This is the list of the 30 most influential people in world history. It means that people in this list have had a significant impact on the lives of regular and have had a high effect on modern society. This list contains names from religious figures, scientists and inventors, and some of the most famous leaders of world history.
In this list, you will find the most influential people in the history of all times, from the ancient era to modern society. Maybe the world would not be the same without these people.
1. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the founder of Islam. He is the most important religious, political and military leader who had united Arabian people under Islam. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born in 570 CE in the Arabian city of Mecca. He was orphaned at an early age and brought up by his uncle Abu Talib.
He spent most of his time in caves around Mount Hira in silence for prayer and one day he received a series of revelations from God. These revelations form verses of the Quran, the “Word of God” regarded by Muslims and around which the Islamic religion is based.
The all-important message of the Qu’ran is that there is no God but Allah and followers should spend their lives according to the will of Allah as described in the Quran. In 622, Muhammad (PBUH) migrated to Medina with his followers and this migration is known as the Hijrah, and marks as the starting of the Islamic Calendar. During his remaining life, he tried to unite most of Arabia under the new religion of Islam.
2. Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the central figure of Christianity and has more than 2 billion followers all around the world under Christianity. He was the son of Mary and according to religious facts, Mary was a virgin and the birth of Christ was a miracle of God.
Christians have faith that Jesus enables humans to be reconciled to God. The majority of Christians worship Christ as the Son of God. A minority of Christians reject Trinitarianism, partly or wholly, as non-scriptural. According to Islam, Jesus is considered one of God’s important prophets and the Messiah. Quran says, Christ was a bringer of scripture and was born of a virgin but was not the son of God.
Muslims believe that Jesus was not put to death but was physically raised into Heaven by God. And he will come back as a Messiah. But Judaism rejects the belief of the Muslims and argues that his death on the cross signifies that he was rejected by God.
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher from Stagirus, northern Greece and he was born in 384 BCE. He was living in the same time period as Plato and Alexander the Great.
“Time crumbles things; everything grows old under the power of Time and is forgotten through the lapse of Time.” -Aristotle (Physics)
He studied under Plato and learned much about the great philosophic traditions of Socrates. Aristotle had an independent mind and he tried to resolve many difficult questions and formerly unsolved problems. He studied philosophy, botany, physics, logic, and was popular due to his lectures and debates.
Aristotle’s ideas in physics influenced much of the medieval period and his ideas later replaced by the physics of Isaac Newton. Aristotle had faith in the power of reason to illustrate the problems of man. Moreover, he was a playwriter and he narrated how the weakness of man like anger, pride, jealousy, could lead to his downfall.
4. Alexander The Great
Alexander The Great was a great worrier and military commander of all time. He was born in the northern Greek kingdom of Macedonia, in July 356 BC. He was the son of King of Macedonia, Philip ll, and his wife Olympias.
Amazing thing is that the great philosopher Aristotle was his tutor and he teaches Alexander different subjects such as philosophy, poetry, and ideas of government. Alexander was music and books lover but he also a ruthless nature which he showed as a crowned King. Alexander killed his infant half-brother, so he could be the undisputed king.
Alexander gathered the warring factions in Greece before moving his army into the Great Kingdom of Persia. According to history, Alexander was undefeatable. After defeating Persians, he moves to further East with his army until they reached the regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The undefeatable man in war ironically died at the early age of 32. He died after suffering from a high fever, which lasted for 10 days.
5. Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte was later known as Napoleon I was a French military and political leader. He is considered as one of the most popular people in European history.
“France has more need of me than I have need of France.” -Napoleon
He was born in Corsica, on 15 August 1769. Napoleon got training as an artillery officer in mainland France. He became popular as a military commander fighting in Italy. In 1799, he installed himself as First Consul and after five years he crowned himself Emperor of the French.
In the early Nineteenth Century, he put the French Army in the war against every major European power and controlled continental Europe, through a series of military victories. To secure his Kingdom, he made extensive alliances and appointed his friends and family members to rule other European countries as French client states.
In June 1815, the Duke of Wellington fought against Napoleon with the help of the Prussian army and defeated his army. Napoleon spent the last six years of his life under British rule on Saint Helena and he died there. According to his autopsy, he died of stomach cancer, but some scientist has believed that he had been poisoned with arsenic.
6. Sir Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day, in 1643. He belongs to a poor family and his father died 3 months before he was born. The young Isaac Newton studied at King’s School, Grantham in Lincolnshire and after that got admission to Trinity College, Cambridge. His basic interest was in science, mathematics, and physics.
He has been referred to as one of the greatest geniuses of world history. Due to his one-pointed nature, he can’t find time for romance and he remained single throughout his life. Newton got lots of achievements in Mathematics just like Generalized binomial theorem, Newton’s identities, use of fractional indices, discovered a new formula for pi, used geometry to get solutions to Diophantine equations and others.
Furthermore, he made lots of great advancements in the study of Optics, Telescope, Mechanics, and Gravitation. Newton discovered the theory of gravitation after being hit on the head with a falling apple. However, he spent more time investigating religious issues.
He was not satisfied with the Christian interpretations of the Holy Book Bible and he rejected the philosophy of the Holy Trinity. Newton became the member of the Royal Society in 1703 and got the job of Master of Mint in 1717.
The original name of Lord Buddha was Siddhartha and he was a prince. He left his palace to find enlightenment and after his enlightenment, he spent his remaining life teaching others. He was born 400 BC in the area now known as Country of Nepal. In his early adult age, Siddhartha sought to find the greater meaning of life.
He left his Palace, leaving behind his wife, son and wondered around the Kingdom. Then he came across old age, illness, suffering, and death. In this way, he views the transitory nature of life and he resolved to seek an insight meaning of life.
To find enlightenment, the Buddha fasted excessively so his body wasted away. One day, a passing woman gave him food to eat and then he realized that he was on a mistake. He regained his strength and find a middle way of avoiding excesses of fasting and feasting. Buddha’s important teaching was of love, tolerance, and compassion.
One of his own monks Devadatta became jealous of him and tried to kill the Buddha on three, but every time he failed. After many years of teaching and wandering India, the Buddha passed away. On the bed of his death, he told his dearest disciple Ananda that he should now rely on his teachings and own ethical conduct to be the guide of his life.
8. William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright. Shakespeare is considered one of the greatest writers in the English language. 38 plays and 154 sonnets belong to him. Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon on 23rd April 1564.
His father William was a successful local businessman means Shakespeare belonged to a rich family but there is no evidence he attended university. At the age of 18, he married an older woman named Anne Hathaway. They had three children having names Susanna, Hamnet, and Juliet.
Shakespeare spent most of his time in London writing and acting in his plays. It is thought that he wrote the major part of his sonnets in 1590. In his early writing age, he wrote comedies plays like Much Ado about Nothing and Midsummer’s Night Dream. At the start of Seventeenth Century, he began to write tragedy plays such as Hamlet, King Lear, and Othello. Some academics believes that Shakespeare never actually wrote any plays.
He was actually just a successful businessman. Some of his most well-known plays are Twelfth Night, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear and Othello. He died in 1616 and but it is not clear how he died.
9. Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci commonly known as Leonardo was an Italian polymath. The areas of his interest were an invention, sculpting, painting, science, mathematics, literature, astronomy, botany, architecture, writing, history, and cartography.
He has been called the father of ichnology, paleontology, and architecture and he is also considered as one of the greatest artists of world history. Leonardo was born on 15th April 1452, in the Tuscan hill town of Vinci. He spent his five years in the hamlet of Anchiano in the home of his mother.
He got an informal education in Latin, Geometry, and Mathematics. At the age of fourteen, Leonardo was apprenticed to the artist Andrea di Cione, also known as Verrocchio. In 1472, Leonardo qualified as a master in the Guild of Saint Luke, doctors of medicine and the guild of artists.
He was quite genius and he got the nickname “Renaissance Man” from the cultural movement of the Renaissance. He was the most diversely talented man of his time and the greatest inventor who ever lived.
10. Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was born in 1879 and became the most celebrated scientist of the Twentieth Century. His presented theories are the foundations for new branches of physics. He was also popular as a humanitarian speaking out against nuclear weapons.
He was the most genius person of the Twentieth Century but unfortunately, he had the glittering academic career. At the age of 12, he read the book on geometry cover to cover. He applied for admission to the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich but he failed in botany, zoology, and language subjects.
In 1900, he became a Swiss citizen and married Mileva Marec, they had two sons before divorcing many years later. Due to his popular Quantum Theory, other scientists were able to produce devices like television and movies. He got the Noble Prize for Physics in 1921. In the USA, he dedicated himself to a strict discipline of academic study.
He described himself as a Zionist Socialist. In 1952, Israel offered the position as President of Israel, but, he declined. At the start of Second World War, in 1939, he wrote to President Roosevelt about the prospect of the atomic bomb. Albert Einstein died in 1955 and he donated his brain and vital organs for scientific study.
11. Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. He was born in Hodgenville, on 12 Feb 1809. His primary way of educations was schooling at home with the help of borrowed books and the Bible. He taught himself different subjects like grammar, history, mathematics, and law through borrowing books.
He also worked as a store clerk in two different stores. In 1842, he married Mary Todd, a well-educated woman of a famous Kentucky family. In 1856, Abraham Lincoln joined the new Republic Party and ran for the US Senate in 1858. Although he lost the Senate race to Douglas, he was elected President of the United States in 1860.
After his nomination, eleven states declared their independence from the Union. After 1 year of fighting, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves of southern rebelling states. In November 1864, Abraham Lincoln was re-elected as President.
Lincoln issued the “The Thirteenth Amendment” releasing all slaves everywhere, through congress in late 1864. Unfortunately, Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wiles Booth on 14th April 1865 and died the following day.
Confucius was a wise sage who was born around 551 BC to a modest family. He was the son of a soldier and his mother taught him in the ancient ceremonies, music, poetry, and etiquette of the ancient courts. Confucius spent 3 years in seclusion and bereavement after the death of his mother.
After the end of his time of seclusion, he taught people from all classes in the ancient arts of Li. Soon, he becomes the acknowledged expert in the art of Li and became chief sage to the Duke of Lu. Furthermore, Confucius spent the next 14 years perfection the ancient codes of conduct and morality. Confucius loved his students and taught them to depend on their personalities and character traits.
He was opposed by different people who were jealous of his influence. Later, he wrote prodigiously explaining his key concepts and teachings. Interesting thing is that Confucius predicted his own death and died shortly after. He was not successful in his life but his philosophy took hold around 200BC and took part in influencing future Chinese society and Chinese philosophy.
Confucius had faith in the power of education, righteous conduct, and respect for the past and reform of corrupt practices.
13. George Washington
George Washington is known as ‘father of the nation’ and his face is widely displayed in the United States coins and statues throughout the United States. George Washington was born in 1732 in Virginia and he belonged to a rich family.
His family owned many slaves who worked on the plantations. As a planter, George Washington was interested in military matters and exploring the Western territories. In May 1775, George Washington elected as head of the US continental Army due to his military experiences. The War of Independence was to last 6 years and in the beginning, he had to deal with ill-trained and poorly equipped soldiers.
In 1781, he was able to defeat the British Army at Yorktown with the help of French forces. After Independence, Washington was elected as the first President of America. He served as President from 1789 to 1797. In some respects, George Washington preferred the idea of a strong central government.
He fought the British but he appreciated the strength of a united political body and mostly he preferred to use the address of Mr. President. He died three years after retirement at his beloved Mount Vernon. However, he never publicly spoke against slavery and he did leave provisions in his will to free his slaves on his death.
14. St Paul
St Paul was an influential figure due to his amazing work for Christianity. His writings form a primary section of the New Testament for Christianity. St Paul codifies many aspects of Christianity with the help of his letters to the early church.
He was a Roman citizen, and he took part in the persecution of Christians at a young age. Once, he reported being blinded by the vision of Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. He remained blind for three days, and he was healed by a Christian named Ananias of Damascus. After his healing, he dedicated his life to spreading the message of Christian all around the world.
St Paul was born a Roman Citizen in Tarsus, Cilicia, South Turkey and ethnically he was Jewish. He was brought up in Jerusalem by Gamaliel, a leading power in the Jewish religious establishment. He made lots of missionary journeys around the Mediterranean spread the teachings of Jesus.
He went to several places just like the island of Cypress, Pisidia, Lycaonia, and Pamphylia, all in Asia Minor. In 57 AD, he was arrested due to his rejection of Jewish customs and held in a prison in Caesarea for two years. He spends his remaining life writing letters to the early church. Christians celebrate the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul on January 25.
15. Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei was an Astronomer and Scientist. He created a superior telescope and made many important discoveries in astronomy. Galileo was born in Florence, Italy in 1564 and he belonged to the poor but noble family.
Due to his father, he studied the profitable career of medicine. But, at the University of Pisa, he was attracted by a large range of subjects. After that, he was appointed as a mathematics professor at the University of Pisa. He resigned after three years and went to the University of Padua to teach maths. Galileo had a significant number of followers due to his entertaining lectures.
He spent his next 18 years pursuing his interests in mechanics and astronomy. He made some discoveries about inertia, gravity, and he also developed the forerunner of the thermometer. Furthermore, he worked on the science of gnomonics and the laws of motion. Galileo became famous due to astronomy, and he came to the conclusion that the sun was the center of the universe and not the earth.
Galileo had three children, and he was close to one of his daughters, Polissena. Under his house arrest, he wrote Two New Sciences called Kinematics and Strength of materials. He died in 1642.
16. Cai Lun
Cai Lun is also known as Ts’ai Lun was born in Guiyand. He got several promotions under the rule of Emperor He of Han after serving as a court eunuch. In AD 89, he became an officer in charge of manufacturing instruments and weapons with the title of Shang Fang Si. In AD 97, he became an associate of Consort Deng Sui after the death of Empress Dou.
He invented the composition of the paper and the papermaking process in AD 105. Today papermaking machinery and tools are more complex, they are still using ancient techniques for felted sheets of fiber suspended in water, draining of the water, and after that drying into a thin matted sheet.
In his time, he was given the recognition due to his great invention. The Emperor of that time was pleased by the invention of paper and granted an aristocratic title and great wealth to Cai Lun. According to formula, the papermaking process contains the use of materials like hemp, bark, fishing net and silk but his exact recipe has been lost.
After the death of Emperor Empress Deng, Consort Song got power. And he ordered Cai to report to prison. Due to that fear, Cai Lun took poison and committed suicide.
17. Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer, navigator, and colonizer. His primary work was the discovery of the Americas. Columbus’s discoveries and travels were the core frameworks for the later European colonization of North and Latin America. Columbus was born in the Republic of Genoa, Western Italy of today in 1451.
He learned to sail at an early age and traveled around Europe to Ireland, England, and later along the West coast of Africa as a business agent. Columbus was an enthusiastic self-educated man, and he read on astronomy, navigation, and science extensively. Moreover, he learned Latin, Spanish, and Portuguese during his work.
He had believed in the spherical nature of the world. He was ambitious to find a Western approach to the lucrative Spice markets in Asia. He thought that sailing west would lead to countries like Japan and China rather than sailing East. To get necessary funding and support, he approached the Catholic Monarchs of Spain.
He made whole four journeys and sailed extensively around the Caribbean islands of Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and to the mainland Panama. First, he was appointed as Viceroy and Governor of the Indies in the island of Hispaniola. In 1500, Columbus was arrested and placed in chains on the order of the Spanish monarchy. He died in 1506 at the age of 54 from a heart attack.
18. Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler is one of the most influential figures in world history. He has linked with the Holocaust and extermination of Jews and other ‘undesirables’. He was the primary cause of the Second World War, and 70 million people died in this war.
Adolf Hitler was born in Austria in 1889. He was a comparative failure and was twice rejected from his application to study art. In 1913, he moved to Munich and displayed little interest in politics. He joined the German Army in the 1st World War and got promoted to Corporal. After the first World War, Hitler turned to politics and set up a new political party named the Nazi Party, which was a mixture of nationalistic and fascist policies.
Due to lots of struggle, Hitler led the Nazi party to victory in the 1933 elections and he was made Chancellor. In 1934, after the death of Hindenburg, he was elected as the President of Germany. He declared himself the supreme leader. He started an extensive program of road building, rearmament, and solving the problems of unemployment.
In 1938, he gained the whole of Czechoslovakia. When Hitler invaded Poland, Great Britain and France started a war against Germany. In 1942, he got stunning military victories which led to one of the most successful army conquests in history. But he was defeated in 1944 when the Soviets in the East and allies in the West began great liberation to eventually meet in Berlin.
19. Johannes Gutenberg
Johannes Gutenberg was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, and publisher who invented the first printing machine. He was born in the city of Mainz, Germany. He started working as a merchant but then moved to the work as a goldsmith and blacksmith.
The genius of the printing press is that he used different technologies from various fields into a practical and invented an affordable way of printing books. He presented his first model of the printing press in around 1440 in Strasbourg. The primary tools of the printing press were the use of moveable type printing, the use of an oil-based ink, adjustable wooden characters, and a wooden printing press.
At the start of the invention, 42 lines could be printed at once. This invention reduced the labor and cost of creating books. The invention of the printing press helped in the development of the Reformation, Renaissance, and age of scientific Enlightenment. It was an economical way to share ideas and knowledge with ordinary people at an affordable cost.
The first book published by Johannes Gutenberg was Gutenberg Bible in 1455. Initially, 180 books were produced, some on vellum and mostly on paper. The great Martin Luther printed his 95 Thesis and circulated widely.
20. Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was a leading founding founder of the United States and the author of the book “Declaration of Independence” 1776. He served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. Jefferson was committed Republican and wrote the statute for Religious Freedom in 1777.
Jefferson had a vital interest in architecture, philosophy, gardening, literature, and education. He introduced a bill to end slavery in Western territories in 1800 and as President, he imposed a ban on the importation of slaves into the US in 1807. He was born to a prosperous family in Shadwell, Virginia. As a child, Jefferson was an enthusiastic student and spent 15 hours a day to study.
After his education, he became a lawyer and then served in the Virginian state Burgess. In 1796, he stood for President seat but lost to John Adams. In 1800 Presidential elections, he was elected as the President of the United States due to his powerful campaign.
Jefferson had a great influence on the shaping of the American constitution and political practices. He died at the age of 84 on the afternoon of July 4.
21. Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur worked hard to develop antidotes and cures to different dangerous illnesses just like anthrax and rabies. Louis Pasteur discovered a way to pasteurize milk and secure it from Tuberculosis. He was born in Dole, Eastern France in 1822. At an early age, he was a hard-working and conscientious student, and one of his professors called him ‘mediocre.’
In 1847, he received a doctorate, and he spent much time researching aspects of Chemistry. He made many discoveries in the field of germ study. Louis Pasteur found a practical way of killing bacteria in liquids just like milk. He killed bacteria in milk without destroying milk protein and made drinking milk save.
Louis Pasteur was quite hard-working, and he continuously worked in his laboratory to develop more cures. Then he discovered a cure for anthrax, a disease that mainly affects cattle. After this success, he tried to draw up treatment for rabies. First, he performed tests on animals affected with rabies and these tests were successful. Then a boy was brought to him who had been bitten by a rabid dog 14 times. Then he used his technique on that kid, and his treatment was a success. More than 350 patients came to Louis Pasteur for treatment. Louis died at the age of 73 in 1895.
Plato was a Classical Greek philosopher, a student of Socrates, mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens. This Academy was the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Socrates and his student, Aristotle, and Plato provide essential foundations for Western philosophy and science.
He was born to an aristocratic family in Athens and gained a good education. Frequent references to Socrates are the primary element of Plato’s writings. It means that Socrates and his dialogues had a significant influence on Plato’s Ideas. Through Plato, the modern world gets a better idea of Socrates’ philosophy and way of life.
Rather than Socrates’ dialogues, he also used his own interpretations and thoughts. According to Plato, he saw a distinction between the body and the soul. In Politics, he delivered the idea of a ‘Philosopher King’ who would be a wisdom lover and gain the necessary abilities to rule over his people with the help of wisdom and justice.
He wrote everything in an indirect way, encouraging people to ask questions and think for themselves. Like his teacher Socrates, he was happy to play the role of observer rather than a preacher.
Moses was an Egyptian prince who became the prophet of the Jewish people. He took them from slavery in Egypt across the Red Sea to Mount Sinai. On that Mount, Moses received the Ten Commandments, which were the significant basis of the Old Testament and the Torah.
Moses was the adopted son of the Pharoah’s daughter, so he got Royal status and became a mighty prince. He married Zipphorah who was the daughter of the Priest of Midian, and he lived in Midian for many years. Then he heard the voice of God that he should return to Egypt to get his selected people out of slavery ad into the Promised Land. He became the leader of the Israelites.
As he was leading the Hebrews away from Egypt, the Pharoah sent his army to destroy the Hebrews. The Red Sea was in the way of the Hebrews, but the Red Sea was miraculously parted and enabled Moses to take the Israelites to a safe place. Then the Red Sea close in, destroying the vast army of Egypt. Jews celebrate this escape from Egypt in the festival of Passover. From the time of Moses, Judaism became a clearly defined religion.
24. Karl Marx
Karl Marx was the founder of Marxism that is an influential political science. The ideology of Karl Marx and Communism had a great impact on the Twentieth Century. He was born in Trier in western German on 5 May 1818. At the age of 17, Karl Marx got admission to the University of Bonn to study Law.
He enjoyed drinking, societies and meeting friends during his student life. During University time, he attracted to radical ideas and philosophies. Then he associated with a group named the “Young Hegels” and it was the group of students who rejected the ideas of Hegel.
On June 19, 1843, he married Jenny von Westphalen. Then he moved to Paris to escape the censorship of the Prussian government. In Paris, he met with some revolutionaries like Frederick Engels, an English radical.
In 1844, Engles wrote his influential book The Condition of the Working Class in England. Karl Marx got help from that book and wrote his first work ‘Communism Economics and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. This work contributed to display communism as a moral force for good to take over the alienation of labor under capitalism. With Engel, he created his most famous work, a short pamphlet titled ‘The Communist Manifesto’. After the death of his beloved wife, in 1881, Marx’s deteriorated and he died in 1883 from Bronchitis and Pleurisy.
25. Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar was a great Ruler of the Roman Empire. Julius Caesar was born in 100BC in Rome. The young Caesar joined Roman military service in Asia and Cilicia. After the death of the dictator Sulla, he returned back to begin his career as a prosecuting advocate.
He got many government positions under Pompey and became the governor of Gaul and Spain in 59BC. In 45BC, he became a dictator for life and was called Father of Nation. The month of Quintilis had the new name of July in honor of Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar was the author of many important political writings. He made many reforms in his Empire and provide himself the title of the ‘Prefect of Morals’.
He increased the number of magistrates and senators and tried to transform Italy into a province. The group of conspirators including his adopted son, Brutus killed Caesar in the Roman Senate on the Ides of March (15 March 44 BC) to save Rome from his alleged monarchical ambitions. His last words were immortals “You too, Brutus?” The great Roman Republic ended after the death of Julius Caesar.
He was popular among the middle and lower classes. So these people turned into a tomb at Caesar’s funeral. His great-grandnephew, Gaius Octavian raised any army against to fight against troops of Brutus and Cassius.
Euclid was a great Mathematician and called “Father of Geometry.” His textbook ‘Elements’ remained the most influential mathematics book and were one of the most mainly published books in the world.
Euclid was born in the mid-14th century BC in Alexandria. The meaning of his name is “renowned, glorious” and people also referred him as Euclid of Alexandria. It was assumed that he worked with a team of mathematics in Alexandria and got the degrees of help in mathematical works. According to some people, the work of Euclid was the result of many authors but between them ‘Euclid’ was the principal author.
Euclid studied at Plato’s Academy in Athens, and he learned much of his geometry from Eudoxus. A historian Pappus writes that Euclid was of good character. Euclid’s primary book ‘The Elements’ became a standard work of extensive mathematical studies. It is said that ‘The Elements’ maybe the second most published and reviewed of all books, after the Bible.
Euclid also investigated many other branches of mathematics just like Optics, Phaenomena, Division of Figures, and Data.
27. Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin was an English Natural Scientist, who provided a framework for the theory of evolution. Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury on 12 February 1809. He belonged to a wealthy and influential family. He studied at Christ’s College, Cambridge University.
He spent most of his time examining natural science and beetle collecting. After education, he was offered to work as a natural scientist on the HMS Beagle. At that time, religion was a dominant force in society and the Bible was the infallible, literal word of God. People believed that God created the world in seven days, and the world is only a few thousand years old. But, Charles Darwin suggested that fossils of animals were evidence that life was present hundreds of thousands of years ago.
By his work of 20 years, Charles Darwin delivered a theory of natural selection and gradual evolution over time. In 1859, Charles Darwin published his ground-breaking ‘On the Origin of Species using Natural Selection’. The great scientist died on 19 April 1882, and his ideas were accepted by the scientific and non-religious society.
Charles Darwin was given state burial at Westminster Abbey. After seven months of the publication of ‘Origin of Species,’ the famous 1860 Oxford evolution debate started between Bishop Samuel Wilberforce and Thomas Henry Huxley.
28. Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German monk who became the father of the Protestant Reformation. He was well-known for criticizing aspects of the Roman Catholic Church. He believed that the Bible was the source of legitimacy for interpreting the word of Christ, not the Roman Catholic Church. Moreover, he translated the Bible into German, to make more accessible for the general public.
He was born in 1483 and became a student at the University of Erfurt in 1501. He studied Aristotle and got his philosophy and theology. But he was not satisfied so he decided to become a monk and divide his life to God. Martin Luther first protested to the Catholic Church for the sale of indulgences. He argued that only faith can provide the remission of sin and not monetary payment.
During this period of criticism, Martin Luther became a prolific writer, and his writings were mainly distributed all around Europe. On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther posted ninety-five theses, on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg, criticizing practices of the church. Furthermore, he posted a copy to the Archbishop of Magdeburg, Albert of Mainz. These ninety-five theses were about many methods belonging to baptism and the sales of indulgences for the remittance of sin. In a few weeks, his theses had spread throughout Germany.
By the time, his criticisms were largely in circulation and the Reformation movement came in strength and popularity with the help of new printing presses. After these incidents, the Catholic Church never remain the unchallenged authority in Europe again. The enforcement of banning Martin Luther’s theses fell to the secular authorities, in April 1521. To secure his life, he remains hidden for many months. After that, he returned to Wittenberg to preach his anti-clerical speeches and doctrines.
29. Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was a British politician and author. He was best known as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He became popular due to its resistance against Hitler during the darkest hours of the Second World War. Winston Churchill was born to an aristocratic family at Blenheim Palace.
He went to Harrow school. He was not the best student at school and slow to learn. Winston Churchill went to Sandhurst for training as an officer after leaving school. He resigned from the military in 1899 and started his career as a war correspondent. In 1900, he successfully stood as a Conservative candidate for Oldham.
Winston Churchill leaves the Conservative Party in 1904 and joined the Liberal Party. He became President of the Board of Trade in 1908. Churchill was made First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911 and he held this post during the First World War. After the starting of the Second World War, the Commons select Churchill to lead the United Kingdom in a national coalition.
His speeches became famous throughout the country. He strictly opposed the idea to make any deal with Hitler. After winning the war, Churchill and his party lost the general elections and he was the leader of the opposition from 1945 to 1951.
30. Akbar the Great
Akbar the Great was the son of Humayun and the grandson of Babur. He showed great interest in a large variety of artistic, cultural, philosophical and religious ideas. He was well known for his religious tolerance and took an active interest in other religions.
He became the King of Hindustan at the age of 14 after the death of his father Humayun. He fought to defend and consolidate the Moghul Empire for the next 20 years. Akbar was popular among people due to lots of good qualities. He was fearless in battle and was generous to friends.
At the end of his life, he tried to create his own religion which was quite different from religious traditions. He married a Hindu Woman, Jodhaa. The love of Jodhaa and Akbar is still very famous in India. Lots of dramas and movies are made on their lives. Akbar the Great died in around 1605 and was buried near Agra.