Agathocles

Ruler of Syracuse (317–310 B.C.) who conquered all of Sicily except for territory dominated by Carthage; he was eventually defeated by the Carthaginian army.

Alexander

Alexander the Great, king of Macedonia (336–323 B.C.). He conquered Greece, Persia, and much of Asia.

Alexander VI

Elected pope in 1492. Challenged by French invasion of Italy and a war between France and Spain. Father of Cesare Borgia.

Cesare Borgia

Also called Duke Valentino (1476–1507). Cesare Borgia was made duke of Romagna by his father, Pope Alexander VI, in 1501. He lost power after the death of the pope. Cesare Borgia is Machiavelli’s primary example of a prince who has great prowess, as displayed by his efforts to secure his state quickly after he was put in power.

Cyrus

Founder of the Persian Empire.

Julius II

Reigned as pope 1503–1513. Julius II strengthened the power of the Church through vigorous leadership and intelligent diplomacy. He defeated Roman barons and negotiated an alliance against France.

Leo X

Elected pope in 1513. Leo X was an advocate of the Medici family.

Romulus

Founder and first king of Rome.

Septimius Severus

Roman emperor (a.d. 193–211).

Theseus

Hero of Attica, king of Athens. According to legend, he killed the Minotaur in the Cretan labyrinth.