Skip to main content

99 Famous People of Ancient Western History

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Vince is a technical writer working in the medical research field. He also enjoys exploring literature in his free time.

99-famous-people-of-ancient-history

Index

Abraham, Achilles, Adam, Aechylus, Aesop, Ahura Mazda, Akhenaten, Alexander the Great, Allah, Apollo, Archilochus, Archimedes, Aristotle, Aspasia, Athena, Aten, Attila the Hun, Augustus/Octavian, Bridget of Kildare, Cambyses, Charon, Cicero, Cincinnatus, Cleopatra, Constantine, Crassus, Cyrus, Darius, David, Diocletian, Diogenes, Epicurus, Esther, Euripides, Eve, Gilgamech, Hadrian, Hamilcar, Hammurabi, Hannibal, Hasdrubal, Hera, Herodotus, Hesiod, Hippocrates, Homer, Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, Julius Caeser, Juno, Jupiter, Justinian, Marc Antony, Marcus Cato, Mars, Minos, Moses, Muhammad, Mursilis, Nebuchadnezzar, Nefertiti, Nero, Osiris, Ovid, Pericles, Philip II, Plato, Pompey, Pontius Pilate, Ptolemy, Ramses II, Remus, Romulus, Sappho, Sargon, Saul, Seneca, Shalmaneser, Socrates, Solomon, Solon, Sophocles, St. Benedict of Nursia, St. Helena, St. Patrick, St. Paul, St. Peter, Thucydides, Tiberius, Tiberius Gracchus, Tiglath-Pileser, Trajan, Tutankhamen, Virgil, Xerxes, Yahweh, Zeno, Zeus, Zoroaster

Short Descriptions

Abraham

Born circa 1900 B.C., Ur, Mesopotamia

Died circa 1725 B.C., Canaan

  • The revered father of the Hebrew people who enstated the practice of circumcision.
  • Believed to be the father of many other Semitic people with many Muslims tracing heritage back to him also.
  • Formed a covenant with God that laid the foundations for Judaism.
  • Travelled from his home city of Ur in Mesopotamia to the land of Canaan, but is known for strictly abiding by his beliefs and not allowing his family to be changed by the people he lived among.

Achilles

Born circa 1215 B.C., Thessaly

Died circa 1183 B.C., Troy

  • The legendary hero of the Iliad. Son of a sea nymph, Thetis, and the King of the Myrmidons, Peleus.
  • With godly heritage and known for his unstoppable rage Achilles slowly becomes more humanized throughout the Iliad until he dies a mortal death. This is a main theme in the story.
  • The Achilles tendon is named after him as that is believed to be the one part of his body that was vulnerable to attack, though that legend didn't begin circulating until the first century A.D. long after the Iliad was written.

Adam

Created circa 10,000-6,000 B.C., Garden of Eden

Died circa 9,000-5,000 B.C., Unknown wilderness (note: the range of Adam's possible creation is vast and is widely disputed among Christian researchers.)

  • The first human being to inhabit the planet according to Jewish and Christian doctrine. Was made by God out of dust as a perfect and immoral being.
  • Adam is the patriarch of the entire human race, with all people believed to be literal descendants of him and his wife, Eve.
  • Was the second human to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, plunging humanity into sin.
  • Was cast out of the paradisiacal Garden of Eden, where the Tree of Life is kept, and was doomed to toil in the land and eventually die.

Aechylus

Born circa 525 B.C., Eleusis, Attica

Died circa 455 B.C., Gela, Sicily

  • Famous Greek playwright known as the father of drama.
  • Implimented the use of more than one man interacting with the chorus in his plays. (Usually two men).
  • Fought against the Persian Emperor Darius in the Battle of Marathon and latter against Xerxes at the Battles of Salamis and Plataea.
  • His participation in the war heavily influenced his writing as is shown in his most famous work, The Persian, which recounted the Greek victory at Salamis.

Aesop

Scroll to Continue

Born circa 500 A.D., Samos

Died 460 A.D., Delphi, Greece

  • Was a slave of a man named Xanthus, but was freed.
  • Traveled through Greece telling fables in political circles to sway the changes in government.
  • Died at the hands of the Delphians for an unknown reason

Ahura Mazda

Worship Began circa 500 B.C., Media

Worship continues in present day in India

  • The God of Zoroastrianism or Mazdaism
  • Very similar to the Christian and Jewish idea of an uncreated all powerful creator who will vanquish the evil forces at the end of time.
  • It is very uncertain as to when the concept of Ahura Mazda arose and most credit it to the religious leader Zoroaster, which hardly helps as it is uncertain when he lived.
  • Briefly was believed to be the twin brother of the evil spirit Angra Mainyu and his opposite but equal counterpart. Now, he is believed to be the complete being, with the evil spirit Angra Mainyu and the good spirit Spenta Mainyu the opposite and equal spirits warring within him.

Akhenaten

Born circa 1370 B.C.

Died circa 1336 B.C.

  • The Heretic Pharaoh. Born as Amenhotep IV, meaning "Amun is satisfied" he changed his name to Akhenaten, "effective spirit of Aten," when he denounced the worship of many gods and established Aten, the sun disk, as the supreme one true God.
  • His was believed to be the first attempt at monotheism in the world.
  • Is known for having a peculiar body shape that people theorize may be due to any thing from being a hermaphrodite, to having Marfan's syndrome, to him actually being a woman in disguise.
  • His forced monotheism seems to have been hated as he moved the capital of Egypt from fertile Thebes to the middle of the desert at el-Amarna; his statues in his tomb were smashed while those of his well loved wife; Nefertiti, remained unharmed; the nation reverted back to polytheism immediately after his short lived dynasty ended with Tutankhamen; and his tomb was left alone out in el-Amarna, instead of being moved to the Valley of the Kings.

Alexander the Great a.k.a Alexander III

Born July, 356 B.C., Macedon

Died June 11, 323 B.C., Babylon

  • Alexander the Great is known as one of the greatest military minds of all time.
  • When Alexander's father, Phillip II, was assassinated, Alexander inherited the newly unified Greece thanks to his father's conquests.
  • King Alexander had to quell rebellions twice in the southern parts of Greece before gaining complete control.
  • Alexander the Great fulfilled both the prophecy of Daniel (Chapter 8) and the suspicions of the Persians, that a unified Greece would conquer Persia.
  • Alexander pushed his army all the way to the boarders of India before being forced to turn back when his own men threatened to rebel.
  • Died in Nebuchadnezzar II's palace in Babylon from an unknown illness that lasted 12 days. Some suspect poisoning.

Allah

Worship Began circa 610 A.D., Arabian Peninsula

Worship continues across the world today.

  • "Allah" translates as, "The One to be worshipped."
  • Allah is the God of the Muslim faith.
  • Allah is the same God as the Christian and Jewish faiths and Arabic speaking Jews and Christians refer to their God as Allah.

Apollo

Worship Began circa 1,100 B.C. Greece

Worship Ended circa 300 B.C. Rome

  • An oracular god, Apollo was the patron of the oracle at Delphi.
  • He was the sister of Artemis the huntress.
  • Apollo was often equated with the sun god, Helio, as his siter was equated with the moon goddess, Selene.
  • Unusual among the gods as he had devout cults formed specifically for him. Two cults actually had such a different concept of him that he might as well have been two distinct gods.

Archilochus

Born circa 680 B.C., Paros

Died circa 645 B.C., Thasos

  • A poet who made his living by public and private recitals of his work.
  • Was considered an equal to Homer by his countrymen and statues to each of them were dedicated on the same day.
  • Was known for his harsh satire.
  • Supposedly at a feast of Demeter he poured out his emotions in a satirical attack against a man who had promised him his daughter but then rescinded. The insults were said to be so shameful that the man and his daughters hung themselves.

Archimedes

Born circa 287 B.C., Syracuse, Sicily

Died circa 212 B.C., Syracuse, Sicily

  • Regarded as the most important scientists in antiquity, Archimedes was a mathematician, engineer, and physicist.
  • Archimedes has legends about him creating ancient super weapon's such as the "Archimedes' Death Ray," which is a humorous name for an invention made of polished metal mirrors that he supposedly used to burn ships, and the "Archimedes' Claw" which was supposedly a crane like device that violently latched onto ships and pulled them upward causing them to sink.
  • Archimedes died in the second Punic War. According to tradition, he was not supposed to be killed but rather captured. However, he enraged a Roman soldier by ignoring him and telling the soldier to go away while he worked on his math and was killed on the spot.