Our world not have been the same without the thousands of men and women who have influenced it with their work and ideas. Of course, there are more than just 10 people who have contributed to shaping the world and human society. Legendary people of history such as Confucius, Plato, Alexander the Great, Aristotle who gave many of us a greater idea of our world and life to the icons such as B. R. Ambedkar, and Martin Luther King Jr. who provided thousands of people with freedom and a sense of growth and to writers and artists such as William Shakespeare who influenced and inspired us to live life the way we wanted.
All of these and many other icons have influenced our society over the decades. On our list of 10 Of The Most Influential Men In History, we are going to talk about 10 of those legends who have greatly influenced people across the world and they are often regarded as among the greatest men in history.
1. Muhammad (570 CE – 8 June 632 CE):
Recognised as the founder of Islam, Muhammad was a medium, sent to perform the teachings taught previously by Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and the other prophets. To Islam, he is the final prophet of God. He had the greatest influence upon Arab. He not only united Arabia into a single Muslim polity but he also gave Islam its religious belief through the Quran.
Muhammad was born on 570 CE in the Arabian city of Mecca. He lost his parents at the age of six and was brought up by his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttaliba and his uncle Abu Talib. Muhammad reported being visited by Gabriel and receiving his first revelation from God when he was 40. His and his followers’ migration from Mecca to Medina in 622 marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, Hijra.
2. Jesus Christ (c. 4 BC – c. AD 30 / 33):
The central figure of the major religion of Christianity, Jesus Christ is definitely one of the most influential personas in the history of the earth. There are a lot of controversies around Jesus Christ. Christians believe that he is the incarnation of God the Son. He is the awaited Messiah predicted in the Old Testament. Most of the controversy surrounding Jesus is about how closely Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus.
Jesus was a Galilean Jew who taught people how to best follow God, engaged in healings, taught in fables and gathered followers. He was crucified by the Roman government. His followers believed he rose from the dead. The birth of Jesus is celebrated annually as Christmas, his crucifixion is honored on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter.
3. Buddha (c. 563/480 – c. 483/400 BCE):
Gautama Buddha was a monk, philosopher, teacher and religious leader. Buddhism was founded based on his teachings. He is believed to have lived between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE in the northeastern part of ancient India. Present-day Lumbini in Nepal is regarded as the birthplace of the Buddha. He grew up in Kapilavastu and was born to a Hindu Kshatriya family. Prince Siddhartha left his palace at the age of 29 accompanied by Channa and riding his horse Kanthaka. He went to Rajagaha and began his ascetic life. Buddha discovered the Middle Way.
4. Isaac Newton:
Regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time, Isaac Newton is a key figure in the scientific revolution. His work has inspired and influenced many great upcoming scientists and human lives. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica is known for laying the foundation of classical mechanics. He contributed to optics as well as in developing the infinitesimal calculus with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.
His the laws of motion and universal gravitation has been dominating scientific researches since. He built the first practical reflecting telescope and his work on lights also garnered reputation. Almost all of Newton’s discoveries and inventions have helped to establish the scientific theories that we follow today.
5. Swami Vivekananda(12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902):
Narendranath Datta who became to known as Swami Vivekananda is credited with raising interfaith awareness and bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century. He was a chief follower of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna and a key figure in the start of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world. His role in the revival of Hinduism in India and contribution to the concept of nationalism in colonial India is undeniably one of the strongest.
He is famously known for his speech at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893. He opened his speech with “Sisters and brothers of America!” and received a two-minute standing ovation from the crowd of seven thousand. Swami Vivekananda later visited the UK, other countries in Europe and Asia.
6. Leonardo da Vinci (14/15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519):
The creator of the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and Vitruvian Man Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most influential icons ever lived on the earth. His works have become cultural and religious icons. A prime example of “Universal Genius” or “Renaissance Man,” Vinci is regarded as one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived.
Without any formal academic training, according to many, Leonardo da Vinci had a superhuman mind and personality. Way ahead of his time, Vinci was not only a painter, but he was also into architecture, science, music, mathematics and engineering, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, cartography and more. He conceptualized flying machines and made other discoveries.
7. Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865):
Widely considered as one of the greatest presidents of the United States, Abraham Lincoln led the nation through its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. He not only preserved the Union and abolished slavery bu also strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy. Lincoln grew up in a poor family in Kentucky and educated himself to become a lawyer. His Gettysburg Address is still applauded as one of the best speeches ever given by any politician.
8. Albert Einstein:
Albert Einstein’s revolutionary work has become the pillars of modern physics. Einstein changed everything, from the way we used to think about the things surrounding us to the cosmos. He developed the theory of relativity which became the base of many revolutions in the coming years. His work on quantum mechanics, his mass-energy equivalence formula, his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect and much more have made the word “Einstein” synonymous with “genius”. His mass-energy equivalence formula is known as “the world’s most famous equation”. In the scientific field, Albert Einstein will always remain as one of the most influential and greatest beings.
According to the teachings of the Abrahamic religions, Moses was a prophet. He was adopted by an Egyptian princess, and later became the leader of the Israelites and lawgiver. He is the most important prophet in Judaism and an also important in Christianity, Islam, the Bahá’í Faith, and a number of other Abrahamic religions. Moses is best known for leading the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea. He was called “the man of God” in the Book of Deuteronomy.
10. Galileo Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642):
The “father of modern science”, Galileo Galilei was way ahead of his time. By championing of heliocentrism and Copernicanism, Galileo attracted a lot of controversy at that time. He even spent much of his life under house arrest and while there he wrote ‘Two New Sciences’. His work also includes science and technology, describing the properties of pendulums and “hydrostatic balances”. He invented the thermoscope and various military compasses and he was one of the few who used the telescope for scientific observations of celestial objects.