Since ancient times, philosophers have been writing and creating amazing works which has catapulted them among the ranks of biggest influencers in history.
The works of famous historical people had a huge influence on everyone else, and the world and generations over generations are learning about their lives and what they accomplished. This is a very interesting topic to explore and to learn about, and it can bring you additional knowledge on certain things which you can use as your leverage to win in a specific debate or during your next trivia night. If you want to dig deeper, after getting to know who are some of the biggest influencers, you can also see who are the Top 10 Ancient Atheist Philosophers and Their Quotes.
Since the ancient philosophers we mentioned are atheists, you won’t learn anything about religion there. So, if you want to explore the topics to see what are the most influential religions today in the world with the biggest number of followers we recommend you to take a look at our list of the Most Popular Religions in The World. But, before you dig any deeper, let us first show you the historical figures that changed the world and rank them on our list of biggest influencers in history. They represent some of the greatest men in history, whose works still have a huge impact on the world and other people. We can even go as far to say the world wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t have their works. Regardless of whether they did some good or contributed in developing or starting a new technology or religion, people are still creating documentaries and writing novels based on their works and children are still learning about them in schools.
In the 20th century, technology took the biggest wave, but let’s not forget that this was also the century when two world wars took place and many innocent people lost their lives. Many of the most influential people of the 20th century found their place on our list because of their deeds regardless of whether they did something good or something bad for the world because they still had a big influence on people and history. Our list happened to be compiled of male historical influences, but let’s not forget all the famous female historical figures who helped in creating the world a better place. Mother Theresa, for instance, is a famous missionary who helped the less fortunate and the hungry people. In addition to this, we cannot move forward without even mentioning Queen Elizabeth who brought peace in England and Marrie Curie who was one of the greatest physicians in the whole world.
In order to create our influential historical figures list, we used Business Insider, Explore The Med, and Konbini as our sources to find out who are some of the biggest influencers. After we collected the information from our sources, we created our list by ranking the influencers by the number of mentions on our sources and their position as well. The higher one influencer was ranked by our sources, the higher it was ranked on our list of the biggest influencers in history.
Now let’s take a look at our list and find out what the great influencers in history did to change the world.
10. Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in Sinking Spring Farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky and died on April 15, 1865, in Washington D.C. at the age of 56. Abraham Lincoln was a politician and lawyer who was the 16th President of the United States from March 1961 until 1865 when he was assassinated. Lincoln is most known for his efforts to reunite the country during the Civil War and emancipating slavery. In 1982 forty-nine historians and political scientists were asked to rate all the Presidents of the United States by the leadership qualities, accomplishments/crisis management, political skills, appointments and character/integrity categories. In all five categories, Abraham Lincoln was the best President.
9. Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was born before October 31, 1451, in Genoa and died on May 20, 1506 at the age of 54. At the time when the European kingdoms started establishing new trade routes, Columbus proposed to reach the East Indies by sailing. After he received the support of the Spanish Crown, he saw a chance to start a new route, and during his first voyage, he reached the New World, instead of Japan, first landing in what is now The Bahamas. While much of what Columbus “discovered” is not factual, he still had a large influence on world history.
8. Isaac Newton
We are continuing our list of biggest influencers in history with one of the greatest minds in the history that was born on December 25, 1642, in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England and he died on March 20, 1726, in England at the age of 84. He was an English mathematician, astronomer, and physicist who is recognized as one of the most influential scientists of all times. Also, he is the key figure in the scientific revolution. In 1666, Isaac Newton laid the blueprints for the three laws of motion which are still recited by physics students and teachers worldwide. At the time, Isaac Newton didn’t realize and understand that he would spend two decades studying the laws of motion and how they are related to the Earth, Moon and the Sun, a concept he coined as “gravity.” Isaac Newton dove in the study of gravitational force back in the 1670s and 1980s and the result of his seminal work was published in 1687. The book Isaac Newton published was titled “Principia,” and many people consider this book to be one of the greatest science books of all times.
Another one of the biggest influencers in history is Aristotle. He was born 384 BC in Northern Greece and he died in 322 BC in Euboea Greece at the age of 62. Most of his 200 works Aristotle composed in Lyceum, and only 31 of them survived. Aristotle’s surviving work has been divided into four groups. “Organon” is the first group and it is a set of writings that are a logical toolkit for philosophical and scientific investigation. The following group are his theoretical works which are mostly treatises on animals, the “Physics” about the matter of nature and change, and “Metaphysics,” which is a theological investigation of the existence itself. Other groups of works discuss everything from ethics and politics to poetics.
6. Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar was born on July 13, 100 BC in Rome and he died on March 15, 44 BC in Rome at the age of 55. When the Gallic Battle was finished and Caesar brought an army in response to the request which was made by the Roman senate, he was regarded as a threat to the Republic and many Senate members wanted to prosecute him. Caesar led the army across the Rubicon River in less than seventy days which sent his enemies into exile. When he returned to Italy in 45 BC, he was declared a dictator for life, and one year later Caesar was brought down by assassins. Today, he is one of the biggest influencers in the history because his achievements as a leader and orator, and he has influenced politicians, historians, and generals for centuries. Let’s see who is next on the list of the biggest influencers in history .
5. Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin, known as just Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 and died on April 19, 1882. Darwin is famous for his idea of evolution, but the idea didn’t actually come from him. The thought goes back to the time of Greeks, but during the Scientific Revolution, the scientists laid the foundations that started Darwin’s theory. All research has to start from somewhere, and the atheists were thirsty for the answer of evolution. Darwin traveled the world for five years, and after his journey, he spent the next two decades working on The Origin Of Species. Unlike some big scientific pieces, this book has little scientific value today, however, Darwin’s theory is very important because it’s a conglomeration of 150 years of additions and revisions. Darwin’s theories represent a fundamental shift of how biology was understood and the concept has led to a number of breakthroughs in the understanding of everything from disease control to computer science.
Muhammad was born c.570 in Mecca and died on June 8, 632. Muhammad is one of the biggest influencers in history, and the importance of his status is defined in the Holy Quran as well as in the Sunnah, and he is still one of the biggest influencers for Muslims.The importance of Muhammad is not only for individuals, but also for social perspective as well. Prophet Muhammad’s status and the continuity of his Sunnah are one of the most important components which provide a unifying force in the Muslim world. In order to understand and comprehend the status of Muhammad as a role model, it is important to study the lives of the Companions.
Buddha was born in c. 563 or 480 BCE in Lumbini, Shakya Republic and he died in c. 483 BCE or c. 400 BCE in Kushinagar, the Malla Republic at the age of 80. His spiritual experience had a profound effect on the world history. Buddha’s teachings are a logical result of the Upanishadic period where speculations about the soul and reincarnation were combined with yogic practices into spiritual movements. Buddha’s contemporaries also included the founder of the Jains, Mahavira who starved himself to death and walked naked. Jains were just as important and influential in India as the Buddhists, but Buddhism wasn’t bound by the restrictions of the Hindu caste system, and it was more suitable outside of the peninsula. Shortly after that, Buddhism spread in Southern Asia, including Indonesia, China, and Japan. Buddha was one of the biggest influencers of all time leaving a huge mark on the world today.
2. Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great, one of the greatest leaders through history, and definitely one of the biggest influencers in history was born in 356 BC in Pella, Macedon and he died on June in 323 BC in Babylon at the age of 32. He reigned from 336 until 323 BC and his conquests had a huge impact on eastern and western culture. Along with expanding his empire, the Hellenistic culture spread from the Mediterranean sea to Asia. One of the main components of the Hellenistic culture was the fact that the Greek language was expanding. With spreading the Greek language, they also spread Greek art, drama, and philosophy. Also, despite the diffusion of the Hellenistic culture, Alexander the Great also created a great environment for trade without the fear of attack. In order to create a suitable environment for trade, Alexander also laid a foundation for the creation of new political systems.
1. Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ was born on c. 4 BC in Judea, the Roman Empire and he died in c. AD 30/33 in Jerusalem, at the age of 33 – 36 years. Jesus Christ took the first place on our list of biggest influencers in history because over the years he conjured up more emotions in people than any other individual. Some people loved him while others hated him and many have given their lives for him. Everywhere Jesus Christ went, he made either enemies or devoted friends. Many people see Jesus Christ, not like a creator, but more of a savior. He had a great influence on a lot of people, and today Christianity is the biggest religion in the world. Today, there are more than 2.2 billion Christians in the world which is nearly a third of the whole population.