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75 Ancient People You

Should Know
Most important names in Ancient / Classical History

1. Aeschylus
Aeschylus (c.525 - 456 B.C.) was the first great tragic poet. He introduced dialogue,
the characteristic tragic boot (cothurnus) and mask. he established other
conventions, like the performance of violent acts offstage. Before he became a
tragic poet, Aeschylus, who wrote a tragedy about the Persians, fought in the
Persian War in the battles at Marathon, Salamis, and Plataea.More

2. Agrippa
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (60?-12 B.C.) was a renowned Roman general and close
friend of Octavian (Augustus). Agrippa was consul first in 37 B.C. He was also
governor of Syria. As general, Agrippa defeated the forces of Mark Antony and
Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium. Upon his victory, Augustus awarded his niece
Marcella to Agrippa for a wife. Then, in 21 B.C., Augustus married his own daughter
Julia to Agrippa. By Julia, Agrippa had a daughter, Agrippina, and three sons, Gaius
and Lucius Caesar and Agrippa Postumus (so named because Agrippa was dead by
the time he was born).

3. Akhenaten
Akhenaten or Amenhotep IV (d. c. 1336 B.C.) was an 18th dynasty pharaoh of
Egypt, son of Amenhotep III and his Chief Queen Tiye, and the husband of the
beautiful Nefertiti. He is best known as the heretic king who tried to change the
religion of the Egyptians. Akhenaten established a new capital at Amarna to go
along with his new religion that focused on the god Aten, whence the pharaoh's
preferred name. Following his death much of what Akhenaten had had constructed
was destroyed deliberately. Shortly afterwards, his successors returned to the old
Amun god. Some count Akhenaten as the first monotheist.

4. Alaric the Visigoth


Alaric was king of the Visigoths from 394 - 410 A.D. In that last year, Alaric took his
troops near Ravenna to negotiate with Emperor Honorius, but he was attacked by a

Gothic general, Sarus. Alaric took this as a token of Honorius' bad faith, so he
marched on Rome. This was the major sack of Rome mentioned in all the history
books. Alaric and his men sacked the city for 3 days, ending on August 27. Along
with their plunder, the Goths took Honorius' sister, Galla Placidia, when they left.
The Goths still didn't have a home and before they acquired one, Alaric died of a
fever very soon after the sacking. More

5. Alexander the Great


Alexander the Great, King of Macedon from 336 - 323 B.C., may claim the title of the
greatest military leader the world has ever known. His empire spread from Gibraltar
to the Punjab, and he made Greek the lingua franca of his world. At the death of
Alexander a new Greek age began. This was the Hellenistic period during which
Greek (or Macedonian) leaders spread Greek culture to the area Alexander had
conquered. Alexander's colleague and relative Ptolemy took over Alexander's
Egyptian conquest and created a city of Alexandria that became famous for its
library, which attracted the leading scientific and philosophical thinkers of the
age. More

6. Amenhotep III
Amenhotep was the 9th king of the 18th Dynasty in Egypt. He reigned (c.1417c.1379 B.C.) during a time of prosperity and building when Egypt was at its height.
He died at about age 50. Amenhotep III made alliances with the leading territorial
state power brokers of Asia as documented in the Amarna Letters. Amenhotep was
the father of the heretic king, Akhenaten. Napoleon's army found Amenhotep III's
tomb (KV22) in 1799. More

7. Anaximander
Anaximander of Miletus (c. 611 - c. 547 B.C.) was a pupil of Thales and teacher of
Anaximenes. He is credited with inventing the gnomon on the sundial and with
drawing the first map of the world in which people live. He may have drawn a map of
the universe. Anaximander may also have been the first to write a philosophical
treatise. He believed in an eternal motion and a boundless nature. More

8. Anaximenes
Anaximenes (d. c. 528 B.C.) accounted for natural phenomena like lightning and
earthquakes though his philosophical theory. A student of Anaximander,
Anaximenes did not share his belief that there was an underlying boundless
indeterminateness or apeiron. Instead, Anaximenes thought the underlying principle

behind everything was air/mist, which had the advantage of being empirically
observable. Different densities of air (rarified and condensed) accounted for different
forms. Since everything is made of air, Anaximenes' theory of the soul is that it is
made of air and holds us together. He believed the earth was a flat disk with fiery
evaporations becoming heavenly bodies. More
Archimedes Thoughtful by Domenico Fetti (1620).Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

9. Archimedes
Archimedes of Syracuse (c.287 - c.212 B.C.), a Greek mathematician, physicist,
engineer, inventor, and astronomer, determined the exact value of pi and is also
known for his strategic role in ancient war and the development of military
techniques. Archimedes put up a good, almost single-handed defense of his
homeland. First he invented an engine that threw stones at the enemy, then he used
glass to set the Roman ships on fire -- maybe. After he was killed, the Romans had
him buried with honor. More

10. Aristophanes
Aristophanes (c. 448-385 B.C.) is the only representative of Old Comedy whose
work we have in complete form. Aristophanes wrote political satire and his humor is
often coarse. His sex-strike and anti-war comedy, Lysistrata, continues to be
performed today in connection with war protests. Aristophanes presents a
contemporary picture of Socrates, as a sophist in theClouds, that is at odds with
Plato's Socrates. More

11. Aristotle
Aristotle (384 - 322 B.C.) was one of the most important western
philosophers, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great.
Aristotle's philosophy, logic, science, metaphysics, ethics, politics and
system of deductive reasoning have been of inestimable importance ever
since. In the Middle Ages, the Church used Aristotle to explain its
doctrines. More
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Edict of Ashoka - Bilingual Edict of Ashoka. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

12. Ashoka
Ashoka (304 - 232 B.C.), a Hindu convert to Buddhism, was king of the
Mauryan Dynasty in India from 269 until his death. With his capital at
Magadha, Ashoka's empire extended into Afghanistan. Following bloody
wars of conquest, when Ashoka was considered cruel, he changed: He
eschewed violence, promoted tolerance, and the moral welfare of his
people. He also established contact with the Hellenistic world. Ashoka
posted "the edicts of Ashoka" on great animal-topped pillars, chiseled in
the ancient Brahmi script. Mostly reforms, the edicts also list public works
projects, including universities, roads, hospitals, and irrigation systems.
See King Ashoka: His Edicts and His Times More

Miniature of Attila meeting Pope Leo the Great. 1360.Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia

13. Attila the Hun


Attila the Hun was born around 406 A.D. and died 453. Called the Scourge
of God by the Romans, Attila was the fierce king and general of the
barbarian group known as the Huns who struck fear in the hearts of the
Romans as he plundered everything in his path, invaded the Eastern
Empire, and then crossed the Rhine into Gaul. Attila successfully led his
forces to invade the Eastern Roman Empire in 441. In 451, on the Plains of
Chalons, Attila suffered a setback against the Romans and Visigoths, but
he made progress and was on the verge of sacking Rome when in 452 the
pope dissuaded Attila from sacking Rome.
The Hun Empire extended from the Steppes of Eurasia through most of
modern Germany and south into Thermopylae. More
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St. Augustine Bishop of Hippo. Clipart.com

14. Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine (13 November 354 - 28 August 430) was an important figure
in the history of Christianity. He wrote about topics like predestination and
original sin. Some of his doctrines separate Western and Eastern
Christianity. Augustine lived in Africa during the time of the attack of the
Vandals. More

Augustus. Clipart.com

15. Augustus (Octavian)


Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus (September 23, 63 B.C.- August 19, A.D.
14), the grand-nephew and primary heir of Julius Caesar, began his career
by serving under Julius Caesar in the Spanish expedition of 46 B.C. Upon
his grand-uncle's assassination in 44 B.C., Octavian went to Rome to be
recognized as the (adopted) son of Julius Caesar. He dealt with the
assassins of his father and the other Roman power contenders, and made
himself the one-man head of Rome -- the person we know of as emperor.
In 27 B.C., Octavian became Augustus, restored order and consolidated the
principate (the Roman Empire). The Roman Empire that Augustus created
lasted for 500 years.
See: Augustus Timeline. More
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Boudicca and Her Chariot. C.C. From Aldaron at Flickr.com.

16. Boudicca
Boudicca was queen of the Iceni, in ancient Britain. Her husband was the
Roman client-king Prasutagus. When he died, the Romans assumed control
of his area of eastern Britain. Boudicca conspired with other neighboring
leaders to rebel against Roman interference. In 60 A.D., she led her allies
first against the Roman colony of Camulodunum (Colchester), destroyed it,
and killed thousands living there, and afterwards, in London and
Verulamium (St. Albans). After her massacre of the urban Romans she met
their armed forces, and, inevitably, defeat and death, perhaps by
suicide. More

Bust of Caligula from the Getty Villa Museum in Malibu, California. Public Domain. Courtesy of
Wikipedia.

17. Caligula
Caligula or Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (A.D. 12 - 41) followed
Tiberius to be the third Roman emperor. He was adored at his accession,
but after an illness, his behavior changed. Caligula is remembered as
sexually perverted, cruel, insane, extravagant, and desperate for funds.
Caligula had himself worshiped as a god while still alive, instead of after
death as had been done before. Several assassination attempts are thought
to have been made before the successful conspiracy of the Praetorian
Guard, on January 24, 41. More

Cato the Elder or Cato the Censor.Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

18. Cato the Elder


Marcus Porcius Cato (234-149 B.C.), a novus homo from Tusculum, in
Sabine country, was an austere leader of the Roman Republic known for
coming into conflict with his contemporary, the more flamboyant Scipio
Africanus, winner of the Second Punic War.
Cato the Younger is the name of one of Julius Caesar's staunchest
opponents. Cato the Elder is his ancestor.
Cato the Elder served in the military, especially in Greece and Spain. He
became consul at 39 and later, censor. He influenced Roman life in law,
foreign and domestic policy, and morality.
Cato the Elder despised luxury, especially of the Greek variety his enemy
Scipio favored. Cato also disapproved of Scipio's leniency towards the
Carthaginians at the conclusion of the Second Punic War. More

Catullus. Clipart.com

19. Catullus
Catullus (c. 84 - 54 c. B.C.) was a popular and talented Latin poet who
wrote invective poetry about Julius Caesar and love poetry about a woman
thought to be a sister of Cicero's nemesis Clodius Pulcher. More

Terracotta Army in the mausoleum of the first Qin emperor. Public Domain, Courtesy of Wikipedia.

20. Ch'in - The First Emperor


King Ying Zheng unified the warring states of China and became the First
Emperor or Emperor Ch'in (Qin) in 221 B.C. This ruler commissioned the
gigantic terracotta army and subterranean palace/mortuary complex found,
via pottery sherds, by farmers digging in their fields, two millennia later,
during the tenure of one his greatest admirers, Chairman Mao.

21. Cicero

Cicero (Jan. 3, 106 - Dec. 7, 43 B.C.), best known as an eloquent Roman


orator, rose remarkably to the top of the Roman political hierarchy where
he received the accolade Pater patriae'father of his country', fell
precipitously, went into exile because of his hostile relations with Clodius
Pulcher, made a permanent name for himself in Latin literature, and had
relations with all the contemporary big names, Caesar, Pompey, Mark
Antony, and Octavian (Augustus). More
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Cleopatra and Mark Antony on Coins. Clipart.com

22. Cleopatra
Cleopatra (January 69 - August 12, 30 B.C.) was the last pharaoh of Egypt
to rule during the Hellenistic era. After her death, Rome controlled Egypt.
Cleopatra is known for her affairs with Caesar and Mark Antony, by whom
she had respectively, one and three children, and her suicide by snake bite
after her husband Antony took his own life. She was engaged in battle
(with Mark Antony) against the winning Roman side headed by Octavian
(Augustus) at Actium. More

Confucius. Project Gutenberg

23. Confucius
The sagacious Confucius, Kongzi, or Master Kung (551-479 B.C.) was a
social philosopher whose values became dominant in China only after he
died. Advocating living virtuously, he put emphasis on socially appropriate
behavior. More
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Constantine at York. N.S. Gill

24. Constantine the Great


Constantine the Great (c. 272 22 May 337) was famed for winning the
battle at the Milvian Bridge, reuniting the Roman Empire under one
emperor (Constantine himself), winning major battles in Europe, legalizing
Christianity, and establishing a new eastern capital of Rome at the city,
Nova Roma, formerly Byzantium, that was to be named Constantinople.
Constantinople (now known as Istanbul) became the capital of the
Byzantine Empire, which lasted until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in
1453. More

Image ID: 1623959 Cyrus captures Babylon. NYPL Digital Gallery.

25. Cyrus the Great


The Persian king Cyrus II, known as Cyrus the Great is the first ruler of the
Achaemenids. Around 540 B.C., he conquered Babylonia, becoming ruler
of Mesopotamia and the eastern Mediterranean to Palestine. He ended the
period of exile for the Hebrews, allowing them back to Israel to rebuild the
Temple, and was called the Messiah by Deutero-Isaiah. The Cyrus
Cylinder, which some view as an early human rights charter, confirms the
Biblical history of the period. More
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Achaemenid Bas-Relief Art From Persepolis. Clipart.com

26. Darius the Great


The successor of the founder of the Achaemenid Dynasty, Darius I united
and improved the new empire, by irrigating, building roads, including the
Royal Road, a canal, and refining the governmental system known as
satrapies. His great building projects have memorialized his name. More

Aischenes and Demosthenes. Alun Salt

27. Demosthenes
Demosthenes (384/383 - 322 B.C.) was an Athenian speech-writer, orator,
and statesman, although he started out having a great deal of difficulty
speaking in public. As official orator, he warned against Philip of
Macedon, when he was beginning his conquest of Greece. Demosthenes'
three orations against Philip, known as the Philippics, were so bitter that
today a severe speech denouncing someone is called a Philippic. More

Denarius of Domitian. Public Domain

28. Domitian
Titus Flavius Domitianus or Domitian (October 24 A.D. 51 - September 8,
96) was the last of the Flavian emperors. Domitian and the Senate had a
mutually hostile relationship, so although Domitian may have balanced the
economy and done other good works, including re-building the firedamaged city of Rome, he is remembered as one of the worst Roman
emperors, since his biographers were mainly of the senatorial class. He
strangled the Senate's power and executed some of its members. His
reputation among Christians and Jews was tainted by his persecution.
Following Domitian's assassination, the Senate decreed damnatio
memoriae for him, meaning that his name was removed from records and
coins minted for him were re-melted. More

Empedocles as portrayed in the Nuremberg Chronicle. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikpedia.

29. Empedocles
Empedocles of Acragas (c. 495-435 B.C.) was known as a poet, statesman,
and physician, as well as philosopher. Empedocles encouraged people to
look upon him as a miracle worker. Philosophically he believed there were
elements that were the building blocks of everything else: earth, air, fire,
and water. These are the four elements that are paired with the four humors
in Hippocratic medicine and even modern typologies. The next
philosophical step would be to realize a different type of universal element
-- atoms, as the Pre-socratic philosophers known as Atomists, Leucippus
and Democritus, reasoned.
Empedocles believed in transmigration of the soul and thought that he
would be come back as a god, so he jumped into the Mt. Aetna
volcano. More

Eratosthenes. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

30. Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes of Cyrene (276 - 194 B.C.) was the second chief librarian at
Alexandria. He calculated the circumference of the earth, created latitude

and longitude measurements, and made a map of the earth. He was


acquainted with Archimedes of Syracuse. More

31. Euclid
Euclid of Alexandria (fl. 300 B.C.) is the father of geometry (hence,
Euclidean geometry) and his "Elements" is still in use. More
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Euripides. Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons

32. Euripides
Euripides (c. 484 - 407/406) was the third of the three great Greek tragic
poets. He won his first first prize in 442. Despite winning only limited
acclaim during his lifetime, Euripides was the most popular of the three
great tragedians for generations after his death. Euripides added intrigue
and the love-drama to Greek tragedy. His surviving tragedies are:

Orestes
Phoenician Woman
Trojan Women
Ion
Iphigenia
Hecuba
Heracleidae
Helen
Suppliant Women
Bacchae
Cyclops
Medea
Electra
Alcestis
Andromache
More

Galen. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

33. Galen
Galen was born in 129 A.D. in Pergamum, an important medical center
with a sanctuary to the healing god. There Galen became an attendant of
Asclepius. He worked at a gladiatorial school which gave him experience
with violent injuries and trauma. Later, Galen went to Rome and practiced
medicine at the imperial court. He dissected animals because he couldn't
directly study humans. A prolific writer, of 600 books Galen wrote 20
survive. His anatomical writing became medical school standards until the
16th century Vesalius, who could perform human dissections, proved
Galen inaccurate. More
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The upper part of the stela of Hammurabi's Law Code.Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia

34. Hammurabi
Hammurabi (r.1792-1750?) was an important Babylonian king known for
the Code of Hammurabi. It is generally referred to as an early law code,
although it's actual function is debated. Hammurabi also improved the
state, building canals and fortifications. He united Mesopotamia, defeated
Elam, Larsa, Eshnunna, and Mari, and made Babylonia an important
power. Hammurabi started the "Old Babylonian period" that lasted for
about 1500 years. More

Hannibal With Elephants. Clipart.com

35. Hannibal
Hannibal of Carthage (c. 247-183) was one of antiquity's greatest military
leaders. He subdued the tribes of Spain and then set about to attack Rome
in the Second Punic War. He faced incredible obstacles with ingenuity and
courage, including decimated manpower, rivers, and the Alps, which he
crossed during the winter with his war elephants. The Romans greatly
feared him and lost battles because of Hannibal's skills, which included
carefully studying the enemy and an effective spy system. In the end
Hannibal lost, as much because of the people of Carthage as because the
Romans had learned to turn Hannibal's own tactics against him. Hannibal
ingested poison to end his own life. More
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Thutmose III and Hatshepsut from the Red Chapel at Karnak. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

36. Hatshepsut
Hatshepsut was a long-ruling regent and female pharaoh of Egypt (r. 1479
-1458 B.C.) during the 18th Dynasty of the New Kingdom. Hatshepsut was

responsible for successful Egyptian military and trading ventures. The


added wealth from trade permitted the development of high calibre
architecture. She had a mortuary complex built at Deir el-Bahri near the
enttrance of the Valley of the Kings.
In official portraiture, Hatshepsut wears the kingly insignia -- like the false
beard. After her death there was a deliberate attempt to remove her image
from monuments. More

Heraclitus by Johannes Moreelse. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

37. Heraclitus
Heraclitus (fl. 69th Olympiad, 504-501 B.C.) is the first philosopher
known to use the word kosmos for world order, which he says ever was
and ever will be, not created by god or man. Heraclitus is thought to have
abdicated the throne ofEphesus in favor of his brother. He was known as
Weeping Philosopher and Heraclitus the Obscure.
Heraclitus uniquely put his philosophy into aphorisms, like "On those
stepping into rivers staying the same other and other waters
flow." (DK22B12), which is part of his confusing theories of Universal
Flux and the Identity of Opposites. In addition to nature, Heraclitus made
human nature a concern of philosophy. More

Herodotus. Clipart.com

38. Herodotus
Herodotus (c. 484-425 B.C.) is the first historian proper, and so is called
the father of history. He traveled around most of the known world. On one
trip Herodotus probably went to Egypt, Phoenicia, and Mesopotamia; on
another he went to Scythia. Herodotus traveled to learn about foreign
countries. His Histories sometimes read like a travelogue, with information
on the Persian Empire and the origins of the conflict between Persia and
Greece based on mythological prehistory. Even with the fantastic elements,
Herodotus' history was an advance over the previous writers of quasihistory, known as logographers. More

Hippocrates. Clipart.com

39. Hippocrates
Hippocrates of Cos, the father of medicine, lived from about 460-377 B.C.
Hippocrates may have trained to become a merchant before training
medical students that there are scientific reasons for ailments. Before the
Hippocratic corpus, medical conditions were attributed to divine
intervention. Hippocratic medicine made diagnoses and prescribed simple
treatments like diet, hygiene, and sleep. The name Hippocrates is familiar
because of the oath that doctors take (Hippocratic Oath) and a body of
early medical treatises that are attributed to Hippocrates (Hippocratic
corpus).More

Marble Bust of Homer. Public Domain Courtesy of Wikipedia

40. Homer
Homer is the father of poets in the Greco-Roman tradition.
We don't know when and if Homer lived, but someone wrote the Iliad and
the Odyssey about the Trojan War, and we call him Homer or the so-called
Homer. Whatever his real name, he was a great epic poet. Herodotus says
Homer lived four centuries earlier. This is not a precise date, but we can
date "Homer" to some time following the Greek Dark Age, which was the
period after the Trojan War. Homer is described as a blind bard or
rhapsode. Ever since, his epic poems have been read and used for various
purposes, including teaching about the gods, morality, and great literature.
To be educated, a Greek (or Roman) had to know his Homer. More

41. Imhotep
Imhotep was a famous Egyptian architect and physician from the 27th
century B.C. The step pyramid at Saqqara is thought to have been designed
by Imhotep for 3rd Dynasty Pharaoh Djoser (Zoser). The medicine of the
17th century B.C. Edwin Smith Papyrus is also attributed to Imhotep.More

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Jesus - 6th-century mosaic in Ravenna, Italy. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

42. Jesus
Jesus is the central figure of Christianity. For believers, he is the Messiah,
the son of God and the Virgin Mary, who lived as a Galilean Jew, was
crucified under Pontius Pilate, and was resurrected. For many nonbelievers, Jesus is a source of wisdom. Some non-Christians believe he
worked healing and other miracles. At its start, the new messianic religion
was considered one of the mystery cults.
Some dispute the fact of Jesus' existence. More

Julius Caesar Illustration. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

43. Julius Caesar


Julius Caesar (July 12/13, 102/100 B.C. - March 15, 44 B.C.) may have
been the greatest man of all times. By age 39/40, Caesar had been a
widower, divorce, governor (propraetor) of Further Spain, captured by
pirates, hailed imperator by adoring troops, quaestor, aedile, consul, and
elected pontifex maximus. He formed the Triumvirate, enjoyed military
victories in Gaul, became dictator for life, and started a civil war. When
Julius Caesar was assassinated, his death set the Roman world in turmoil.
Like Alexander who began a new historical era, Julius Caesar, the last
great leader of the Roman Republic, set in motion the creation of the
Roman Empire. More
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Justinian Mosaic in Ravenna. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

44. Justinian the Great


Roman Emperor Justinian I or Justinian the Great (Flavius Petrus
Sabbatius Iustinianus) (482/483 - 565) is known for his reorganization of
the government of the Roman Empire and his codification of the laws, the
Codex Justinianus, in A.D. 534. Some call Justinian "the last Roman,"
which is why this Byzantine emperor makes it to this list of important
ancient people that otherwise ends in A.D. 476. Under Justinian the Hagia
Sophia Church was built and a plague devastated the Byzantine
Empire. More

Lucretius. Clipart.com

45. Lucretius
Titus Lucretius Carus (c. 98-55 B.C.) was a Roman Epicurean epic poet
who wrote De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things). De rerum natura is
an epic, written in 6 books, which explains life and the world in terms of
Epicurean principles and the theory of Atomism. Lucretius had a
significant influence on western science and has inspired modern
philosophers, including Gassendi, Bergson, Spencer, Whitehead, and
Teilhard de Chardin, according to the Internet Encyclopedia of
Philosophy. More
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Mithridates VI of Pontus. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

46. Mithridates (Mithradates) of


Pontus
Mithridates VI (114- 63 B.C.) or Mithridates Eupator is the king who
caused Rome so much trouble during the time of Sulla and Marius. Pontus
had been awarded the title of friend of Rome, but because Mithridates kept
making incursions on his neighbors, the friendship was strained. Despite
the great military competence of Sulla and Marius, and their personal
confidence in their ability to check the Eastern despot, it was neither Sulla
nor Marius who put an end to the Mithridatic problem. Instead, it was
Pompey the Great who earned his honorific in the process. More

Moses and the Burning Bush and Aaron's Staff Swallows the Magicians. Public Domain. Courtesy of
Wikipedia

47. Moses
Moses was an early leader of the Hebrews and probably the most
important figure in Judaism. He was raised in the court of the Pharaoh in
Egypt, but then led the Hebrew people out of Egypt. Moses is said to have
talked with God, who gave him tablets inscribed with laws or
commandments referred to as the 10 Commandments.
Moses' story is told in the Biblical book Exodus and is short on
archaeological corroboration. More

Possibly Nebuchadnezzar. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia

48. Nebuchadnezzar II
Nebuchanezzar II was the most important Chaldean king. He ruled from
605-562 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar is best remembered for turning Judah into a
province of the Babylonian empire, sending the Jews into the Babylonian
captivity, and destroying Jerusalem. He is also associated with his hanging
gardens, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. More

Nefertiti. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

49. Nefertiti

We know her as the New Kingdom Egyptian queen who wore a tall blue
crown, lots of colored jewelry, and held up a neck like a swan -- as she
appears on a bust in a Berlin museum. She was married to an equally
memorable pharaoh, Akhenaten, the heretic king who moved the royal
family to Amarna, and was related to the boy king Tutankhamen, known
mostly for his sarcophagus. Nefertiti never served as pharaoh, but she
assisted her husband in the governing of Egypt, and may have been coregent. More
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Nero - Marble Bust of Nero. Clipart.com

50. Nero
Nero was the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors, the most important
family of Rome that produced the first five emperors (Augustus, Tiberius,
Caligula, Claudius, and Nero). Nero is famed for watching while Rome
burned and then using the devastated area for his own luxurious palace and
blaming the conflagration on the Christians, whom he then
persecuted. More

51. Ovid

Ovid (43 B.C. - A.D. 17) was a prolific Roman poet whose writing
influenced Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dante, and Milton. As those men knew,
to understand the corpus of Greco-Roman mythology requires familiarity
with Ovid's Metamorphoses. More
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Parmenides From The School of Athens by Raphael.Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

52. Parmenides
Parmenides (b 510 B.C.) was a Greek philosophy from Elea in Italy. He
argued against the existence of a void, a theory used by later philosophers
in the expression "nature abhors a vacuum," which stimulated experiments

to disprove it. Parmenides argued that change and motion are only
delusions. More

Saint Paul's Conversion, by Jean Fouquet. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

53. Paul of Tarsus


Paul (or Saul) of Tarsus in Cilicia (d. A.D. 67) set the tone for Christianity,
including emphasis on celibacy and theory of divine grace and salvation,
as well as eliminating the circumcision requirement. It was Paul who
called the New Testament euangelion, 'the gospel'. More
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Pericles from the Altes Museum in Berlin. A Roman copy of a Grek work sculpted after 429.
Photo taken by Gunnar Bach Pedersen. Public Domain; Courtesy of Gunnar Bach Pedersen/Wikipedia.

54. Pericles
Pericles (c. 495 - 429 B.C.) brought Athens to its peak, turning the Delian
League into the empire of Athens, and so the era in which he lived is
named the Age of Pericles. He helped the poor, set up colonies, built the
long walls from Athens to the Piraeus, developed the Athenian navy, and
built the Parthenon, the Odeon, the Propylaea, and the temple at Eleusis.
The name of Pericles is also attached to the Peloponnesian War. During the
war he ordered the people of Attica to leave their fields and come into the
city to stay protected by the walls. Unfortunately, Pericles didn't foresee

the affect of disease on the crowded conditions and so, along with many
others, Pericles died of the plague near the start of the war. More

Bust of Pindar at the Capitoline Museums. Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons.

55. Pindar
Pindar is considered the Greatest Greek lyric poet. He wrote poetry that
provides information on Greek mythology and on Olympic and
otherPanhellenic Games. Pindar was born c. 522 B.C. at Cynoscephalae,
near Thebes. More
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Plato - From Raphael's School of Athens (1509). Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

56. Plato
Plato (428/7 - 347 B.C.) was one of the most famous philosophers of all
time. A type of love (Platonic) is named for him. We know about the
famous philosopher Socrates through Plato's dialogues. Plato is known as
the father of idealism in philosophy. His ideas were elitist, with the
philosopher king the ideal ruler. Plato is perhaps best known to college
students for his parable of a cave, which appears in Plato's Republic. More

Plutarch. Clipart.com

57. Plutarch
Plutarch (c. A.D. 45-125) is an ancient Greek biographer who used
material that is no longer available to us for his biographies. His two main
works are called Parallel Lives and Moralia. TheParallel Lives compare a
Greek and a Roman with a focus on how the character of the famous
person influenced his life. Some of the 19 completely parallel lives are a
stretch and many of the characters are ones we would consider
mythological. Other parallel lives have lost one of their parallels.
The Romans made many copies of the Lives and Plutarch has been popular
since. Shakespeare, for instance, closely used Plutarch in creating his
tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra. More

Pharaoh Ramses II of Egypt. Public Domain Courtesy of Image Library of Christian Theological Seminary

58. Ramses

The Egyptian 19th Dynasty New Kingdom pharaoh Ramses II (Usermaatre


Setepenre) (lived 1304-1237) is known as Ramses the Great and, in Greek,
as Ozymandias. He ruled for about 66 years, according to Manetho. He is
known for signing the first known peace treaty, with the Hittites, but he
was also a great warrior, especially for fighting in the Battle of Kadesh.
Ramses may have had 100 children, with several wives, including
Nefertari. Ramses restored the religion of Egypt close to what it was before
Akhenaten and the Amarna period. Ramses installed many monuments to
his honor, including the complex at Abu Simbel and the Ramesseum, a
mortuary temple. Ramses was buried in the Valley of the Kings in tomb
KV47. His body is now in Cairo.

Alcaeus and Sappho, Attic red-figure kalathos, c. 470 B.C., by the Brygos Painter. Public
Domain. Courtesy of Bibi Saint-Pol at Wikipedia.

59. Sappho
The dates of Sappho of Lesbos are not known. She is thought to have been
born around 610 B.C. and to have died in about 570. Playing with the
availablemeters, Sappho wrote moving lyric poetry, odes to the goddesses,
especially Aphrodite (the subject of Sappho's complete surviving ode), and
love poetry, including the wedding genre of epithalamia, using vernacular
and epic vocabulary. There is a poetic meter named for her
(Sapphic). More

Bronze Head of an Akkadian Ruler -- Possibly Sargon of Akkad. Courtesy of Wikipedia

60. Sargon the Great of Akkad


Sargon the Great (aka Sargon of Kish) ruled Sumer from about 2334-2279
B.C. or perhaps a quarter of a century later. Legend sometimes says he
ruled the whole world. While the world is a stretch, his dynasty's empire
was the whole of Mesopotamia, stretching from the Mediterranean to the
Persian Gulf. Sargon realized it was important to have religious support, so
he installed his daughter, Enheduanna, as priestess of the moon god Nanna.
Enheduanna is the world's first known, named author.More

61. Scipio Africanus


Scipio Africanus or Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Major won the Hannibalic War
or Second Punic War for Rome by defeating Hannibal at Zama in 202 B.C. Scipio, who

came from an ancient Roman patrician family, the Cornelii, was the father of Cornelia,
the famous mother of the social reforming Gracchi. He came into conflict with Cato the
Elder and was accused of corruption. Later, Scipio Africanus became a figure in the
fictional "Dream of Scipio". In this surviving section of De re publica, by Cicero, the
dead Punic War general tells his adoptive grandson, Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus
(185-129 B.C.), about the future of Rome and the constellations. Scipio Africanus'
explanation worked its way into medieval cosmology. More
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Seneca. Clipart.com

62. Seneca
Seneca was an important Latin writer for the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and beyond. His
themes and philosophy should even appeal to us today. In accordance with the
philosophy of the Stoics, Virtue (virtus) and Reason are the basis of a good life, and a
good life should be lived simply and in accordance with Nature.
He served as advisor to the Emperor Nero, but eventually was obliged to take his own
life.
Read more More

Buddha. Clipart.com

63. Siddhartha Gautama Buddha


Siddhartha Gautama was a spiritual teacher of enlightenment who acquired hundreds of
followers in India and founded Buddhism. His teachings were preserved orally for
centuries before they were transcribed on palm-leaf scrolls. Siddhartha may have been
born c. 538 B.C. to Queen Maya and King Suddhodana of the Shakya in ancient Nepal.
By the third century B.C. Buddhism appears to have spread to China. More
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Socrates. Alun Salt

64. Socrates
Socrates, an Athenian contemporary of Pericles (c. 470 - 399 B.C.), is a central figure in
Greek philosophy. Socrates is known for the Socratic method (elenchus), Socratic irony,
and the pursuit of knowledge. Socrates is famous for saying that he knows nothing and
that the unexamined life is not worth living. He is also well known for stirring up
sufficient controversy to be sentenced to a death that he had to carry out by drinking a
cup of hemlock. Socrates had important students, including the philosopher Plato. More

Solon. Clipart.com

65. Solon
First coming to prominence, in about 600 B.C., for his patriotic exhortations when the
Athenians were fighting a war with Megara for possession of Salamis, Solon was elected
eponymous archon in 594/3 B.C. Solon faced the daunting task of improving the
condition of debt-ridden farmers, laborers forced into bondage over debt, and the middle
classes who were excluded from government. He had to help the poor while not
alienating the increasingly wealthy landowners and aristocracy. Because of his reform
compromises and other legislation, posterity refers to him as Solon the lawgiver. More
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Fall of Spartacus. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia

66. Spartacus
Thracian born, Spartacus (c. 109 B.C.-71 B.C.) was trained in a gladiator school and led a
slave revolt that was ultimately doomed. Through Spartacus' military ingenuity, his men
evaded Roman forces led by Clodius and then Mummius, but Crassus and Pompey got
the best of him. Spartacus' army of disaffected gladiators and slaves were defeated. Their
bodies were strung up on crosses along theAppian Way. More

Sophoclesat the British Museum. Probably from Asia Minor (Turkey). Bronze, 300-100 B.C.
Was previously thought to represent Homer, but now thought to be Sophocles in middle age. CC
Flickr User Son of Groucho

67. Sophocles
Sophocles (c. 496-406 B.C.), the second of the great tragic poets, wrote over 100
tragedies. Of these, there are fragments for more than 80, but only seven complete
tragedies:

Oedipus Tyrannus
Oedipus at Colonus
Antigone
Electra
Trachiniae
Ajax
Philoctetes
Sophocles' contributions to the field of tragedy include introducing a third actor to the
drama. He is well-remembered for his tragedies about Oedipus of Freud's complex-fame.

More Info More

Tacitus. Clipart.com

68. Tacitus

Cornelius Tacitus (c. A.D. 56 - c. 120) is considered the greatest of the ancient historians.
He writes about maintaining neutrality in his writing. A student of the grammarian
Quintilian, Tacitus wrote:
De vita Iulii Agricolae 'The Life of Julius Agricola
De origine et situ Germanorum 'The Germania'
Dialogus de oratoribus 'Dialogue on Oratory' 'Histories'
Ab excessu divi Augusti 'Annals'
. More

Thales of Miletus. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

69. Thales
Thales was a Greek Pre-Socratic philosopher from the Ionian city of Miletus (c. 620 - c.
546 B.C.). He predicted a solar eclipse and was considered one of the 7 ancient Sages.
Aristotle considered Thales the founder of natural philosophy. He developed the
scientific method, theories to explain why things change, and proposed a basic underlying
substance of the world. He started the field of Greek astronomy and may have introduced
geometry into Greece from Egypt. More

Themistocles Ostracon. CC NickStenning @ Flickr

70. Themistocles
Themistocles (c. 524-459 B.C.) persuaded the Athenians to use the silver from state
mines at Laurion, where new veins had been found, to finance a port at Piraeus and a
fleet. He also tricked Xerxes into making errors that led to his loss of the Battle of
Salamis, the turning point in the Persian Wars. A sure sign that he was a great leader and
had therefore provoked envy, Themistocles was ostracized under Athens' democratic
system. More

71. Thucydides
Thucydides (born c. 460-455 B.C.) wrote a valuable first-hand account of
the Peloponnesian War (History of the Peloponnesian Wa) and improved
the way in which history was written.
Thucydides wrote his history based on information about the war from his
days as an Athenian commander and interviews with people on both sides
of the war. Unlike his predecessor, Herodotus, he didn't delve into the
background, but laid out the facts as he saw them, chronologically. We
recognize more of what we consider the historical method in Thucydides
than we do in his predecessor, Herodotus.More
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Trajan. Trustees of the British Museum, produced by Natalia Bauer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

72. Trajan
The second of the five men in the late first to second century A.D. who are
now known as the good emperors, Trajan was named optimus 'best' by the
Senate. He extended the Roman Empire to its furthest extent. Hadrian of
Hadrian's Wall fame succeeded him to the imperial purple. More

Vergil. Clipart.com

73. Vergil (Virgil)


Publius Vergilius Maro (Oct. 15, 70 - Sept. 21, 19 B.C.), aka Vergil or
Virgil, wrote an epic masterpiece, the Aeneid, for the glory of Rome and
especially Augustus. He also wrote poems calledBucolics and Eclogues,
but he is chiefly known now for his story of the Trojan prince Aeneas'
adventures and founding of Rome, which is patterned on
the Odyssey and Iliad.
Not only was Vergil's writing continuously read throughout the Middle
Ages, but even today he exerts an influence on poets and the college-bound
because Vergil is on the Latin AP exam. More
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Xerxes the Great. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

74. Xerxes the Great


The Achaemenid Persian King Xerxes (520 - 465 B.C.) was the grandson
of Cyrus and the son of Darius. Herodotus states that when a storm
damaged the bridge Xerxes had had built across the Hellespont, Xerxes got
mad, and ordered the water be lashed and otherwise punished. In antiquity,
bodies of water were conceived of as gods (see Iliad XXI), so while
Xerxes may have been deluded in thinking himself strong enough to scathe
the water, it is not as insane as it sounds: The Roman Emperor Caligula
who, unlike Xerxes, is generally considered to have been mad, ordered
Roman troops to gather seashells as spoils of the sea. Xerxes fought
against the Greeks in the Persian Wars, winning a victory at Thermopylae
and suffering defeat at Salamis. More

Section From The School of Athens, by Raphael (1509), showing bearded Zoroaster holding a
globe talking with Ptolemy. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

75. Zoroaster
Like Buddha, the traditional date for Zoroaster (Greek: Zarathustra) is the
6th Century B.C., although Iranists date him to the 10th/11th century.
Information about the life of Zoroaster comes from the Avesta, which
contain Zoroaster's own contribution, theGathas. Zoroaster saw the world
as a struggle between truth and lie, making the religion he founded,
Zoroastrianism, a dualistic religion. Ahura Mazda, the uncreated creator
God is truth. Zoroaster also taught that there is free will.
The Greeks thought of Zoroaster as a sorcerer and astrologer. More