Top Ten Historical Figures

Ever wonder if those Wikipedia pages we occasionally peruse really matter? Steve Skiena and Charles Ward think that they do. These guys used quantitative analysis to rank and compare historical reputations. They evaluated each person by aggregating the traces of millions of opinions, just as Google ranks webpages, and came up with this list.

Looking at their top ten, I find it interesting that the list includes famous and infamous types. Causes me to ponder which folks have impacted history the most. Seeing Shakespeare in the number three spot helps me to remember that often the pen is mightier than the sword. Seeing Aristotle in the ranks of political leaders reminds me that great thoughts and ideas are powerful. Lastly, the rankings of Jesus and Muhammad communicate to us about the influence of spiritual leaders on planet earth. What do you think of the list? Do you agree with the rankings? Would you replace anyone?


  1. The list looks good to me. I don't know much about Alexander the Great so I have some homework to do now. A couple of people that might make the top one hundred would be the young architects of the Russian Revolution, Albert Einstein, and that one of those Mao dudes from China.

  2. I think there are a few missing: Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Buddha, Bruce Springsteen (oops...I just threw the last one in for grins)


I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply. You can click here to see my comment policy.