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.
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.
A painter, poet, sculptor, and more, Michelangelo was one of the most important artists that ever lived. Many of Michelangelos works are among the most famous in the world, visited by tourists from around the world every day. His painting in the Sistine Chapel in Rome has impressed and inspired people for centuries. His sculpture David is known around the globe. Learn the story of one of the most important artists of all time in Michelangelo: Renaissance Artist.
Few writers have had nearly the same effect on the English language as William Shakespeare. His plays and poems have been popular around the world for hundreds of years, long after Shakespeare himself had died. From Romeo & Juliet to Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote some of the most famous comedies and tragedies in history, stories both hilarious and horrible. Learn the story of one of the most important writers of all time in William Shakespeare: Great English Playwright & Poet.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the worlds best-known composers, began playing music at a very early age and became a professional musician when he was only 17. He went on to compose hundreds of pieces of musicmany of which are among the most famous in musical historyand influence composer Ludwig van Beethoven. More than 200 years after his death, Mozarts music is still among the most respected and beloved in the world. Learn the story of one of the most important composers of all time in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: World-Famous Composer.
As a child, Albert Einstein was quiet and awkward. He had trouble making friends and problems with learning in the classroom. As Albert grew up, he began to use his mind in ways he didnt learn in school, leading him to become an expert in math and science. Einsteins ideas helped change the way scientists thought of the world around us and change the course of history in the atomic age. Today, Einstein is one of historys most famous scientists, and his theories have shaped science for decades. Learn about one of the most important scientists of all time in Albert Einstein: Great Scientist.
Modern life would be very different without the ideas of brilliant Greek scholar Archimedes. From the simple lever to complicated machines, his work in mathematics, physics, engineering, and astronomy helped to shape the world we live in today. Few thinkers of any time period have had as big an impact on math and science as the genius Archimedes. Learn the story of one of the most important mathematic thinkers of all time in Archimedes: Ancient Greek Mathematician.
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 travelled. 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.
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.
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.
Jesus Christ: Influential Spiritual Leader During his lifetime, Jesus Christ worked hard to teach the world about love and the meaning of life. More than 2,000 years later, his teachings and ideas still form the foundation of one of the worlds largest religions, helping and guiding hundreds of millions of people around the world. Jesus life was marked by his sacrifices for others, and it can still be an example to people everywhere, no matter their religious beliefs. Learn the story of one of historys most important religious teachers in Jesus Christ: Influential Spiritual Leader.
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.
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.
French painter Paul Gauguin may not have been appreciated while he was alive, but his work later inspired many of the worlds most famous artists, including Pablo Picasso. In the century since his death, Gauguins work has become better known and more respected. He is famous for his use of color and unique style. Gauguins work set him apart from other French painters of his time and helped to establish the style of Symbolism. Learn the story of one of the most influential artists of all time in Paul Gauguin: 18th-Century French Painter.
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 Britains most famous explorers in Robert F. Scott: British Explorer of the South Pole.
Isaac Newtons exploration of the world around him has shaped the direction of science for the last few hundred years. Newtons ideas about gravity, light, color, and the way things move have all shaped the way we think about the way the world works. Few people have been as important to science as Sir Isaac Newton. Learn about the story of one of the worlds most influential scientific thinkers in Sir Isaac Newton: Famous English Scientist.
Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates ideas on how people should discuss, think about, and solve complicated problems have influenced centuries of thinkers in politics, law, and philosophy. The modern world would be very different without Socrates' method of asking questions about a problem to find the solution. Socrates thinking has shaped modern science, government, and education, as well as many other parts of everyday life. Learn the story of one of the most important philosophical thinkers of all time in Socrates: Greek Philosopher.
Vincent van Gogh is one of the most famous and influential painters who ever lived. His work and the dramatic story of his life have captured the minds of people from around the world for more than a century, inspiring artists and art fans alike. Few artists have had the kind of impact on their art that Vincent van Gogh has had on modern painting. Learn the story of one of the most important artists of all time in Vincent van Gogh: Modern Artist.
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.
After Christopher Columbus and other European adventurers landed in the Americas during the 15th and 16th centuries, the lands they explored were often called the "New World." However, North, South, and Central America were new only to the people of Europe. Native Americans had lived on the land for millions of years.In some cases, the natives and Europeans were able to live in peace and even learned from each other. Most of the time, however, the European invaders brought with them disease and violence, which spelled the end of the Native Americans' way of life.