be assassins, is so badass that he couldn’t not be included in this list.
4. Yes, “Kamino,” just like in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
He was the 52nd Emperor of Japan. He helped make drinking tea a big thing in Japan, really.
5. Tribhuwannottunggadewi Jayawishnuwardhani (A.K.A. “Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi”)
Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi (or Tribhuwannottunggadewi Jayawishnuwardhani pending on which name you choose; the former is her personal name and the latter is her royal name) ruled the Majapahit Empire—an empire in Indonesia—for 22 years. It might take 22 years for the average English speaking person to learn how to pronounce that name.
6. Tang of Shang
Tang of Shang was the first ruler of the Shang dynasty.
9. Jayavarman I-IX
The name just sounds like the name a low-budget superhero use—but a cool low-budget superhero. The various Jayavarmans (or Jayavarmen, if you will) were kings of the Khmer Empire, located in mainland southeast Asia.
The only Egyptian guy who when you read his name too quickly you think, “Is his name Shakespeare?” He was the last Pharaoh of Egypt’s fourth dynasty.
11. Huehue Huitzilihuitl
He was one of the leaders of the Mexica tribe during the 13th century. He’s got a name that’s a little crazy.
12. Mansa Musa of Mali
Ample alliteration makes his name one of the finest of any ancient ruler. He was the emperor of Malian Empire from 1312-1337. Yes, he died in year 1337, making him even that much more elite.
13. Dagobert I (or any of the Dagoberts, for that matter)
Frankish king from the Merovingian dynasty.
14. His name is a near-perfect portmanteau of The Angry Beavers, Daggett and Norbert.
15. Carloman II
If a little kid named Carlo was given an assignment to come up with a superhero name for himself, it’d be Carloman. The historic Carloman II was king of western Francia (proto-France) and then later all of Francia. There was a Carloman I but he wasn’t a ruler.
16. Kaliman of Bulgaria
He was the ruler of Bulgaria in the late 13th century. However, the picture above doesn’t depict the historical figure but rather a popular Mexican comic book hero with the same name.