INTERMISSION: Lineal Champions of the past 5500 years

Here is a list of the most historically significant person alive from 3500 BC through AD 2000. Using the Pantheon.World rankings (check out their site for methodology), I ranked the “most significant” people alive at any given time and created a timeline where the championship belt, as it were, was passed from one historical figure to another. “Most significant” does not necessarily mean “best”, but rather most impactful – either during their lifetime, after their death, or both. See below the Champions of Light and the Champions of Dark. (Rankings exported March, 2020)

Interestingly, since the 8th Century BCE when the Arts and Philosophy began to take off, there have been exactly 53 Champions of Expression (Art/Philosophy/Science) and 53 Champions of Institution (Military/Politics/Religion). The balance between Light and Dark persists.

PersonOccupationBirthDeathBirthplace
Stephen HawkingPhysicist19422018United Kingdom
Nelson MandelaSocial Activist19182013South Africa
Mao ZedongPolitician18931976China
Adolf HitlerPolitician18891945Austria
Albert EinsteinPhysicist18791955Germany
Vladimir LeninPolitician18701924Russia
Thomas EdisonInventor18471931United States
Karl MarxEconomist18181883Germany
Charles DarwinBiologist18091882United Kingdom
Carl Friedrich GaussMathematician17771855Germany
Ludwig van BeethovenComposer17701827Germany
NapoleonPolitician17691821France
Thomas JeffersonPolitician17431826United States
Wolfgang Amadeus MozartComposer17561791Austria
Adam SmithEconomist17231790United Kingdom
Johann Sebastian BachComposer16851750Germany
Isaac NewtonPhysicist16431726United Kingdom
Louis XIV of FrancePolitician16381715France
RembrandtPainter16061669Netherlands
René DescartesPhilosopher15961650France
Galileo GalileiAstronomer15641642Italy
William ShakespeareWriter15641616United Kingdom
Elizabeth I of EnglandPolitician15331603United Kingdom
MichelangeloPainter14751564Italy
Martin LutherReligion14831546Germany
Nicolaus CopernicusAstronomer14731543Poland
Leonardo da VinciInventor14521519Italy
Christopher ColumbusExplorer14511506Italy
Vlad the ImpalerPolitician14311476Romania
Johannes GutenbergInventor13941468Germany
Jan HusSocial Activist13691415Czech Republic
TimurMilitary13361405Uzbekistan
PetrarchWriter13041374Italy
Marco PoloExplorer12541324Italy
Thomas AquinasPhilosopher12251274Italy
RumiWriter12071273Afghanistan
Genghis KhanMilitary11621227Mongolia
SaladinPolitician11381193Iraq
Hildegard of BingenReligion10981179Germany
Omar KhayyamMathematician10481131Iran
Lady GodivaSocial Activist9901076United Kingdom
AvicennaPhilosopher9801037Uzbekistan
Erik the RedExplorer9501003Norway
Otto IPolitician912973Germany
Al-FarabiPhilosopher872951Kazakhstan
Harald FairhairPolitician850933Norway
Alfred the GreatPolitician848899United Kingdom
Charles the BaldPolitician823877Germany
M. ibn Musa al-KhwarizmiMathematician780850Turkmenistan
CharlemagnePolitician748814Spain
Pepin the ShortPolitician715768Belgium
Charles MartelMilitary688741Belgium
Wu ZetianPolitician624705China
AliReligion601661Saudi Arabia
UmarPolitician585644Saudi Arabia
MuhammadReligion570632Saudi Arabia
Pope Gregory IReligion540604Italy
Justinian IPolitician482565Macedonia
Clovis IPolitician466511Belgium
OdoacerPolitician433493Hungary
AttilaPolitician406453Hungary
Augustine of HippoPhilosopher354430Algeria
HypatiaMathematician350415Egypt
Athanasius of AlexandriaPhilosopher298373Egypt
Constantine the GreatPolitician272337Serbia
DiocletianPolitician244311Croatia
PlotinusPhilosopher203270Egypt
Zhuge LiangEngineer181234China
Liu BeiPolitician161223China
GalenPhysician129200Turkey
Marcus AureliusPolitician121180Italy
PtolemyAstronomer100170Egypt
HadrianPolitician76138Spain
TrajanPolitician53117Spain
John the ApostleReligion6100Israel
Saint PeterReligion-167Israel
JesusReligion-433Israel
Mary, mother of JesusReligion-2525Israel
AugustusPolitician-6314Italy
Julius CaesarPolitician-100-44Italy
CiceroPolitician-106-43Italy
SpartacusMilitary-109-71Greece
Gaius MariusPolitician-157-86Italy
Tiberius GracchusPolitician-163-133Italy
Cato the ElderWriter-234-149Italy
HannibalPolitician-247-183Tunisia
Qin Shi HuangPolitician-259-210China
ArchimedesMathematician-287-212Italy
EuclidMathematician-350-250Egypt
Alexander the GreatMilitary-356-323Greece
AristotlePhilosopher-384-322Greece
PlatoPhilosopher-427-347Greece
SocratesPhilosopher-470-399Greece
HerodotusHistorian-484-425Turkey
Gautama BuddhaPhilosopher-566-452India
ConfuciusPhilosopher-551-479China
LaoziPhilosopher-575-475China
PythagorasPhilosopher-570-495Greece
Cyrus the GreatPolitician-600-530Iran
Thales of MiletusPhilosopher-623-546Turkey
Emperor JimmuPolitician-700-585Japan
Numa PompiliusPolitician-753-673Italy
HesiodWriter-800-700Turkey
HomerWriter-800-700Turkey
Tiglath-Pileser IIIPolitician-775-727Iraq
DidoPolitician-839-759Tunisia
Shalmaneser IIIPolitician-900-824Iraq
Ashurnasirpal IIPolitician-925-859Iraq
Adad-nirari IIPolitician-950-891Iraq
SolomonReligion-1011-931Israel
DavidPolitician-1025-970Palestine
SaulReligion-1079-1010Palestine
King Wu of ZhouPolitician-1100-1043China
Tiglath-Pileser IPolitician-1150-1076Iraq
Nebuchadnezzar IPolitician-1150-1104Iraq
ZoroasterReligion-1200-1100Afghanistan
Ramesses IIINobleman-1217-1155Egypt
MerneptahPolitician-1225-1203Egypt
Ramesses IINobleman-1303-1213Egypt
Seti IPolitician-1323-1279Egypt
MosesReligion-1350-1275Egypt
HoremhebPolitician-1350-1292Egypt
TutankhamunPolitician-1342-1325Egypt
NefertitiCompanion-1370-1330Egypt
AkhenatenPolitician-1375-1336Egypt
Amenhotep IIIPolitician-1403-1350Egypt
Amenhotep IIPolitician-1450-1397Egypt
Thutmose IIIPolitician-1481-1425Egypt
HatshepsutPolitician-1525-1458Egypt
Thutmose IPolitician-1550-1493Egypt
Ahmose IPolitician-1575-1525Egypt
Mursili IPolitician-1575-1525Turkey
Labarna IPolitician-1600-1525Turkey
Yong JiPolitician-1600-1538China
Tai GengPolitician-1625-1567China
Tai JiaPolitician-1675-1611China
Tang of ShangPolitician-1700-1646China
Jie of XiaPolitician-1728-1675China
Samsu-ilunaPolitician-1792-1712Iraq
HammurabiPolitician-1825-1750Iraq
AbrahamReligion-1900-1800Iraq
Amenemhat IIIPolitician-1875-1814Egypt
Senusret IIIPolitician-1925-1838Egypt
Senusret IIPolitician-1950-1878Egypt
Senusret IPolitician-2000-1919Egypt
Amenemhat IPolitician-2025-1962Egypt
Mentuhotep IIIPolitician-2050-1998Egypt
Mentuhotep IIPolitician-2075-2010Egypt
Qi of XiaPolitician-2050-2017China
Yu the GreatPolitician-2123-2025China
ShulgiPolitician-2125-2046Iraq
Ur-NammuPolitician-2150-2094Iraq
Utu-hengalPolitician-2175-2125Iraq
GudeaPolitician-2200-2125Iraq
Dudu of AkkadPolitician-2225-2169Iraq
Pepi II NeferkarePolitician-2284-2200Egypt
Naram-Sin of AkkadPolitician-2275-2218Iraq
Sargon of AkkadPolitician-2350-2270Iraq
Lugal-zage-siPolitician-2325-2270Iraq
Emperor YaoPolitician-2350-2250China
TetiPolitician-2350-2290Egypt
UnasPolitician-2375-2315Egypt
Djedkare IsesiPolitician-2425-2350Egypt
Nyuserre IniPolitician-2450-2400Egypt
Neferirkare KakaiNobleman-2483-2425Egypt
SahurePolitician-2500-2450Egypt
UserkafPolitician-2525-2475Egypt
GilgameshPolitician-2500Iraq
ShepseskafPolitician-2550-2499Egypt
MenkaurePolitician-2550-2510Egypt
KhafraPolitician-2575-2530Egypt
DjedefrePolitician-2600-2560Egypt
KhufuPolitician-2625-2570Egypt
SneferuPolitician-2650-2580Egypt
Yellow EmporerPolitician-2700-2600China
HuniPolitician-2650-2600Egypt
SanakhtPolitician-2675-2630Egypt
ImhotepArchitect-2700-2650Egypt
DjoserPolitician-2700-2650Egypt
KhasekhemwyPolitician-2750-2686Egypt
SenedjPolitician-2800-2750Egypt
NynetjerPolitician-2800-2750Egypt
NebraPolitician-2850-2800Egypt
HotepsekhemwyPolitician-2900-2850Egypt
FuxiPolitician-2900China
Qa’aPolitician-2950-2880Egypt
SemerkhetPolitician-2950-2910Egypt
AnedjibPolitician-2950-2920Egypt
DenPolitician-3000-2930Egypt
MerneithPolitician-3000-2950Egypt
DjetPolitician-3000-2980Egypt
DjerPolitician-3050-3000Egypt
NeithhotepCompanion-3100Egypt
Hor-AhaPolitician-3100-3050Egypt
NarmerPolitician-3150-3100Egypt
MenesPolitician-3200-3100Egypt
Iry-HorPolitician-3200Egypt
Double FalconPolitician-3200Egypt
CrocodilePolitician-3200Egypt
Scorpion IIPolitician-3200Egypt
Scorpion IPolitician-3200Egypt
ÖtziCelebrity-3345-3300Italy
MekhPolitician-3500Egypt
WaznerPolitician-3500Egypt
NehebPolitician-3500Egypt
TiuPolitician-3500Egypt
KhayuPolitician-3500Egypt