Anne Bonny (1700 - 1782) was born Anne Cormac in County Cork, Ireland. Anne Bonny proved a daring and deadly pirate, using a sword and pistols. There are many tales of her violent temper, beginning with her alleged stabbing murder of an English serving-maid while Anne was a teen on her father's plantation. Supposedly, while on shore in New Providence she became such an expert fencer and troublemaker that she publicly stripped her fencing instructor with her sword, and that she severely beat a man with a chair for making a pass at her. However, it is her exploits at sea that gained Anne Bonny the most notoriety. She not only raided with Calico Jack, but also Jack's lieutenant, with whom she developed a mutual attraction. 'He' turned out to be none other than Mary Read. Eventually, both were known as bloodthirsty, daring female pirates, swinging their blades and boarding ships, fighting with even more courage than the men—as they proved in their final battle. Some called Anne Bonny a feminist who chose piracy as a way of rebelling against a male-dominated world; others portray her as a tomboy who never grew up. Whatever her motives, in deed and daring Anne Bonny was a plunderer, cutthroat, and general menace to maritime commerce in the Caribbean. In short, most pirates probably would have considered Anne Bonny an asset to their trade.
Jesse Woodson James (September 5, 1847 – April 3, 1882) was an American outlaw, gang leader, bank robber, train robber, and murderer from the state of Missouri and the most famous member of the James-Younger Gang. Already a celebrity when he was alive, he became a legendary figure of the Wild West after his death. Some recent scholars place him in the context of regional insurgencies of ex-Confederates following the American Civil War rather than a manifestation of frontier lawlessness or alleged economic justice. Jesse and his brother Frank James were Confederate guerrillas during the Civil War. They were accused of participating in atrocities committed against Union soldiers. After the war, as members of one gang or another, they robbed banks, stagecoaches, and trains. Despite popular portrayals of James as a kind of Robin Hood, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, there is no evidence that he and his gang used their robbery gains for anyone but themselves. The James brothers were most active with their gang from about 1866 until 1876, when their attempted robbery of a bank in Northfield, Minnesota, resulted in the capture or deaths of several gang members. They continued in crime for several years, recruiting new members, but were under increasing pressure from law enforcement. On April 3, 1882, Jesse James was killed by Robert Ford, who was a member of the gang living in the James house and who was hoping to collect a state reward on James' head.
K'inich Janaab' Pakal (Mayan pronunciation: [k’iniʧ xanaːɓ pakal]) (March 603 – August 683) was ruler of the Maya polity of Palenque in the Late Classic period of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican chronology. During a long reign of some 68 years — the longest known regnal period in Western Hemisphere history, and the 27th longest worldwide — Pakal was responsible for the construction or extension of some of Palenque's most notable surviving inscriptions and monumental architecture.
Lewis Roberts Binford (November 21, 1931 – April 11, 2011) was an American archaeologist known for his influential work in archaeological theory, ethnoarchaeology and the Paleolithic period. He is widely considered among the most influential archaeologists of the later 20th century, and is credited with fundamentally changing the field with the introduction of processual archaeology (or the "New Archaeology") in the 1960s.
John Hunt Morgan (June 1, 1825 – September 4, 1864) was a Confederate general and cavalry officer (Lieutenant General) in the American Civil War, and one of the Confederacy's most notorious raiders. He is best known for "Morgan's Raid", where he led 2,460 Confederate cavalrymen into the Union-controlled states of Indiana and Ohio. Covering over 1,000 miles, the raid was the farthest north that any uniformed Confederate troops managed to penetrate during the war.
Abe no Seimei (安倍の晴明?, February 21, 921 – October 31, 1005) was an onmyōji, a leading specialist of onmyōdō during the middle of the Heian Period in Japan. In addition to his prominence in history, he is a legendary figure in Japanese folklore and has been portrayed in a number of stories and films.
Seimei worked as onmyōji for emperors and the Heian government, making calendars and advising on the spiritually correct way to deal with issues. He prayed for the well-being of emperors and the government as well as advising on various issues. He was also an astrologer and predicted astrological events. He enjoyed an extremely long life, free from any major illness, which contributed to the popular belief that he had mystical powers.
The Seimei Shrine, located in Kyoto, is a popular shrine dedicated to him. The Abeno train station and district, in Osaka, are sometimes said to be named after him, as it is one of the locations where legends place his birth.
Ishikawa Goemon (1558 - October 8, 1594) was a semi-legendary Japanese outlaw hero who stole gold and valuables and gave them to the poor, much like Robin Hood. He was famously boiled alive along with his son in public after a failed assassination attempt on the civil war-era warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi. His story has been featured in Kabuki plays.
Taira no Kagekiyo (平 景清) (died 1196), also known as Kazusa no Shichirō (上総 七郎), was a samurai of the Taira clan who took part in the Genpei War of Japan, against the Minamoto clan. His real name was Fujiwara no Kagekiyo (藤原 景清), but he was adopted by the Taira, and served them loyally the rest of his life. In 1156, he played a role in confirming Emperor Go-Shirakawa on the throne, and later, during the Genpei War, sought unsuccessfully to have the head of the Minamoto clan, Minamoto no Yoritomo, assassinated.
Katō Danzō (加藤 段蔵, 1503? – 1569) was a famed 16th century ninja master during the Sengoku period Japan who was also known as flying Katō (飛び加藤 Tobi Katō).There are many versions of his story and many mysteries surround him. According to the legend he practiced sorcery, performing amazing feats such as swallowing a bull in front of the crowd of over 20 people; his alias comes from his alleged ability to fly. Today, researchers believe his supposed magical arts were illusion as a type of group hypnosis. However, this belief has never been proven to be the case and therefore is only considered to be a possibility. His date of birth and death are unknown.
According to historical documents, the daimyo Uesugi Kenshin had heard of Danzō's reputation, which had led for him to invite Danzō to his prime castle. Kenshin decided to test Danzō's abilities by challenging him to sneak into a certain castle and to retrieve a prized naginata (a sword in another version of this story) from one of his retainers, Naoe Kanetsugu. Danzō infiltrated Kanetsugu's heavily guarded castle and not only succeeding in stealing the naginata, but also captured a young servant girl. Kenshin then realized that Danzō would be a very useful ally and took him into his service. However, Kanetsugu plotted to kill Danzō (according to another version it was Kenshin himself who ordered his death, perceiving him to be too skillful and thus dangerous), forcing him to try to defect to Takeda Shingen, Kenshin's rival. Suspecting Danzō to be a double agent, Shingen however ordered him to be killed. Danzō was captured by Takeda men and executed through decapitation.
Kirigakure Saizō (霧隠才蔵?) was a legendary ninja of the final phase of the Sengoku period of Japan. In the folklore he is one of the Sanada Ten Braves, and next to Sarutobi Sasuke, he is the most recognized of the Ten.
As in the case of Sasuke, Saizō might be a fictional creation of the Meiji era popular literature, probably based on Kirigakure Shikaemon, although some argue for his factual existence. Saizō is said to be a master of Iga ninjutsu. Sarutobi Sasuke, a Kōga ninja, is thus often portrayed as Saizō's arch-rival, and after they both converted to Sanada's cause, best friends and partners. The name Kirigakure literally means "Hidden Mist", as such Saizō is often associated with fog and, by extension, illusion magic. In contrast to Sasuke, who is often rendered with an almost feral child appearance, Saizō usually appears as a calm, elegant, mature, handsome and sometimes feminine young man.
Sasaki Kojirō (佐々木 小次郎, also known as Ganryū Kojirō) (1585? – April 13, 1612) was a prominent Japanese swordsman widely considered a master of his craft. Born in Fukui Prefecture, he lived during the Sengoku and early Edo periods. He is famous for his legendary duel with Miyamoto Musashi at Ganryujima in April 1612, where he lost and was killed. He has a signature powerful sword technique called Tsubame Gaeshi (Returning Swallow), a high-speed swordslash that changed direction at the last second.
Kuki Yoshitaka (九鬼 嘉隆?) (1542 – November 17, 1600) was a naval commander during Japan's Sengoku Period, under Oda Nobunaga, and later, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He was also the ninth headmaster of the Kuki family's school of martial arts, Kukishin-ryū and thus a very skilled warrior.
In the 1570s, Kuki allied himself with Oda Nobunaga, and commanded his fleet, supporting land-based attacks on the Ikkō-ikki. In 1574, his aid ensured a victory for Nobunaga in his third attempt to attack the Nagashima fortress. In 1576, he was defeated at Kizugawaguchi by the Mōri clan fleet, but 1578 brought victory in the second Battle of Kizugawaguchi, in which Kuki used 'iron ships' to repel the arrows and musket balls of the opposing Mōri clan's ships.
In 1587, he led Toyotomi Hideyoshi's fleet in a campaign in Kyūshū, alongside Konishi Yukinaga, Wakizaka Yasuharu and Katō Yoshiaki. Three years later, along with Wakizaka Yasuharu and Kato Yoshiaki he went on to lead the Siege of Odawara and the Siege of Shimoda. He continued in his role as commander of Hideyoshi's fleet, launching an invasion of Korea in 1592 from his flagship Nipponmaru. He was severely defeated in the Battle of Myeongryang.
In the Battle of Sekigahara, Kuki Yoshitaka fought alongside the Toyotomi forces, while his son Kuki Moritaka joined the opposing force, under Tokugawa Ieyasu. Following Tokugawa's victory, his son successfully guaranteed Yoshitaka's safety from Ieyasu. In a turn of fate, Yoshitaka committed seppuku before the news reached him.
Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵?, c. 1584 – June 13, 1645), also known as Shinmen Takezō, Miyamoto Bennosuke or, by his Buddhist name, Niten Dōraku, was a Japanese swordsman and rōnin. Musashi, as he was often simply known, became renowned through stories of his excellent swordsmanship in numerous duels, even from a very young age. He was the founder of the Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū or Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship and the author of The Book of Five Rings (五輪の書 Go Rin No Sho), a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied today. On April 13, 1612, Musashi (about age 30) fought his duel with Sasaki Kojirō, who was known as "The Demon of the Western Provinces" and who wielded a nodachi. Musashi came late and unkempt to the appointed place — the island of Funajima, in the Kanmon Straits separating Honshū and Kyūshū. The duel was short. Musashi killed his opponent with a bokken that legend says he had carved from an oar used on the boat that carried him to the island. Musashi's late arrival is controversial. Sasaki's outraged supporters thought it was dishonorable and disrespectful, while Musashi's supporters thought it was a fair way to unnerve his opponent.
Mochizuki Chiyome (望月 千代女), also known as Mochizuki Chiyojo, was a Japanese noblewoman of the 16th century who was credited with creating an all-female group of ninja. She was the wife of Mochizuki Nobumasa, a samurai warlord from Shinano and lord of the Mochizuki Castle. While Nobumasa was off in battle, she was often left in the care of the daimyo Takeda Shingen, who also was the uncle of her husband. It was then when Shingen approached her and gave her an important mission to recruit women and create an underground network of kunoichi (female ninja) agents. Takeda’s plan was to have fully trained female operatives who could act as subversive agents used to gather information and deliver coded messages to his allies; Chiyome was the best candidate for this, since she came from a long line of Kōga ninja. She accepted the task, set up her operation in the village of Nazu in the Shinshu region, and began her search for potential candidates for training. Chiyome recruited several young women who were recently orphaned, prostitutes or victims of the civil wars of the Sengoku period. She also recruited girls who were either lost or abandoned. Many people believed that she was helping these women, and giving them an opportunity to start up a new life. But in reality, they were trained to become highly efficient information gatherers and verifiers, seductresses, messengers and when necessary, assassins. The girls were taught all the skills of a miko (Shinto shrine maiden or a wandering female shaman), which allowed them to travel virtually anywhere without suspicion, receiving religious education to complete their disguise. Over time, Chiyome's kunoichi learned to effectively use more disguises such as actresses, prostitutes or geisha. This allowed them to move freely within villages, towns, castles and temples, and get closer to their targets. Eventually, Chiyome and her kunoichi had set up an extensive network of some 200-300 agents that served the Takeda clan and Shingen was always informed of all activities, putting him one step ahead of his opponents at all times until his mysterious death in 1573.
Okuni (出雲の阿国 Izumo no Okuni, 1572 - ?) was the originator of kabuki theater. She was believed to be a miko at the Grand Shrine of Izumo who began performing this new style of dancing, singing, and acting in the dry riverbeds of Kyoto.
Yamagata Masakage (山県 昌景, 1524 – June 29, 1575) was one of the 24 generals of the Takeda clan. He was famous for his red armour and skill in battlefield. He was the younger brother of Obu Toramasa who was also a retainer of Shingen leading the famous "red fire unit" (derived from Shingen's slogan Fūrinkazan). After his brother committed Seppuku as a cover for Takeda Yoshinobu's failed rebellion, Masakage took the red fire unit title and outfitted his cavalry in bright red armor. It was said that his cavalry would always charge first in battle; sowing confusion and panic in the enemy ranks.
Minamoto no Tametomo (源 為朝, 1139 – April 23, 1170) (also known as Chinzei Hachirō Tametomo (鎮西 八郎 為朝?)) was a samurai who fought in the Hōgen Rebellion of 1156. Tametomo is known in the epic chronicles as a powerful archer and it is said that he once sunk an entire Taira ship with a single arrow by puncturing its hull below the waterline. It is also added in many legends that his left arm was about 6 in. longer than his right, enabling a longer draw of the arrow, and more powerful shots.
Momochi Tanba no Kami (百地 三太夫, c. 1525 – c. 1585) is known as one of the founders of Iga ryu ninjutsu, and trained many of the most famous ninjas of the day (among them are Hattori Hanzo and Ishikawa Goemon). He used many aliases and thus his history is as mysterious as a ninja leader’s history should be. During his life, Momochi was the founder of the Iga Ryu, as well as the soke (leader) of the Momochi Ryu, Koto Ryu, and the Gyokko Ryu. He fought with unorthodox styles designed to make his opponents think he was unskilled. When fighting he would reflect light into opponents’ eyes, strike them in a pressure point, then maneuver in for a kill or a lock. If in fact he was also Fujibayushi Nagato, he would have been soke of the Koga ninjas, and thus responsible for even more famous ninja deeds.
Tomoe Gozen (巴 御前?) (1157?–1247), pronounced [tomo.e], was a late twelfth-century female samurai warrior (onna bugeisha), known for her bravery and strength. She is believed to have fought in and survived the Genpei War (1180–1185). Tomoe was especially beautiful, with white skin, long hair, and charming features. She was also a remarkably strong archer, and as a swordswoman she was a warrior worth a thousand, ready to confront a demon or a god, mounted or on foot. She handled unbroken horses with superb skill; she rode unscathed down perilous descents. Whenever a battle was imminent, Yoshinaka sent her out as his first captain, equipped with strong armor, an oversized sword, and a mighty bow; and she performed more deeds of valor than any of his other warriors.
Sanada Yukimura (衛門佐 幸村, 1567 – June 3, 1615 (Keichō 20. 5.7)) was a Japanese samurai, the second son of the Sengoku period daimyo Sanada Masayuki (1544–1611). He and his father were known as excellent military tacticians. Though their army was very small, they won many battles in which they were outnumbered. Sanada Yukimura was called "A Hero who may appear once in a hundred years" and "Crimson Demon of War", and the famed veteran of the invasion of Korea, Shimazu Tadatsune, called him the "Number one warrior in Japan" (日本一の兵?).
Wang Yi was the wife of Zhao Ang, an official who lived in the late Eastern Han dynasty and was aligned with the faction that would later become the state of Cao Wei in the Three Kingdoms period. She is known for her morally upright character and for supporting her husband during their conflict with the warlord Ma Chao. During the siege of Jicheng by Ma Chao, Wang Yi donned a battledress, armed herself with a bow and arrows, and assisted Zhao Ang in defending the city from Ma's forces.
Dame Alice Kyteler, born 1280 in Kilkenny, Ireland, the only child of an established Hiberno-Norman family, was a woman who was the earliest person accused and condemned for witchcraft in Ireland. She fled the country, but her servant Petronella de Meath was flogged and burned at the stake.
Artemisia I of Caria (Ancient Greek: Ἀρτεμισία) was the queen of the Achaemenid Persian satrapy of Caria, who inherited the throne from her father, the satrap Lygdamis. Artemisia participated in the Battle of Salamis in September, 480 BC as a Persian ally commanding five ships. She was one of Xerxes' generals and the only female general.
Frederick I Barbarossa (1122 – 10 June 1190) was a German Holy Roman Emperor. The name Barbarossa came from the northern Italian cities he attempted to rule, and means "red beard" in Italian – a mark of both fear and respect. In German, he was known as Kaiser Rotbart, which has the same meaning. He was the son of Duke Frederick II of the Hohenstaufen dynasty. His mother was Judith, daughter of Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria, from the rival House of Welf. (see also Henry the Lion)
Boudica was queen of the British Iceni tribe, a Celtic tribe who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire. An estimated 70,000–80,000 Romans and British were killed in the three cities pillaged by those led by Boudica. The crisis caused the Emperor Nero to consider withdrawing all Roman forces from Britain, but Suetonius' eventual victory over Boudica confirmed Roman control of the province. Boudica then either killed herself so she would not be captured, or fell ill and died.
Cha aka Chanoir is a graffiti artist based in Barcelona, Spain. He was born in Bogotá and raised in Paris where he began his graffiti. He is best known for his eponymous cat character, Cha. "Over time, his cats began to take on their own personalities and went on from the Parisian streets to become famous on the Barcelona graffiti scene." Le Chat Noir (The Black Cat) was also the name of the first modern cabaret in the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris.
Admiral of the Fleet Edward Hawke, 1st Baron Hawke KB, PC (21 February 1705 – 16 October 1781) was an officer of the Royal Navy. He is best remembered for his service during the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), particularly his victory over a French fleet at the Battle of Quiberon Bay in 1759, preventing a French invasion of Britain. A number of Royal Navy warships were named after him, in commemoration of this. He had also won an earlier victory, the Battle of Cape Finisterre in 1747 which made his name. Hawke acquired a reputation as a "fighting officer" which allowed his career to prosper, despite him possessing a number of political enemies. He developed the concept of a Western Squadron, keeping an almost continuous blockade of the French coast throughout the war.
Hawke also served as First Lord of the Admiralty for five years between 1766 and 1771. In this post, he oversaw the mobilisation of the British navy during the 1770 Falklands Crisis.
(Báthory Erzsébet in Hungarian; 7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) was a countess from the renowned Báthory family of nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary. She has been labelled the most prolific female serial killer in history, though the precise number of her victims is debated. Báthory and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls between 1585 and 1610. The highest number of victims cited during Báthory's trial was 650.
The stories of her serial murders and brutality are verified by the testimony of more than 300 witnesses and survivors as well as physical evidence and the presence of horribly mutilated dead, dying and imprisoned girls found at the time of her arrest. Stories which ascribe to her vampire-like tendencies (most famously the tale that she bathed in the blood of virgins to retain her youth) were generally recorded years after her death and are considered unreliable. Her story quickly became part of national folklore, and her infamy persists to this day. She is often compared with Vlad of Wallachia, on whom the fictional Count Dracula is partly based, and has been nicknamed The Blood Countess and Countess Dracula
Flavius Odoacer (433–493), also known as Flavius Odovacer (German: Odoaker), was a soldier, who in 476 became the first King of Italy (476–493). His reign is commonly seen as marking the end of the Western Roman Empire. Though the real power in Italy was in his hands, he represented himself as the client of Julius Nepos and, after Nepos' death in 480, of the Emperor in Constantinople. Odoacer generally used the Roman honorific patrician, granted by the Emperor Zeno, but is referred to as a king (Latin rex) in many documents and he himself used it at least once and on another occasion it was used by the consul Basilius. Odoacer introduced few important changes into the administrative system of Italy. He had the support of the Roman Senate and was able to distribute land to his followers without much opposition. Unrest among his warriors led to violence in 477–478, but no such disturbances occurred during the later period of his reign. Although Odoacer was an Arian Christian, he rarely intervened in the affairs of the orthodox and trinitarian state church of the Roman Empire.
As a living human, Hydarnes (Ancient Greek: Ὑδάρνης; Old Persian Vidarna "the ripper") was an eminent Persian of the Achaemenid Dynasty and a military General of the "Ten Thousand Immortals" during the time of king Xerxes' invasion of Greece. Hydarnes is best known for having commanded the Immortals at the battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC against the defending Greek armies, commanded by Leonidas
Gilles de Montmorency-Laval (prob. c. September 1405 – 26 October 1440), Baron de Rais, was a knight and lord from Brittany, Anjou and Poitou, a leader in the French army, and a companion-in-arms of Joan of Arc. He is best known for his reputation and later conviction as a confessed serial killer of children.
A member of the House of Montmorency-Laval, Gilles de Rais grew up under the tutelage of his maternal grandfather and increased his fortune by marriage. He earned the favour of the Duke of Brittany and was admitted to the French court. From 1427 to 1435, Gilles served as a commander in the Royal Army, and fought alongside Joan of Arc against the English and their Burgundian allies during the Hundred Years' War, for which he was appointed Marshal of France.
In 1434/1435, he retired from military life, depleted his wealth by staging an extravagant theatrical spectacle of his own composition, and was accused of dabbling in the occult. After 1432 Gilles was accused of engaging in a series of child murders, with victims possibly numbering in the hundreds. The killings came to an end in 1440, when a violent dispute with a clergyman led to an ecclesiastical investigation which brought the crimes to light, and attributed them to Gilles. At his trial the parents of missing children in the surrounding area and Gilles' own confederates in crime testified against him. Gilles was condemned to death and hanged at Nantes on 26 October 1440.
William I (Old Norman: Williame I, French: Guillaume I; c. 1028 – 9 September 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. The descendant of Viking raiders, he had been Duke of Normandy since 1035 under the style William II. After a long struggle to establish his power, by 1060 his hold on Normandy was secure, and he launched the Norman conquest of England in 1066. The rest of his life was marked by struggles to consolidate his hold over England and his continental lands and by difficulties with his eldest son.
Henry the Lion (German: Heinrich der Löwe; 1129 – 6 August 1195) was a member of the Welf dynasty, and the Duke of both Saxony and Bavaria. A brilliant politician and commander, he maintained, at the height of his power, a territory that stretched from the Baltic and North Seas to the Alps, and from Westphalia to Pomerania. He was the most powerful German prince in the 12th century until he was defeated by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. (see also Barabarossa)
Hereward the Wake (also known as Hereward the Outlaw or Hereward the Exile, c. 1035 – c.1072) was an 11th-century leader of local resistance to the Norman conquest of England. Hereward's base, when leading the rebellion against the Norman rulers, was in the Isle of Ely, and according to legend he roamed The Fens, covering North Cambridgeshire, Southern Lincolnshire and West Norfolk, leading popular opposition to William the Conqueror.
Isabella I (Spanish: Isabel I, Old Spanish: Ysabel I; Madrigal de las Altas Torres, 22 April 1451–Medina del Campo, 26 November 1504) was Queen of Castille. She was married to Ferdinand II of Aragon. Their marriage became the basis for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. After a struggle to claim her right to the throne, she reorganized the governmental system, brought the crime rate to the lowest it had been in years, and unburdened the kingdom of the enormous debt her brother had left behind. Her reforms and those she made with her husband had an influence that extended well beyond the borders of their united kingdoms. Isabella and Ferdinand are known for completing the Reconquista, ordering conversion or exile of their Muslim and Jewish subjects in the Spanish Inquisition, and for supporting and financing Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage that led to the opening of the New World and to the establishment of Spain as the first global power who dominated Europe and much of the world for more than a century. In most instances, she was more influential than her husband. Isabella was granted the title Servant of God by the Catholic Church in 1974.
Joan of Arc (French: Jeanne d'Arc ; ca. 1412 – 30 May 1431), nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans", is a folk heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. She was born a peasant girl in what is now eastern France. Claiming divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, which paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII of France. She was captured by the Burgundians and was burned at the stake for heresy when she was 19 years old. Note: Jeanne was neither a Templar nor a Knight.
Julia Caesaris (Classical Latin: IVLIA•CAESARIS), c. 76 BC–54 BC, was the daughter of Roman dictator Gaius Julius Caesar, by his first wife, Cornelia Cinna, and his only child in marriage. Julia became the fourth wife of Pompey the Great and was renowned for her beauty and virtue.
Marcus Aurelius (/ɔːˈriːliəs/; Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; 26 April 121 AD – 17 March 180 AD) was a Roman Emperor from 161 to 180. He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161 until Verus' death in 169. He was the last of the Five Good Emperors, and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers.
During his reign, the Empire defeated a revitalized Parthian Empire in the East; Aurelius' general Avidius Cassius sacked the capital Ctesiphon in 164. In central Europe, Aurelius fought the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians with success during the Marcomannic Wars, with the threat of the Germanic tribes beginning to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. A revolt in the East led by Avidius Cassius failed to gain momentum and was suppressed immediately.
Marcus Aurelius' Stoic tome Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration.
Marcus Licinius Crassus (/ˈkræsəs/; Latin: M·LICINIVS·P·F·P·N·CRASSVS; c. 115 BC – 53 BC) was a Roman general and politician who played a key role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Amassing an enormous fortune during his life, Crassus is considered the wealthiest man in Roman history, and among the richest men in all history, if not the wealthiest.
Crassus began his public career as a military commander under Lucius Cornelius Sulla during his civil war. Following Sulla's assumption of the dictatorship, Crassus amassed an enormous fortune through real estate speculation. Crassus rose to political prominence following his victory over the slave revolt led by Spartacus, sharing the Consulship with his rival Pompey the Great.
A political and financial patron of Julius Caesar, Crassus joined Caesar and Pompey in the unofficial political alliance known as the First Triumvirate. Together the three men dominated the Roman political system. The alliance would not last indefinitely due to the ambitions, egos, and jealousies of the three men. While Caesar and Crassus were lifelong allies, Crassus and Pompey disliked each other and Pompey grew increasingly envious of Caesar's spectacular successes in the Gallic Wars. The alliance was re-stabilized at the Lucca Conference in 56 BC, after which Crassus and Pompey again served jointly as Consuls. Following his second Consulship, Crassus was appointed as the Governor of Roman Syria. Crassus used Syria as the launchpad for a military campaign against the Parthian Empire, Rome's long-time Eastern enemy. Crassus' campaign was a disastrous failure, resulting in his defeat and death at the Battle of Carrhae.
Crassus' death permanently unraveled the alliance between Caesar and Pompey. Within four years of Crassus' death, Caesar would cross the Rubicon and begin a civil war against Pompey and the Optimates.
Margery Kempe (c. 1373–after 1438) was the woman who dictated The Book of Margery Kempe, the earliest surviving autobiography written in English. The story begins with the madness and spiritual crisis that followed the difficult birth of her first child. A vision of Christ returns her to her senses, and from that day onwards she continues to see and hear Christ in her mind. The book chronicles her pilgrimages to various holy sites as well as her mystical conversations with Christ, spanning over forty years.
Nicolas Flamel was a successful French scrivener and manuscript-seller. After his death Flamel developed a reputation as an alchemist. However, these legendary accounts only appeared in the seventeenth century. According to texts ascribed to Flamel almost two hundred years after his death, he had learned alchemical secrets from a Jewish converso on the road to Santiago de Compostela. As Deborah Harkness put it, "Others thought Flamel was the creation of 17th-century editors and publishers desperate to produce modern printed editions of supposedly ancient alchemical treatises then circulating in manuscript for an avid reading public." He has since appeared as a legendary alchemist in various fictional works. According to the legend, he found the Philosopher's stone and achieved immortality.
Paracelsus, born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, (11 November or 17 December 1493 – 24 September 1541) was a Swiss German Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and general occultist. He founded the discipline of toxicology. He is also known as a revolutionary for insisting upon using observations of nature, rather than looking to ancient texts, in open and radical defiance of medical practice of his day. He is also credited for giving zinc its name, calling it zincum. Modern psychology often also credits him for being the first to note that some diseases are rooted in psychological conditions.
His personality was stubborn and independent. He grew progressively more frustrated and bitter as he became more embattled as a reformer.
"Paracelsus", meaning "next (in his status as physician) to Celsus" or "beyond Celsus", refers to the Roman encyclopedist Aulus Cornelius Celsus from the 1st century, known for his tract on medicine.
Paracelsus' most important legacy is likely his critique of the scholastic methods in medicine, science and theology. Although these faculties did not exist separate from each other during his time, his attitudes towards the uncritical copy of the teachings of the old Fathers of Medicine, such as Avicenna and Averroes, without categorically denying their obvious merits, was his first and foremost achievement for independent and empirical approaches to research and teaching. Much of his theoretical work does not withstand modern scientific thought, but his insights laid the foundation for a more dynamic approach in the medical sciences.
The Pontifex Maximus (Latin, literally: "greatest pontiff") was the high priest of the College of Pontiffs (Collegium Pontificum) in ancient Rome. This was the most important position in the ancient Roman religion, open only to patricians until 254 BC, when a plebeian first occupied this post. A distinctly religious office under the early Roman Republic, it gradually became politicized until, beginning with Augustus, it was subsumed into the Imperial office. Its last use with reference to the emperors is in inscriptions of Gratian (reigned 375–383) who, however, then decided to omit the words "pontifex maximus" from his title.The word "pontifex" later became a term used for Christian bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, and the title of "Pontifex Maximus" was applied within the Roman Catholic Church to the Pope as its chief bishop. It is not included in the Pope's official titles, but appears on buildings, monuments and coins of popes of Renaissance and modern times.
Richard I (8 September 1157 – 6 April 1199) was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death. He was known as Richard Cœur de Lion, or Richard the Lionheart, even before his accession, because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior. He also participated in crusades, but was eventually captured during the war.
Spartacus (111–71 BC) was a Thracian gladiator who, along with the Gauls Crixus, Oenomaus, Castus and Gannicus, was one of the escaped slave leaders in the Third Servile War, a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic. Little is known about Spartacus beyond the events of the war, and surviving historical accounts are sometimes contradictory and may not always be reliable. However, all sources agree that he was a former gladiator and an accomplished military leader.
This rebellion, interpreted by some as an example of oppressed people fighting for their freedom against a slave-owning oligarchy, has provided inspiration for many political thinkers, and has been featured in literature, television, and film. Although this is not contradicted by classical historians, no historical account mentions that the goal was to end slavery in the Republic, nor do any of the actions of the rebel leaders, who themselves committed numerous atrocities, seem specifically aimed at ending slavery.
Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (1431–1476), was a member of the House of Drăculești, a branch of the House of Basarab, also known by his patronymic name: Dracula. He was posthumously dubbed Vlad the Impaler (Romanian: Vlad Țepeș pronounced [ˈvlad ˈt͡sepeʃ]), and was a three-time Voivode of Wallachia, ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462, the period of the incipient Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. His father, Vlad II Dracul, was a member of the Order of the Dragon, which was founded to protect Christianity in Eastern Europe. Vlad III is revered as a folk hero in Romania as well as other parts of Europe for his protection of the Romanian population both south and north of the Danube. A significant number of Romanian and Bulgarian common folk and remaining boyars (nobles) moved north of the Danube to Wallachia, recognized his leadership and settled there following his raids on the Ottomans.
As the cognomen 'The Impaler' suggests, his practice of impaling his enemies is central to his historical reputation. During his lifetime, his reputation for excessive cruelty spread abroad, to Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The total number of his victims is estimated in the tens of thousands. The name of the vampire Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula was inspired by Vlad's patronymic.
Captain William Kidd (c. 22 January 1645 – 23 May 1701) was a Scottish sailor who was tried and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean. Some modern historians deem his piratical reputation unjust, as there is evidence that Kidd acted only as a privateer. Kidd's fame springs largely from the sensational circumstances of his questioning before the English Parliament and the ensuing trial. His actual depredations on the high seas, whether piratical or not, were both less destructive and less lucrative than those of many other contemporary pirates and privateers.
Zenobia (240 – c. 275 Greek: Ζηνοβία)) was a 3rd-century Queen of the Palmyrene Empire in Roman Syria. She led a famous revolt against the Roman Empire. The second wife of King Septimius Odaenathus, Zenobia became queen of the Palmyrene Empire following Odaenathus' death in 267. By 269, Zenobia had expanded the empire, conquering Egypt and expelling the Roman prefect, Tenagino Probus, who was beheaded after he led an attempt to recapture the territory. She ruled over Egypt until 274, when she was defeated and taken as a hostage to Rome by Emperor Aurelian.
Hatshepsut (also Hatchepsut; meaning Foremost of Noble Ladies) 1508–1458 BC was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Ancient Egypt. Hatshepsut came to the throne of Egypt in 1478 BC. Officially, she ruled jointly with Thutmose III who had ascended to the throne as a child one year earlier. Hatshepsut was the chief wife of Thutmose II, Thutmose III’s father. She is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty.
Narmer was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Early Dynastic Period. Probably the successor to the Protodynastic pharaohs Scorpion and/or Ka, some consider him the unifier of Egypt and founder of the First Dynasty. Therefore, it is said he was the first pharaoh of unified Egypt.