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Famous People

In this section, we shed light on some of the most famous and infamous people known throughout history, from powerful pharaohs, to emperors and empresses, acclaimed military leaders, or just regular civilians who’ve been thrown into the spotlight for great crimes or for heroic actions, leaving an indelible mark on the world.

Warrior Khutulun in the series Marco Polo

Khutulun: The Undefeated Bad-Ass Mongolian Warrior Princess

Khutulun was a Mongolian noblewoman who lived during the time of the Mongol Empire. She is recorded to have been a great warrior and was especially noted for her prowess in the sport of wrestling...
Ogedei Khan.

Ogedei Khan: Only His Death Could Save Europe from the Mongols

Ogedei Khan was the second Khagan (meaning ‘Great Khan’) of the Mongol Empire. He was the third son of Genghis Khan and succeeded his father in 1229. Ogedei continued to expand the Mongol Empire, a...
Statue of Sun Tzu in Yurihama, Tottori, in Japan.

Sun Tzu: The Famed and Influential Author of The Art of War May Not Have Existed

“Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.” General Sun Tzu...
A Mongol warrior. Although Jebe started out as an enemy of the Mongols, he eventually became on the Genghis Khan’s most trusted generals.

Jebe: Genghis Khan’s Would-be Assassin Becomes His Sharpshooting General

Jebe was a prominent Mongolian general who served under Genghis Khan. He was a converted enemy soldier who lucked out after shooting an arrow at the infamous Khan during battle. In a strange turn of...
Taniec tatarski (Tatar's Dance), a painting by Juliusz Kossak

The Tatars: The Golden Horde, People from Hell, Or Something Else?

Today, Tatars is a collective name given to a number of Turkic-speaking groups that live in Russia and several former Soviet countries. But Tatars has had various other meanings through history. For...
John Dee performing an experiment before Queen Elizabeth I.

John Dee: Scholar, Astrologer, and Occult Practitioner that Captivated the Royal Court of 16th Century England

Born into the era of intellectual and artistic reawakening, John Dee quickly rose through Elizabethan society as a scholar, philosopher, navigator, doctor, and astrologer of the Queen of England...
Stained glass representation of the Prophet Isaiah by Valentin Bousch.

What is the Legacy of Isaiah the Prophet?

Isaiah the prophet is known for having urged Israel to rely on Yahweh, their national god, instead of on the political power, and the gods of nations like Egypt or Assyria for protection and...
Wooden funerary figurines of Khitan people returning from a hunt. Liao dynasty (907–1125). Held at the Capital Museum, Beijing. (BabelStone/CC BY SA 3.0) Background: Stone tablet with fake epitaph inscription in the Khitan Large Script. Held at the Nationalities Museum of the Inner Mongolia University, but not on official display. It is an almost complete copy of the Epitaph for the Princess of Yongning Commandery (永寧郡公主墓誌銘) of 1092.

The Khitan People: Nomadic Tribe, Chinese Dynasty, Lost to the Mongols

The Khitan people were a nomadic tribe that lived in Manchuria, in the northeastern part of China. Towards the end of the 9th century AD, the Khitan people emerged as a powerful force in the northern...
The epic force that was Genghis Khan.

Genghis Khan: What Transformed Temujin Borjigin into an Unstoppable Force Bent on World Domination?

Genghis Khan was one of the most famous conquerors in the world history. He was the founder and first Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. Although his beginnings were obscure and seemingly insignificant...
A portrait of Michelangelo flanked by his sculpture ‘Madonna of Bruges’ and a detail of the Redeemed from his painting of ‘The Last Judgement.’

Michelangelo: A Mixture of True Talent Meeting Great Luck and Perseverance

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, better known as Michelangelo, is one of the most famous figures of the Italian Renaissance period (between the 14th and 16th centuries AD). The Renaissance...
The Coronation of Powhatan’ (circa 1835) by John Cadsby Chapman

Powhatan: The Powerful Native American Chief and His Kingdom

Powhatan was the name of both a powerful Native American chief (king) and the confederacy he ruled at the time of the arrival of English Colonists in Virginia in 1607. Powhatan reigned over several...
Till Eulenspiegel fountain in Mölln

Till Eulenspiegel: The Crude Pranks and Hilarious Hi-jinks of a 14th Century German Fool

Till Eulenspiegel is a notable character from German folklore and the protagonist in a number of folktales. Most recognized for his trickery, it may surprise people to know that Till Eulenspiegel...
Alaric entering Athens

King Alaric: His Famous Sacking of Rome, Secretive Burial, and Lost Treasure

The Sack of Rome in 410 AD by the Visigoths is often regarded as an event that marked the beginning of the end of the Western Roman Empire. The man responsible for the second sacking of Rome (the...
This is an untitled ledger drawing in pencil and colored pencil by a Lakota tribe artist and leader named Black Hawk, born ca. 1832. This work also appears in Janet Catherine Berlo's ‘Spirit Beings and Sun Dancers: Black Hawk's Vision of the Lakota World.’

Lakota Tribes Inhabited Two Rich Wildernesses, Both were Stolen, But The People Resisted

The Lakota tribe of the Sioux people are vivid in the world’s imagination as buffalo hunters and warriors who fought the U.S. Calvary from horseback in feather bonnets on the Great Plains and Wild...
Lady Godiva

The Naked Truth on Lady Godiva and Her Nude Ride to Help the Poor

Lady Godiva was an English noblewoman who lived during the 11th century AD. Although she belonged to the upper class, she had a reputation for being sympathetic towards the less fortunate and was...
Creek beadwork. Beads and wampum were important in ritual and as currency among Native American groups. Wampum is made of sea shells.

Creek Tribes Were Decimated by Disease but Thrived Through Skin Trade

The Native American Creek (Muscogee) tribes of the Southeast were actually an allied nation that came into existence in relatively recent history so they would be united in peace. The Creek included...

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