What Was the Leader of Ancient Greece Called?

When we think of Ancient Greece, we often picture the great leaders who helped shape the civilization into what it is now. But have you ever wondered what these leaders were called? In this article, we will explore the various titles that Ancient Greek leaders held and what they meant.

The Three Main Types of Ancient Greek Leaders

In Ancient Greece, there were three main types of leaders: kings, oligarchs, and tyrants. Each had its own unique characteristics and responsibilities.


Kings were the most common type of leader in Ancient Greece. They were typically hereditary rulers who inherited their position from their fathers. Kings had complete control over their subjects and were responsible for maintaining law and order in their kingdoms.


Oligarchs were a group of wealthy individuals who held power in Ancient Greece. They ruled together as a small group and made decisions based on their own interests rather than those of the people they governed.


Tyrants were leaders who came to power through force or manipulation. Unlike kings or oligarchs, they did not inherit their position nor did they rule with the support of a group. Instead, they relied on their own charisma to gain power and maintain control over their subjects.

Titles and Duties of Ancient Greek Leaders

Each type of leader had its own unique titles and duties that defined their role in society.

Kings were typically referred to as “basileus,” which means “king” or “ruler” in Greek. Their main duties included maintaining law and order, leading armies into battle, settling disputes between citizens, and overseeing religious ceremonies.

Oligarchs did not have a specific title like kings or tyrants did. Instead, they were known for their wealth and influence over society. Their main duties included making decisions about how resources were allocated, setting tax rates, and overseeing trade between cities.

Tyrants were often referred to as “tyrannos,” which means “one-man ruler” in Greek. Their main duties included maintaining control over their subjects through force or manipulation, suppressing dissent, and making decisions about how resources were allocated.


Although there were many different types of leaders in Ancient Greece, they all played an important role in shaping the civilization into what it is today. Whether they were kings, oligarchs, or tyrants, each had its own unique title and set of duties that defined their role in society. By understanding these titles and duties, we can gain a better understanding of how Ancient Greece was governed and how its leaders helped shape the world we live in today.