Is Alexander the Great the only person in history to have been given the title "the Great?"In class we are studying Alexander the Great and it got me thinking, we know why Alexander has been given...

Is Alexander the Great the only person in history to have been given the title "the Great?"

In class we are studying Alexander the Great and it got me thinking, we know why Alexander has been given the title Great. But, is there someone else who also holds that title. Please help me to answer this.

Asked on by arnicam

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Alexander the Great is certainly the most famous person to be called "the Great," but he is by no means the only one.

There have, for example, been at least three rulers of Russia who have come to be known as "the Great."  These are Catherine the Great, Ivan the Great, and Peter the Great.  There have also been rulers of other countries, such as Frederick the Great of Prussia, who have been given this title.

Since there is no criteria for who gets to be called "the Great," there is a great deal of variation in how famous and how important the people are.  Whether or not they "deserve" it, many people other than Alexander have been called "the Great."

mikemoral's profile pic

mikemoral | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Certainly not. Although Alexander is very prominent, there does remain many other rulers who gained the title "the Great": Pope Gregory the Great and Xerxes the Great of Pesia to name a few. Even the late Pope John Paul II is often referred to as "the Great," i.e. John Paul the Great.

"The Great" as a title often comes from popular usage and how well "the Great" stays attached to a person over the course of time.

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