When looking over the great chaotic stretch that is the history of the human race, it is almost impossible to measure one person’s name wholistically. Can we call the Pharaohs any more noteworthy than the Greeks? Do the great minds and movers of past ages really mean anything to the present generations? Here, we are discussing about the most famous names in history that you can’t ignore and you shouldn’t.
One must look at the person’s political, militaristic, and sociological influence. One must consider how well known they are, and for how long they have been so. There are a myriad of factors in picking apart the grains of dust that make up humanity. But as difficult as it is, certain name of the key people have reached out of the mire and grasped at (or attained) a measure of greatness and authority that other men fell short of. This is one grain of dust’s best idea of who the ten most famous names could be.
Number Ten: Hitler
The history of our world has sadly not been primarily written by the great sages and inventors, but by warriors. These men are leaders in the most literal sense, as men follow these commanders unto death. Their actions shift the world physically as well as ideologically, and the wheels of progress and regress have been greased by the blood of those they slay.
Now Hitler may not have an ancient and enduring sort of fame (or infamy in his case), but he exerted an enormous amount of power in a very short time. The world twisted an roiled by the conquest he attempted. By the time WWII was over not only did the entire world know Hitler, most of them hated him. His name is not on this list because he has had a long lasting impact or an enduring legacy. But he is on this list because the intensity of his hate and bloodshed seared the heart and mind of the world like a branding iron and will not be forgotten easily.
Number Nine: Augustus Caesar
While not conquering great swaths of land in the same strain as some other leaders, Augustus Caesar still held enormous sway when he ruled. But instead of being known simply for military genius and political power, Caesar’s claim to ‘famous names of history’ came about by his death. His brutal betrayal and murder and the subsequent play written about it cemented his place as one of the most interesting and captivating rulers of the ages.
Number Eight: Isaac Newton
For thousands of years the world turned on the religious ideologies of the day, and in many ways it still does now. But the birth of scientific thought and the desire for greater knowledge eventually pushed man into a colder, but more rational era.
One of the great shapers of this change was Isaac Newton. Unlike many of his predecessors, Newton’s scientific achievements were both conceptual and practical. His laws of thermodynamics and the essential understanding to gravity he ascertained have led him to be perhaps the most well recognized name and scientist of all time.
Number Seven: Napoleon
Neither exactly revered nor respected, Napoleon holds the world’s remembrance because of his military exploits and his eccentric figure. Known as a short man with large aspirations, his famous name has held a strange enchantment over history. He was surely an interesting conqueror, but not really one you could root for, nor one who had ultimate success. Yet strangely, the world holds him in high regards for his militaristic genius, and perhaps, because he is such an easy historical personality to laugh at.
Number Six: Leonardo Da Vinci
Few great artists are recognized outside of a particular field. Many are great painters, some writers, others engineers. But Da Vinci’s prowess was second to none, and in more than one way. His work, the Mona Lisa, is very close to being the most popularized painting of all time. It has been given homage to, parodied, and praised, by both the art world and the modern world. What truly sets Da Vinci apart however, is that he was master of many talents. Besides his painting he was also an excellent sketch artist and an engineer with work far beyond his time. This great skill he seemed to pour into anything he put his mind to are why the world holds him a genius, and his work in such lofty esteem. This is why he is claimed as one of the most famous names in history.
Number Five : Alexander the Great
Some great conquerors are known for the stories told about them, their significance on the world stage, how they influenced future history. But Alexander the Great is a conqueror who, while known for the aforementioned characteristics, is known most widely for simply being an incredible military genius. In his day he took the known world by storm, and conquered more than all but a few. Simply put, the world still remembers the name of Alexander the Great because he once owned it.
Number Four: George Washington
George Washington was an extraordinary many who lived humbly and nobly, and in the process became America’s founding hero. He led the great United States politically, socially, and militarily. He was the first American president, and was a foundation for the country to be built upon. He may not have had great impact on the world, but he was perhaps the greatest influencer of a country that has in a short time, had an unprecedented amount of influence on the global scale. This great influence has led his name to be widely revered in America and widely known abroad.
Number Three: Plato
Today, deep and mystic philosophies are not universally recognized. Many of the beliefs of Plato about existence, such as his theory and contemplation of the great forms, are simply no longer in vogue. But Plato’s fame is not generated by his philosophy, but more on his legendary wisdom. No matter that no one understands quite why Plato was wise, suffice to say he was! This is augmented by the many writers and ideological leaders who came after him following his example and building off his principles. Finally, Plato has such an illustrious spot on this list because not only does he hold such recognition, but he has held it for a much greater time than the vast majority of other (perhaps greater) minds.
Number Two: Moses
Moses’ fame stems not only from his incredible exploits and historical significance, but from his acceptance amongst three of the greatest religions of all time. Though a prominent figure in the Jewish faith, Moses name is also important to Christians, and highly respected by the Muslim community. It is this agreement amongst those who are generally bitterly divided, and his relative timelessness that makes Moses worthy of the great pedestal the world has put him on.
Number One: Jesus Christ
Putting the founder of the Christian faith as the most famous man of all time may at first seem a bit ridiculous, especially since he has not been around very long compared to some other key figures. However, this confusion is simply because people today do not look facts straight in the eyes, but avert their attention from what they find uncomfortable.
The best selling book in history and the first book ever printed was the Holy Bible. A massive collection of books that all center around the person of Christ. It is the most read book in history, and he is the most discussed person in history. His short period of miraculous ministry rocked and transformed the great Roman empire. After years of persecution, Rome eventually went from attacking Christians, to becoming Christian. Countless wars between European countries have been fought over Christian doctrines and beliefs. Since the death (and acclaimed resurrection) of Christ, countless people have traveled across the world spreading the message of his love. No other man has had such ideological impact on the great countries of the world. No other man has conquered such great swaths of land without a single blow. No other man is so vehemently revered and scorned, loved and hated. Truly and undeniably, Christ is the most famous name of history to ever live.
Now, there could be much disagreement about this list. Many other men and women have left great marks upon the world, and are remembered for them in drastic ways. But as one grain of dust can only see so much of the world around it, each person will see the matter in a different light. But agree or disagree, one cannot ignore the influence these men have had on the world, nor can one forget how their fame and legend has impacted and inspired each one of us.