Trader Marco Polo was one of the first Europeans to travel to China, staying away from his homeland in Italy for 24 years before returning. After he came back to Italy, Marco wrote of his travels and adventures in East Asia in his book, Il Milione, sharing his tales with other Europeans. Polo changed the way Europeans saw the world by opening their eyes to the wonderful culture and people of China. Learn the story of one of the worlds most famous explorers and traders in Marco Polo: 13th-Century Italian Trader.
Robert F. Scott led two British Navy missions to explore Antarctica, each one lasting several years. On his second trip to the Antarctic, Scott and his team made it to the South Pole, but they found a group from Norway had beaten them to it. Though Scott and his team died in the cold on the way back from the South Pole, the British Navy officer and explorer is remembered today for his brave and curious spirit. Learn the story of one of Britain's most famous explorers in Robert F. Scott: British Explorer of the South Pole.
Captain James Cook is one of the most famous explorers of all time. His discoveries include parts of Australia, islands in the Pacific, and parts of the Hawaiian Islands. Cook sailed to distant places from Antarctica to New Zealand, making maps and collecting information as he traveled. Today, we remember Captain Cook for his major discoveries and his leadership of his crew. Learn the story of one of the most important explorers in history in Captain James Cook: British Explorer.
At the age of 29, a man named Siddhartha left his home near the Himalayan Mountains. Born to a noble family, Siddhartha wanted to leave his luxurious life to better understand suffering and pain. After six years of prayer and fasting, Siddhartha found enlightenment by letting go of the desires that cause pain. Siddhartha became Buddha, and began teaching his ideas to any who would listen. Today, Buddhism is one of the worlds largest religions, with followers around the globe. Learn the story of one of the most influential spiritual leaders of all time in Buddha: Father of Buddhism.
Confucius was a teacher and philosopher living in fifth-century China. His ideas about the ways people should behave and treat each other are still part of Chinese culture and education, with Chinese students studying his ideas almost 2,500 years after his death. In the modern world, few philosophers are as well known or as often quoted as Confucius. Learn the story of one of the most important philosophers of all time in Confucius: Great Chinese Philosopher.
In 1937, a group of Tibetan monks searched for a young boy who was the reborn soul of the Dalai Lama, their nations spiritual and political leader. After the monks found the boy living in a small cottage, he moved to a mountain palace and became the fourteenth Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama lived as a monk, meditating and praying, advocating love and peace. After China tried to invade Tibet, the Dalai Lama had to escape his homeland and go to India, where he would spend many years working to free Tibet from Chinese control. Learn the story of one of the worlds most important spiritual leaders and peace activists in Dalai Lama: Spiritual Leader of Tibet.
A German composer born in the 1700s, Ludwig van Beethoven has given the world some of the most well-known and long-lasting music of all time. From his Fr Elise to his 9th Symphony (in which a choir sings words from the poem Ode to Joy), Beethoven's music is still loved, almost 200 years after his death. Amazingly, Beethoven composed music while being unable to hear almost anything from the time he was 26, a feat which makes his brilliant compositions all the more wonderful. Few musicians have had the incredible impact on music that Beethoven had. Learn the story of one of the most important musical composers of all time in Ludwig van Beethoven: Great Composer.