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.
Charles Darwins On the Origin of Species changed the way we understand the beginnings of life on earth. Darwins ideas challenged people to think differently, to question long-held beliefs, and to explore a new field of scientific discovery. As a young man, Darwin worked to join the priesthood, but his life took a turn toward science after he joined a government mission to South America and the Pacific. Darwins work on the trip pushed him to come up with new ideas about life and nature, including his famous theory of evolution. Learn the story of one of the most important scientific thinkers of all time in Charles Darwin: British Naturalist.
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.
Known for his art, inventions, and ideas, Leonardo da Vinci is the definition of a Renaissance Man, someone able to succeed in many different areas. Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and The Last Supper are two of the most famous paintings in history. His sketches of inventions and the human body have stayed in the minds of people for hundreds of years. Da Vincis work and ideas have lived on long after he died, inspiring creative people in the modern world to reach new heights. Learn the story of one of the most important artists of all time in Leonardo da Vinci: Renaissance Painter.
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), Beethovens 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.
Gandhis use of nonviolence to change his country inspired the world. His work to end 200 years of British rule in his home country of India changed the nation forever, but it also changed the way other people around the world fought for their freedom and human rights. Gandhis ideas led great people from Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Dalai Lama to use nonviolence to work for change in their own countries. Today, Gandhi is remembered as one of the greatest leaders of all time. Learn about the story of one of the worlds most important spiritual and political leaders in Mohandas Gandhi: Spiritual Leader.
Driven by a love of God and a desire to help make life better for the poor and the sick, Mother Teresa worked for her entire life to change the world for the better. She founded a Catholic charity that works to help children and the poor in more than 130 countries. In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her tireless work to help and care for others. Today, Mother Teresa is remembered for the change she brought to the lives of people around the world. Learn the story of one of the worlds most important religious and charity activists in Mother Teresa: Religious Humanitarian.