Nowadays it may be easy to recognize certain figures. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates will go down in history as hard working and magnanimous individuals. Vladimir Putin will be infamous to Western onlookers for the invasion of Ukraine after the 2014 Winter Olympics. Others, however, have had a huge impact on their respective epochs but just aren't recognized today. We may call someone "Hitler" for having an austere and malicious character or “Caesar” for their megalomania, but who are those historical figures that we've forgotten along the way?
This list is devoted to historical figures that you may find in a textbook, but would have never heard about if it wasn't for that friend that took too much of an interest in historical French economic systems or ancient Greek poetry; people that may have been famous in their own time, but just don't get the recognition they deserve today. These figures may have been emperors, contributed important scientific theories, or they may have even wrote books you can find in your local store, but for some reason we've forgotten how much they truly influenced contemporary society.
18 Cesare Beccaria (1738AD-1794AD)
17 Cardinal Richelieu (1585AD-1642AD)
15 Bernard Mandeville (1670AD-1733AD)
13 Hesiod (c. 750BC- c. 650BC)
11 Marcus Aurelius (121AD-180AD)
9 The Q Source (???AD)
8 Leif Erikson (c. 1000AD- c.1100AD)
6 Thucydides (c.460BC-c.395BC)
4 Pierre Bayle (1647AD-1706AD)
2 John Dalton (1766AD-1844AD)
Atomism, the idea that all things are composites that can be reduced to a single, indivisible substance, has been around for millennia. However, modern science, as it is today, did not adopt such a position so strongly until it was forwarded by a man named John Dalton. Like any scientist will tell you, proof for a phenomenon must be quite substantial for it to be accepted, and problematically, many atomic theories were no more than conjecture. The corpuscularians, contemporaneous with Dalton, posited that atoms are differently shaped and bind by bumping into other atoms with complementary curves and edges. Dalton, however, advanced the argument that what sets atoms apart is their dissimilar weights, a theory that is widely accepted by the contemporary scientific community. So, what’s the upshot of all this? Well it’s simple really. Without Dalton, we wouldn't even be able to say what we're made of. Seems like kind of a fundamental question, no?
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