The purpose of this work was to examine the ancient origins of servant leadership, as it has been defined in the 20th century by Robert K.Greenleaf, and identify any other ideas, and principles that flow naturally or concurrently with it. Using an historical, inductive analysis of western civilization, the research found that the origins of this concept can be traced back at least 2500 years, starting in ancient Greece and Rome. Ideally, servant leadership flourishes most naturally in democratic institutional environments, and from the inner work that servant leaders voluntarily engage in, and learn from in their lives. Its source is not egoism but a selfless regard for others. It depends on followers who will only follow a true servant leader. In essence, it is primarily a form of moral leadership. As to the future, given current, twenty-first century threats to the survival of humanity, such as nuclear war, over-population, and climatic change, the need for servant leaders has never been greater or more pressing. This work will be of use and interest to leadership scholars, management theorists, philosophers, social scientists, or anyone deeply concerned with our future.