The article explores the most fascinating people in history.
“People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them”
History, in general, is defined as a systematic study of past events. James Baldwin, an American novelist, and activist tries to say in the quote, as mentioned above. That how we all are trapped in history and how history is trapped in us.
We humans being the only logical and reasonable (If you believe that, then please continue with your illusion.) can carry history with themselves.
Everything that exists today must have had a history tomorrow. History and Historiography as a discipline have tremendously grown in the last few decades. Herodotus is considered the father of History who recorded details of Greek-Persian wars in his book, The Histories.
Their thoughts and guidance (misguidance in some cases) helped the future world to be shaped better than it was before. From Socrates to Aristotle, Pericles to Abhram Linclon, Chaucer to Shakespeare, Austen to Virginia Wolf, Hitler to Stalin, and so many others in between.
In the list of most fascinating people in History, the figures included will be people who I find intriguing in terms of their lives, thoughts, words, and ideas. From ancient Roman, Greek, English to figures from the french revolution, civil war, and the world of scientific discovery. In short, the most fascinating and influential people our history has seen.
Now, let’s begin with the list of most fascinating people in History without any further delay.
Top 7 Most Fascinating People in the History
1. Julius Caesar
Knock-Knock, who is there? So, the 1st person on our list of the most fascinating people in history is Julius Ceasor. Most of you might already be aware of Julius Caesar. If you’re then you must know the reason behind his inclusion in this list.
Caesar was one of the most known Roman political leader and general. He played a very significant role in the disintegration of the Roman Republic. It was after the disintegration of the Roman Republic. That escalated the rise of the Roman Empire under the siege of Augustus Ceasar.
Julius Caesar became one of the most potent and influential statesmen during the Roman Republic. Under his rule, he successfully invaded Britain and constructed a bridge over river Rhine. After he won the civil war, he initiated many social, political, and governmental reforms and was eventually named as the ‘dictator of life’.
Without a doubt, Julius was an authoritarian, and the unhappy aristocrats criticized his reforms. He was then assassinated by the unhappy senators who stabbed him to death. It was then his adopted son, Octavian Caesar (also known by the name Augustus Ceasar), who rose to power, defeating the enemies and hence began the Roman Empire.
William Shakespeare wrote a famous play named Julius Ceasor, tracing back the history of the Roman politician. He is one of the influential historical figures in world history.
Socrates is the first ancient Greek philosopher from the capital city, Athens, the hub of intellectual activities. He is considered as one of the originators of the subject of Western Philosophy in the school of philosophy.
Most of his ideas and thoughts are conveyed by the other classical authors of his time, especially by his two students Plato and Xenophon who penned down his larger than life philosophical ideas. It would’ve been an injustice not to include him in this list of most fascinating people in history.
Much of Socrates’ philosophical ideas and thoughts had been recorded in Plato’s dialogues. These are commonly also known as Socratic dialogues in a question and answer form. As Plato recorded them, sometimes they are referred to as Platonic Dialogues too. It is through Plato’s accounts that Socrates and his philosophy has survived as much as it had.
There exists a series of works that represent the figure of Socrates (enhanced version or the version of real Socrates is still a question mark) such as The Symposium, Crito, Apology, The Clouds, and few others which have survived.
But then comes the question of the extent of originality with which he represented Socrates’ philosophy. Does Plato portray the real Socrates, or is his representation of him tainted by his judgment of him? Well, to this, there is no fixed answer but numerous interpretations.
Despite all of it, Socrates still stands out to be the most influential of all the Greek Philosophers in Western Philosophy even in contemporary times.
3. Gautam Buddha
Next, in our most fascinating people in history is Gautam Buddha, the central figure from ancient India. Buddha is one of the most famous religious figures across the world after Jesus Christ. The renowned old Indian spiritual master and mediator.
Also commonly known by the name Gautama Buddha, the Buddha, or Siddhartha Gautama. Buddha renounced his luxurious life and became an ascetic at an early age. Gautama Buddha is believed to be the originator of the Buddhist religion.
Scholars believe that he taught in around the 4th-5th century for forty-five years. During this time, he gathered a significant following who found his philosophy and way of the world better. He traveled around ancient India, spreading his teachings and building his community based on it. He blew open a new world of a religious community and criticizing the others for their drawbacks.
Buddha’s teachings revolved around the concept of human suffering (Dukh/a) and useful insights into possible ways to end that suffering. The process is slow, but after the end of the suffering, an individual reaches the state of Nirvana. Nirvana, also known as Nibbana, is a state without any suffering or desire. It puts an end to the incessant cycle of birth, death, and rebirth again.
Nirvana state is the end goal of the Buddhist religion and philosophy. He is referred to as the ‘awakened one’ like the word Buddha means. He was and still is the spiritual guide of thousands of people who stops the cycles of endless human suffering.
4. William Shakespeare
The famous William Shakespeare from the period of the English Renaissance period is on number 4th on our list of most fascinating people in history. He is known as the father of modern English language and literature. He is known for his vast contributions to the development of the English language.
This man changed the face of English language and literature. And only an ignorant person will not include him in the list of most fascinating people in history.
William Shakespeare the famous ‘Bard of Avon’ who had managed to survive and thrive throughout the centuries. Even in the present times, he is considered to be the best playwright in the history of English Literature. Shakespeare, during his lifetime, wrote two long narrative poems, around thirty-nine plays, 155 Sonnet sequences, and some other works.
Shakespeare’s historical plays, along with Tragedies and Comedies. His career as a playwright was soaring in London and soon become a part-owner of Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Lord Chamberlain’s Men was a playing company in London, which become entirely known that it was later renamed as King’s Men. Some of his most famous plays are Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, Twelfth Night, The Tempest and Macbeth.
Through his play, Shakespeare explored the evil and the good of human nature, which he wants his audience to understand. Throughout the centuries, his plays have been read in different ways. But the exploration of human life is the most basic one.
He changed the world of English Literature as he aided in developing the Modern English Language as we know it today, not only that he invented many new words and sentences which are commonly used today all around the globe.
Also, there had been many scandals and controversies. One of them being that Christopher Marlowe didn’t die in that bar brawl. But he changed his name to William Shakespeare and continued writing plays. Also, rumors have it that he followed the Catholic church, but there had been no reliable evidence.
5. Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America who ruled March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865. Before becoming the 16th President of the U.S., he was a lawyer and political leader by profession. Lincoln came from a low-income family and was never allowed to get an education.
But he was a self-taught man whose name is written in golden letters in the brutal history of America. The USA that exists today is the gift given by Lincoln, who revolutionized the American world.
Lincoln highly dissented the practice of slavery by the White Americans over the blacks. The motivation behind running for President seemed to be the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The act is the sole reason that he entered politics again and won the presidential elections of 1860.
A rift arose between the Northern and Southern states when the subject of the abolition of slavery was put on the table. The Northern states agreeing to them to give up their so-called right to practice slavery. While on the other hand, the southern states protested against it.
A rebellion arose but Lincoln’s army was able to suppress it and somehow neutralize the situation. But this was followed by a full-on civil war that can be described as the American Mahabharat. Lincoln’s attempt to completely abolish slavery across the country and the emancipation of the slaves. He gave the order to his army to protect the escaped slaves without any hesitation.
He acted as an epitome of justice, which followed the principles of equality, liberty, and fraternity. Lincoln not only enforced them but fought for them and tried to deliver it to black people too. Lincoln handled the most influential constitutional, social, political, and ethical transformation the U.S. had to face. He ended the practice of slavery at least in law, a huge step that resulted in his assassination.
The list of most fascinating people in history is incomplete without Lincoln’s name in it. He earned and etched his name on any list of most fascinating people in history.
6. Albert Einstein
The sixth member on our list of the top 7 most fascinating people in history is the more celebrated scientist the world has ever known. It is no one else, but Albert Einstein himself a brilliant scientist and philosopher.
Albert Einstein was a German scientist who opened a whole new world of science and scientific discovery during the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. H was a precocious child as he is self-taught himself Geometry in just a few months and invented his theory of Pythagorean theorem with evidence.
Without a doubt, he becomes the most famous scientist discovering the theory of relativity, solar power, and invented many other things. As Hitler’s regime started, he settled in the U.S. and worked as one of the most influential scientists suggesting the U.S. government the harmful effects of nuclear weapons.
7. The Perplexity: Martin Luther King or Adolf Hitler?
The confusion was who I should choose next on our list of most fascinating people in history. Between Martin Luther King and Adolf Hitler. (Two opposite people?)
Well, one fought for the rights of Black people. While the other one mercilessly killed people because of their color. Martin Luther King was an African-American social activist who transpired to become the most excellent spokesperson who was assassinated.
Hitler, on the other hand, was responsible for the holocaust wherein concentration camps he slaughtered thousands of people. Whom would you choose?