During the period of the Roman Republic through the emergence of Islam, different leaders exhibited different styles of leadership and employed different political strategies. In addition, these leaders came to power and maintained their control in their own unique ways. Each leader seemed to have their own agenda, which set the tone for that era. Rome prospered under the rule of superior emperors: Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antonius Pius, and Marcus Aurelius. During the late Roman Empire leaders such as Diocletian and Constantine I used their strategies to gain and hold power and authority. Also, during the rise and spread of Islam leaders such as Heraclius, Abd al-Malik, and Mansa Moussa used their means to hold command. The point to be made with respect to these particular men is related to the obvious connection between the nature of a leader’s agenda and the impact of his reign. In the end, a ruler’s fate was dependent not on his agenda, but on style and strategy with which he pushed his agenda. Those leaders whose methods were completely selfless were indicated as great leaders, while those with tricky and/or unethical methods of pushing their agendas were hastily assassinated.
Throughout history, the idea of what a ruler is has evolved. In ancient societies the style of leadership evolved from royal leadership to politically appointed emperors. Inheritance of a throne and kingship subsided after Alexander the Great’s world domination. Instead, leaders came to power through political and military prowess, and if their leadership was unsatisfactory they would usually be overthrown. With the evolution of leadership throughout ancient times, came the evolution of art portraying the rulers of the era. The personality and authority portrayed in portraits employ different means of expression.
One example of this is Julius Caesar. Caesar was a warlord and a dictator, but if one can look past...