"Who's Who in World History"

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Hammurabi

Hammurabi recognized that a single, uniform code of laws would help to unify the diverse groups within his empire. He collected existing rules, judgments, and laws into the Code of Hammurabi. He had the code engraved in stone, and copies were placed all over his empire.

Siddhartha Gautama

The founder of Buddhism.

Abraham

In the Torah, God chose Abraham to be the "father" of the hebrew people.

Confucius

China's most influential scholar. He led a scholarly life, studying an teaching history, music and moral character. Confucius believed that social order, harmony, and good government could be restored in China if society were organized around five basic relationships. These were the relationships between: (1) ruler and subject, (2) father and son, (3) husband and wife, (4) older brother and younger brother, and (5) friend and friend. These relationships were based upon the family, and he stressed that children should practice filial piety, pr respect for their parents and ancestors.

Laozi

For a Chinese thinker named Laozi, only the natural order was important. The natural order involves relations among all living things. His book Dao De Jing (The Way of Virtue) expressed his belief. He said that a universal force called the Dao, meaning "the Way," guides all things.

Shi Huangdi

The Qin ruler assumed the name Shi Huangdi, which means "First Emperor." He is considered the founder of unified China. The word Qin is the origin of China.

Pericles

A wise and able statesman names Pericles led Athens during much of its golden age. He was a skillful politician, an inspiring speaker, and a respected general. He so dominated the life of Athens from 461 to 429 B.C. that this period often is called the Age of Pericles. He had three goals: (1) to strengthen Athenian democracy, (2) to hold and strengthen the empire, and (3) to glorify Athens.

Socrates

On critic of the Sophists was Socrates. Unlike the Sophists, he believed that absolute standards did exist for truth and justice. However, he encouraged Greeks to go farther and question themselves and their moral character. Historians believe that it was Socrates who once said, "The unexamined life is not worth living."

Alexander the Great

He established an empire from Greece to Egypt and the margins of India, and extended Greek cultural influences.

Caesar

A military leader named Julius Caesar joined forces with Crassus, a wealthy Roman, and Pompey, a popular general. With their help, Caesar was elected consul in 59 B.C. For the next ten years, these men dominated Rom as a triumvirate, a group of three rulers. He was a strong leader and a genius at military strategy. Following tradition, he served only on year as consul. He then appointed himself governor of Gaul. Caesar led his legions in a grueling but successful campaign to conquer all of Gaul.

Augustus

While he restored some aspects of the republic, Octavian became the unchallenged ruler of Rome. Eventually, he accepted the title of Augustus, or "exalted one." He also kept the title imperator, or "supreme military commander," a term from which emperor is derived. Rome was now an empire ruled by one man.

Paul

One man, the apostle Paul, had enormous influence on Christianity's development. Paul was a Jew who had never met Jesus and at first was an enemy of Christianity. While traveling to Damascus in Syria, he reportedly had a vision of Christ. He spent the rest of his life spreading and interpreting Christ's teachings.

Constantine

A critical moment in Christianity occurred in A.D. 312, when the Roman emperor Constantine was fighting three rivals for leadership of Rome. Constantine announced an end to the persecution of Christians. In the Edict of Milan, he declared that Christianity to be one of the religions approved by the emperor.

Asoka

Chandragupta's grandson; brought the Mauryan Empire to its greatest heights.

Liu Bang

Founder of the Han Dynasty.

Muhammad

He was born into the clan of a powerful Meccan family. The Life of Muhammad; including marriage to Khadija, revelation from angel Gabriel, establishing religion in Mecca, the Hijrah in 622 ("flight" from Mecca to Medina for safety/start of Muslim calendar), return to Mecca and establishing an Islamic state. Remember Muhammad is a prophet but a mortal.

Justinian

Emperor (527-565):
-built church of Hagia Sophia ("Holy Wisdom")
-organized Roman laws: known as Justinian Code
-autocrat: sole ruler with complete authority

Genghis Khan

Around A.D. 1205 a tribal leader emerged in Mongolia that would change the fate of the people for centuries. This man's name was Temujin.

Kublai Khan

Kublai Khan, the Mongol leader, moved the capital of the Mongol empire from Karakorum in Central Asia to Beijing, China. In 1271, when he was 56, Kublai Khan declared himself emperor of China.

Charlemagne

Known as Charles the Great (the grandson of Charles Martel); built an empire stretching across France, Germany, and part of Italy.

Saladin

He was the most famous Muslim leader of the 1100s. His own people considered him a most devout man. Even the Christians regarded him as honest and brave.

Dante Alighieri

He wrote The Divine Comedy (1308-1314) in Italian.

John of Arc

In 1429, a teenage French peasant girl felt moved by God to rescue France from its English conquerors. She led the French army into battle at a fort city name Orleans. In 1430, she was turned over to a Church court for trial. In truth, her trial was more political than religious. The English were determined to prove her a fake and to weaken her image.

Mansa Musa

Most famous Muslim ruler of Mali;
Grandnephew of Sundiata ruled from 1312-1332;
Went on a hajj to Mecca in 1324, upon his return he ordered the building of mosques in the cities of Timbuktu and Gao;
His hajj impacted the world price of gold;
Timbuktu becomes a center of Muslim learning, attracting doctors and other scholars to come and study there;
After Musa's death the empire declined.

Ibn Battuta

One of Mansa Musa's successors. As a devout Muslim, he praised the people for their study of the Qur'an. However, he also criticized them for not strictly practicing Islam's moral code.

Michelangelo

He was known as a "Renaissance man." He excelled as a painter, sculptor, architect, and poet. He is most famous for the way he portrayed the human body in painting and sculpture.

Leonardo da Vinci

He was a painter, sculptor, inventor, and scientist. A true "Renaissance man," he was interested in how things worked. He studied how a muscle moves and how veins are arranged in a leaf. He filled his notebooks with observation and sketches. Then he incorporated his findings in his art. Among his many many masterpieces, he painted one of the best-known portraits in the world, Mona Lisa.

Niccolo Machiavelli

He wrote The Prince which examines the imperfect conduct of human beings. It does so by taking the form of political guidebook. In the book, he examines how a ruler can gain power and keep it in spite of his enemies. In answering this question, he began with the idea that most people are selfish, fickle, and corrupt.

Johann Gutenberg

A craftsman from Mainz, Germany, developed a printing press that incorporated a number of technologies, in a new way. He printed a complete bible, the Gutenberg Bible.

Euclid

He was a highly regarded mathematician who taught in Alexandria. His best-known book, Elements, contained 465 carefully presented geometry propositions and proofs. His work is still the basis for courses in geometry.

Archimedes

Hellenistic scientist; he accurately estimated the value of pi, explained the law of the lever, invented the screw and the compound pulley.

Herodotus

A Greek who lived in Athens for a time, pioneered the accurate reporting of events. His book on the Persian Wars is considered the first work of History.

Phidias

Greek sculptor, one of the greatest sculptors of ancient Greece.

Ferdinand and Isabella

To unify their country under Christianity and to increase their power, these two people made use of the Inquisition.

Henry II

This English king added to Normandy and England holdings by marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine from France. The marriage brought a large territory in France called Aquitaine.

King John

Youngest son of Henry who ruled from 1199 to 1216. He was very cruel to his subjects and tried to squeeze money out of them. This person agreed to the Magna Carta in 1215.

Solon

Stating that no citizen should own another citizen, Solon outlawed debt slavery. He organized all Athenian citizens into four social classes according to wealth. Only members of the top three classes could hold political office. However, all citizens, regardless of class, could participate in the Athenian assembly. Solon also introduced the legal concept that any citizen could bring charges against wrongdoers.

Cleisthenes

He broke up the power of the nobility by organizing citizens into ten groups based on where they lived rather than on their wealth. He also increased the power of the assembly by allowing allowing all citizens to submit laws for debate and passage. He then created the Council of the Five Hundred. This body proposed laws and counseled the assembly.

Hadrian

Hadrian was clearly very capable and achieved high office, reaching the consulate at the age of 32, the earliest possible age at that time. Hadrian became Emperor on the death of Trajan, in August, 117 AD.
When he became Emperor, four respected Roman Senators were killed. Hadrian denied having anything to do with this, but the senate suspected he was involved and never forgave him. As Emperor, Hadrian spent most of his time travelling and inspecting his empire.

Virgil

Poet who spent 10 years writing the most famous of Latin literature, the Aeneid, the epic of the legendary Aeneas. Virgil modeled the Aeneid, written in praise of Rome and Roman virtues, after the Greek epics of Homer.

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