Great Rulers and What Makes Them Successful

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Great Rulers and What Makes Them Successful What makes a great ruler? Several great powers in history including Cyrus of Persia, T’ai-tsung, the Duke of Valentine, and Agathocles will be analyzed in order to attempt to answer this question. Based on three readings, these questions will be answered: 1. What are the personal qualities of Cyrus and T’ai-tsung? What is it about these personal qualities that made them successful rulers? 2. How does Machiavelli portray the Duke of Valentine and Agathocles? Does he consider them good or bad rulers? Why? 3. Compare and contrast Machievelli’s concept of an effective ruler with the depictions of Cyrus and T’ai-tsung. 4. Which ruler do you feel is the most worthy of admiration: Cyrus, T’ai-tsung, the Duke of Valentine, or Agathocles? Why? Cyrus of Persia and T’ai-tsung are indefinitely among the great leaders in history. The cause of their success fundamentally lies in their personal qualities. Beginning with Cyrus, his amiable qualities were numerous. As a child “he was regarded the best of them all in every way”, “best-behaved of his contemporaries”, “able to manage…well”, and “most eager to learn” (Xenophon, 41). As a young man he was also courageous, for he had “one occasion when a she-bear charged at him….but he killed the animal in the end” (Xenophon, 41). Cyrus was a man that believed in strong loyalty. One of the very first things he did when he took a position of power “was to make it clear that in any league or agreement or undertaking that he made he attached the utmost importance to keeping his word” (Xenophon, 41). This allowed people to gain trust in him. “The cities which were in his command trusted him and ... ... middle of paper ... ...ace personal consideration above the well-being of the multitude will lead to defeat for the government as a whole (Wu Ching, 69). Overall, T’ai-tsung is a selfless man dedicated to his country and is willing to sacrifice much for the well being of it. In conlusion, a great leader can be made in several ways. Some leaders use different methods than others, but overall these men reached their ultimate goals. Bibliography: Works Cited Xenophen. “The Persian Expedition.” Ed. Rex Warner. Hammondsworth: Penguin, 1962. 91-95 T’ai-tsung, T’ang. “On the Art of Government.” Ed. Wu Ching. New York: Charles, 1975. 161-64. Machiavelli, Niccolo. “The Prince.” Trans. S.G.W. Benjamin. n.p.: The National Alumni, 1907. 25-39

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