Show Mobile Navigation

10 More Geniuses of 10 Fields of Human Activity

7raul7 . . . Comments

Following on from the recent list submitted by FlameHorse, a lot of readers, myself including, wanted people from other fields too. So I took upon the job of writing about 10 more geniuses. I hope you all like it and as always constructive criticism is welcomed. Hope to have a heated discussion.


Political Theorist
Niccolò Machiavelli


Niccolò Machiavelli was an Italian philosopher/writer, and is considered one of the main founders of modern political science. Since the sixteenth century, generations of politicians remain attracted and repelled by the cynical approach to power posited in The Prince and his other works. Whatever his personal intentions, which are still debated today, his surname yielded the modern political word Machiavellianism—the use of cunning and deceitful tactics in politics.

Machiavelli studied the way people lived and aimed to inform leaders how they should rule and even how they themselves should live. To an extent he admits that the old tradition was true – men are obliged to live virtuously as according to Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics principle. However, he denies that living virtuously necessarily leads to happiness. Machiavelli viewed misery as one of the vices that enables a prince to rule. Machiavelli states boldly in The Prince, The answer is, of course, that it would be best to be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved. In much of Machiavelli’s work, it seems that the ruler must adopt unsavory policies for the sake of the continuance of his regime.

Scholars have argued that James Madison followed Machiavelli’s republicanism when he (and Jefferson) set up the Democratic-Republican Party in the 1790s to oppose what they saw as the emerging aristocracy that they feared Alexander Hamilton was creating with the Federalist Party. Conservative historians likewise conclude that Thomas Jefferson’s republicanism was “deeply in debt” to Machiavelli, whom he praised. The Founding Fathers read Machiavelli closely. In his Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States, Adams praised Machiavelli, with Algernon Sidney and Montesquieu, as a philosophic defender of mixed government.




Rembrandt was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history and the most important in Dutch history. His contributions to art came in a period that historians call the Dutch Golden Age.

Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, his later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardship. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high, and for twenty years he taught nearly every important Dutch painter. Rembrandt’s greatest creative triumphs are exemplified especially in his portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible. His self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity. In both painting and printmaking he exhibited a complete knowledge of classical iconography.


Bertrand Russell

Lesson Ten (Author 7)

Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, socialist, pacifist and social critic. He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his protégé Wittgenstein and his elder Frege, and is widely held to be one of the 20th century’s premier logicians. He co-authored, with A. N. Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, an attempt to ground mathematics on logic. His philosophical essay “On Denoting” has been considered a “paradigm of philosophy.” Both works have had a considerable influence on logic, mathematics, set theory, linguistics, and philosophy.

The first of three volumes of Principia Mathematica, written with Whitehead, was published in 1910, which, along with the earlier The Principles of Mathematics, soon made Russell world famous in his field.

Principia Mathematica is an attempt to derive all mathematical truths from a well-defined set of axioms and inference rules in symbolic logic. One of the main inspirations and motivations for PM was Frege’s earlier work on logic, which had led to paradoxes discovered by Russell. Deeper theorems from real analysis were not included, but by the end of the third volume it was clear to experts that a large amount of known mathematics could in principle be developed in the adopted formalism. It was also clear how lengthy such a development would be. A fourth volume on the foundations of geometry had been planned, but the authors admitted to intellectual exhaustion upon completion of the third.

PM is widely considered by specialists in the subject to be one of the most important and seminal works in mathematical logic and philosophy since Aristotle’s Organon. The Modern Library placed it 23rd in a list of the top 100 English-language nonfiction books of the twentieth century.


Adam Smith

Adam-Smith-460 1371343C

Adam Smith was a Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economics. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. The latter, usually abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics. Smith is widely cited as the father of modern economics.

The Wealth of Nations, one of the earliest attempts to study the rise of industry and commercial development in Europe, was a precursor to the modern academic discipline of economics. In this and other works, Smith expounded how rational self-interest and competition can lead to economic prosperity and well-being. It also provided one of the best-known intellectual rationales for free trade and capitalism, greatly influencing the writings of later economists. Smith is often cited as the father of modern economics. Smith was controversial in his own day and his general approach and writing style was often satirized by Tory writers in the moralizing tradition of Hogarth and Swift, as a discussion at the University of Winchester suggests.

The bicentennial anniversary of the publication of The Wealth of Nations was celebrated in 1976, resulting in increased interest for The Theory of Moral Sentiments and his other works throughout academia. After 1976, Smith was more likely to be represented as the author of both The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and thereby as the founder of a moral philosophy and the science of economics. His homo economicus or “economic man” was also more often represented as a moral person. Additionally, his opposition to slavery, colonialism, and empire was emphasized, as were his statements about high wages for the poor, and his views that a common street porter was not intellectually inferior to a philosopher.


Military strategist
Kh?lid ibn al-Wal?d


Kh?lid ibn al-Wal?d was a companion of Muhammad, and one of the most successful commanders in history. Khalid is said to have fought around a hundred battles, both major battles and minor skirmishes, during his military career. Having remained undefeated, this fact makes him one of the finest generals in history. Khalid was the architect of most of the early Muslim military doctrines; he was pioneer of almost every major tactics that Muslims used during their lightning quick Early Islamic conquest. One of Khalid’s major achievements in this context was utilizing the individual skills of Arab Bedouin warriors to a larger scale. He is believed to have developed them into an almost regular unit called Mubarizun (“champions”), who would issue personal challenges to the enemy officers. These were highly trained and skilled swordsmen, whom Khalid utilized effectively to slay as many enemy high-ranking officers as possible, giving a psychological blow to enemy morale. The Battle of Ajnadayn is perhaps the best example of this form of psychological warfare.

Moreover his biggest achievement was the conversion of Arab tactical doctrine into a strategic system by which, after exhausting the enemy units, he would launch his cavalry at their flanks employing Hammer and Anvil tactics. Much of Khalid’s strategical and tactical genius lies in his use of extreme methods. He apparently put more emphasis on annihilating enemy troops, rather than achieving victory by simply defeating them. For instance his employment of the double envelopment maneuver against the numerically superior Persian army at the Battle of Walaja, and his brilliant maneuver at the Battle of Yarmouk where he virtually trapped the Byzantine army between three steep ravines by stealthily capturing their only escape route, a bridge, at their rear. This maneuver, in 13th century, became one of the Mongol armies’ principal maneuvers.

Khalid’s elite light cavalry, could charge at an incredible speed and would usually employ a common tactic of Kar wa far literary meaning “engage-disengage”. They would charge on enemy flanks and rear, their maneuverability making them very effective against heavily armored Byzantine and Sassanid cataphracts. Khalid’s famous flanking charge on the final day of the Battle of Yarmouk stands as testimony to just how well he understood the potentials and strengths of his mounted troops.


Hugo Grotius


Hugo Grotius also known as Huig de Groot or Hugo de Groot, worked as a jurist in the Dutch Republic. With Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili he laid the foundations for international law, based on natural law. He was also a philosopher, theologian, Christian apologist, playwright, and poet.

Grotius’s influence on international law is paramount, and is acknowledged by, for instance, the American Society of International Law, which since 1999 holds an annual series of Grotius Lectures. Living in the times of the Eighty Years’ War between Spain and the Netherlands and the Thirty Years’ War between Catholic and Protestant European nations, it is not surprising that Grotius was deeply concerned with matters of conflicts between nations and religions. His most lasting work, begun in prison and published during his exile in Paris, was a monumental effort to restrain such conflicts on the basis of a broad moral consensus.

De jure belli ac pacis libri tres (On the Law of War and Peace: Three books) was first published in 1625, dedicated to Grotius’ current patron, Louis XIII. The treatise advances a system of principles of natural law, which are held to be binding on all people and nations regardless of local custom.




Rhazes (Al Razi) was a Persian physician, alchemist and chemist, philosopher, and scholar. He is recognized as a polymath and Biographies of Razi, based on his writings, describe him as “perhaps the greatest clinician of all times.” Numerous “firsts” in medical research, including being the first to differentiate smallpox from measles among others are attributed to him. Edward Granville Browne considers him as “probably the greatest and most original of all the physicians…”

Rhazes made fundamental and enduring contributions to the fields of medicine, alchemy, music, and philosophy, recorded in over 200 books and articles in various fields of science. He made numerous advances in medicine through own observations and discoveries.

As a physician, he was an early proponent of experimental medicine and is considered the father of pediatrics. He was also a pioneer of neurosurgery and ophthalmology. He was among the first to use Humoralism to distinguish one contagious disease from another. In particular, Razi was the first physician to distinguish smallpox and measles through his clinical characterization of the two diseases. He became chief physician of Rayy and Baghdad hospitals. Razi Invented what today is known as rubbing alcohol.

Razi is also known for having discovered “allergic asthma,” and was the first physician ever to write articles on allergy and immunology. Rhazes contributed in many ways to the early practice of pharmacy by compiling texts, in which he introduces the use of ‘mercurial ointments’ and his development of apparatus such as mortars, flasks, spatulas and phials, which were used in pharmacies until the early twentieth century. On a professional level, Razi introduced many practical, progressive, medical and psychological ideas. He made a distinction between curable and incurable diseases. Pertaining to the latter, he commented that in the case of advanced cases of cancer and leprosy the physician should not be blamed when he could not cure them.

His monumental medical encyclopedia in nine volumes — known in Europe also as The Large Comprehensive or Continens Liber contains considerations and criticism on the Greek philosophers Aristotle and Plato, and expresses innovative views on many subjects. Because of this book alone, many scholars consider Razi the greatest medical doctor of the Middle Ages.


Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier


Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry, was a French noble prominent in the histories of chemistry and biology.

He stated the first version of the law of conservation of mass, recognized and named oxygen (1778) and hydrogen (1783), abolished the phlogiston theory, helped construct the metric system, wrote the first extensive list of elements, and helped to reform chemical nomenclature. He discovered that, although matter may change its form or shape, its mass always remains the same. Lavoisier’s fundamental contributions to chemistry were a result of a conscious effort to fit all experiments into the framework of a single theory. He established the consistent use of the chemical balance, used oxygen to overthrow the phlogiston theory, and developed a new system of chemical nomenclature which held that oxygen was an essential constituent of all acids (which later turned out to be erroneous. Lavoisier also contributed to early ideas on composition and chemical changes by stating the radical theory, believing that radicals, which function as a single group in a chemical process, combine with oxygen in reactions. He also introduced the possibility of allotropy in chemical elements when he discovered that diamond is a crystalline form of carbon.

He was essentially a theorist, and his great merit lay in the capacity of taking over experimental work that others had carried out—without always adequately recognizing their claims—and by a rigorous logical procedure, reinforced by his own quantitative experiments, of expounding the true explanation of the results. He completed the work of Black, Priestley and Cavendish, and gave a correct explanation of their experiments.


Ibn Khald?n


Ibn Khald?n was an Arab historian, born in North Africa in present-day Tunisia. He is best known for his Muqaddimah (known as Prolegomenon in the West), the first volume of his book on universal history, Kitab al-Ibar. Ibn Khald?n has left behind few works other than his history of the world. The Kit?bu l-ib?r, Ibn Khald?n’s main work, was originally conceived as a history of the Berbers. Later, the focus was widened so that in its final form to represent a so-called “universal history”. It is divided into seven books, the first of which, the Muqaddimah, can be considered a separate work. Books two to five cover the history of mankind up to the time of Ibn Khald?n. Books six and seven cover the history of the Berber peoples and the Maghreb.

The Muqaddimah is also held to be a foundational work for the schools of historiography, cultural history, and the philosophy of history. The Muqaddimah also laid the groundwork for the observation of the role of state, communication, propaganda and systematic bias in history. In the Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldun warned of seven mistakes that he thought that historians regularly committed. In this criticism, he approached the past as strange and in need of interpretation. The originality of Ibn Khaldun was to claim that the cultural difference of another age must govern the evaluation of relevant historical material, to distinguish the principles according to which it might be possible to attempt the evaluation, and lastly, to feel the need for experience, in addition to rational principles, in order to assess a culture of the past.

His historical method also laid the groundwork for the observation of the role of state, communication, propaganda and systematic bias in history, and he is thus considered to be the “father of historiography” or the “father of the philosophy of history”. The Muqaddimah is the earliest known work to critically examine military history. It criticizes certain accounts of historical battles that appear to be exaggerated, and takes military logistics into account when questioning the sizes of historical armies reported in earlier sources.


Galileo Galilei

474Px-Galileo Galilei 2

Galileo Galilei was an Italian astronomer, who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism. Galileo has been called the “father of modern observational astronomy.”

After 1610, when he began publicly supporting the heliocentric view, which placed the Sun at the centre of the universe, he met with bitter opposition from some philosophers and clerics. He had discovered three of Jupiter’s four largest satellites (moons): Io, Europa, and Callisto. He discovered the fourth, Ganymede, on 13 January. Galileo also observed the planet Saturn, and at first mistook its rings for planets, thinking it was a three-bodied system. When he observed the planet later, Saturn’s rings were directly oriented at Earth, causing him to think that two of the bodies had disappeared. Galileo was one of the first Europeans to observe sunspots, although Kepler had unwittingly observed one in 1607, but mistook it for a transit of Mercury.

He also reinterpreted a sunspot observation from the time of Charlemagne, which formerly had been attributed (wrongly) to a transit of Mercury. The very existence of sunspots showed another difficulty with the unchanging perfection of the heavens posited by orthodox Aristotelian celestial physics, but their regular periodic transits also confirmed the dramatic novel prediction of Kepler’s Aristotelian celestial dynamics in his 1609 Astronomia Nova that the sun rotates, which was the first successful novel prediction of post-spherist celestial physics.

Galileo was the first to report lunar mountains and craters, whose existence he deduced from the patterns of light and shadow on the Moon’s surface. He even estimated the mountains’ heights from these observations. This led him to the conclusion that the Moon was “rough and uneven, and just like the surface of the Earth itself,” rather than a perfect sphere as Aristotle had claimed. Galileo observed the Milky Way and found it to be a multitude of stars packed very densely packed. He located many other stars too distant to be visible with the naked eye. Galileo also observed the planet Neptune in 1612, but did not realize that it was a planet and took no particular notice of it. It appears in his notebooks as one of many unremarkable dim stars. He observed the double star Mizar in Ursa Major in 1617.

  • jhhwild

    I think Herodotus would be a runner up for the Historian category. He is the name I think of when I hear the word historian. Ibn Khald?n sounds pretty influential though and he is lesser known so it is good to have some new information in my brain, lol.

  • Julius

    Interesting fact about Macchiavelli: the prince was the favourite book of many dictators (both Stalin and Hitler kept it on their nightstand and read it regularly) So it’s a must read for all aspiring dictators (myself included) and a very interesting read as well.

  • chingpower

    good thing this list includes great people from different races.

  • hermy304

    well that was a boring list,is it me or is listverse becoming repetitive.

  • Wow, another interesting list, I especially enjoyed the stuff about galileo – he really was a genius. :D

  • Wowow, this was surely interesting stuff and quite informative also. Very good list :)

  • woyzeckforever


    That's because JFrater is judging these people on the content of their character rather than on the colour of their skin, you dumb fucker.

    • rajimus

      maybe they should include some indians that did ALL of that shit while europeans and arabs were still living in tents and caves.

  • Julius

    Although I do agree with the inclusion of Adam Smith, this is a very tightly contested category and the addition of runner ups (i.e. Frederick Taylor, John Maynard Keynes and Marx) might have been nice.

  • bythewaywhichonespink

    And I thought doing lesson plans was time consuming. Haha!

  • shadydeathrow

    Very good list, but i have some observations to make:

    1) Macaveli is alive (not the one mentioned in the list)

    2) For the military stragegist position mmmmmm let me think there is this guy but i can’t remember his name…. oh yeah the Great Alexander! And what about Leonidas? Or Oddyseus?

    3) Ok about the historian thing, Ibn Khald?n? Really? And what about Herodotus, the father of history? Or Thukididhs? Or Xenophon?

    Come to think of it this list is just average.

  • Julius

    @shadydeathrow: ulysses? leonidas? yeah, he should have included Aragorn as well! Or why not General Ackbar from Star Wars?

  • @hermy304 (4):

    i think its just you boss

    if you read the comments from the last 15 days or so, general consenus is that listverse is on a roll.

  • vex279

    Listverse is getting back to its best with recent lists.
    Solid list today. Well done

  • anuragv


    From :
    Recent research indicates that the Indian scholar-philosopher Chanakya (c. 340-293 BCE) predates Ibn Khaldun by a millennium and a half as the forerunner of modern economics, and has written more expansively on this subject, particularly on political economy. His magnum opus, the Arthashastra (The Science of Wealth and Welfare),is the genesis of economic concepts that include the opportunity cost, the demand-supply framework, diminishing returns, marginal analysis, public goods, the distinction between the short run and the long run, asymmetric information and the producer surplus. In his capacity as an advisor to the throne of the Maurya Empire of ancient India, he has also advised on the sources and prerequisites of economic growth, obstacles to it and on tax incentives to encourage economic growth.

    Also see :

    • Ray

      Chanakya was a loser

  • douts88

    military strategist has to go to genghis khan. end of. there are any number of candidates for a close runner up tho.

  • According to me, we had some of the best lists in 2010 on Listverse..especially after some nightmarish stuff in 2009 end. Great going JF n co. !

  • oouchan

    Interesting list.
    However, some choices seem to be reaching a bit….like for Military Strategist I would have chosen Sun Tzu, Napoleon or Kahn over Kh?lid.
    Other than that, very good reading today.

  • keyshock

    Amartya Sen and Paul Samuelson are also good runner-ups to the economist category. For the political theorist category, Locke is also a pretty good option.

  • pilsbury

    Nice list, but where is Zhuge Liang?
    He should be considered one of the best military strategist and most famous after Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
    The most famous strategies being “Using Straw Boats to borrow arrows” and “Stone Sentinel Maze”.

  • flamehorse

    I haven’t heard of some of these, so I liked it. I can’t say Rembrandt was the greatest painter, but that’s a heck of a category. It’s good stuff, raul.

  • muchosmerc

    How can the greatest military strategist be anyone but sun tzu? He wrote the book on the art of war! (pun intended)

    • Dean

      one thing the list doesnt mention about khalid.. is that his army was usually outnumbered by ALOT!!!.. and yet he remained UNDEFEATED.. how can he not be the best!!.. and sun tzu wrote a book…. big freaking deal!!

      • Jon

        Good point! Never knew that. Thanks for the info!!

  • mchrismmx

    As I was reading this I couldn’t help wondering just how many other geniuses we’ve lost throughout history as a result of wars, plagues, etc. Considering the diverse nationalities on this list, it really brought home that thought of those lost to us. In the words of Rodney King “Why can’t we all just get along?”. Seriously though, it’s probable that through the course of history we’ve managed to wipe out the one man/woman who could’ve revolutionized cancer research, leading to a cure for the disease and who knows how many other great thinkers we’ve eradicated. (I’m using the ‘we’ here as a generalized term to describe us as a the human race, not simply us listversers or any specific group.) Anyway, just a thought here to share and ponder over.

  • anthonyn91

    After two lists there are still no black people.

  • Julius

    @flamehorse: Rembrandt is undoubtedly one of the most important of the “old masters” (painters from the 14th to the 18th century) but the painting category could easily be expanded: modern; contemporary etc. maybe even just for styles (top 10 greatest surrealist painters etc.)

    @Julius: For the record, this was a joke :-)

  • Scratch

    Great list.

    I’m glad to see two great Dutchmen.

    I’m vetoing further questioning of Ibn Khaldun. The man was a genius. No one is saying he is the father of history writing – he’s the father of historiography and the philosophy of history.

  • spartie

    @jhhwild: Oh please, Herodotus is the father of writing and claiming tall tales as fact. Thucydides is the father of history, relying on evidence as opposed to pure conjecture.

  • Moonbeam

    7raul7, I’m glad to see your title as “10 More Geniuses of 10 Fields of Human Activity” and not something like the “The Top Ten” or “Ten Best.” It shows thought in putting together a list such as this. I’ve been appreciating these type lists even though, exactly because of their nature, be describing them as “the greatest” they are overly ambitious and let’s face it, impossible to pull off. How could any one person through the entire history of mankind be the absolute best at any endeavor? Your title allows for opinion and open discussion, nice job.

    I’m happy to see more diversity on your list, also. Not so Western or Euro centric.

    @Julius: Yes, I’m with you about art. There are way too many styles to deem one painter as “the best” although 7raul7 doesn’t seem to be claiming that Rembrandt was the absolute best. Maybe this could be a promising idea for someone to form a list?

    One of the qualities about Rembrandt’s work that I love was his use of light. He would use it for emphasis, contrast against the dark areas of his work, or as a highlighting factor. Amazing. You can see in the painting shown here.

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    Cool list. But there should definitely be an addition for the field of ass kicking, with Anderson Silva being the greatest ass kicking genius.

  • I don’t like the choice of Rembrandt as the painter, and military strategist should have gone to someone better. Like say, the pimp-master extraordinaire, Genghis Khan.

  • Julius

    @Moonbeam: If we are talking about the usage of light/shadow in a painting the title should go to one of the impressionists, probably Monet. Rembrandt is an artist I much enjoy too though.

    @General Tits Von Chodehoffen: Anderson Silva would certainly be a contestant for the ass-kicking, but I would go with Fedor Emilianenko or Bruce Lee or maybe Imi Lichtenfeld (That dude invented Krav Maga how much more badass can you get?) and just for fun add like the whoe Gracie clan :-)

    @deathproof77: I don’t know, using simply hordes of cavalrymen to overrun your opponent is cool, but it’s not really anything new :-) Also the Mongol Empire didn’t reach it’s enormous size in his lifetime but mostly later through the different Khanates.

  • flamehorse

    @General Tits Von Chodehoffen: You know what Chuck Norris could do to him? The man can swim through land! He lobotomized the entire red army with a breath from his mighty nostrails.

    Or Bruce Lee.

  • jesherman

    You know what I miss? I miss when the Further Reading links actually when to other List Verse lists, not disguised advertising.

  • undaunted warrior 1

    Enjoyed the list, I would have liked to see Marx there as well.

    Well done 7raul7.

  • Julius

    @anthonyn91: As much as it pains me to say, the most famous “Geniuses of fields of human activitiy” over the course of history weren’t black, if you have any suggestions please feel free to name them. Also, Martin Luther King Jr was included as a runner-up in the rhetoric category of the last list.

  • woyzeckforever

    Number one in the Bad Motherfucker category:


  • @Julius: Genghis Khan’s military tactics were much more than “Overunning”… Most of the Monghol’s battles were fought against numerically superior forces.

    @undaunted warrior 1: Marx has no place as an economist. While his theories and ideals had grave implications for the economy, he was not nor was he ever an economist. He is a political theorist, a philosopher and a sociologist.

    Finally.. The military laurels should’ve went to Clausewitz, the father of modern military doctrine and inventor or such base military concepts such as the “Fog-of-war”

  • undaunted warrior 1

    I bow to your superior knowlage gaelicerudite sorry for that comment.

    Nice to see woyzeckforever firing on all cylenders again @34 where you been?

  • woyzeckforever

    @undaunted warrior 1:

    They tried to put my ass away. Little did they realise my ass is attached to my FISTS.

  • castroy


    Just because Thucydides writes like he is telling the only story, doesn’t mean he is more accurate. This is such a HUGE misconception its not even funny. Sure Herodatus wrote about some tall tales, but those were believed as fact at the time. At least he often included 2 or 3 different accounts of the same story – which in my opinion is a more accurate way to report history. Everyones views will be different so giving multiple accounts and letting the reader decide is much more accurate then Thucydides who chose which accounts to write about and omitted the rest. (And like Herodatus, he did not witness all the events he wrote about but rather recorded someone else’s account). So I can see how Thucydides SEEMS like he is more accurate from the tone of his writing, but that is not necessarily true.

    As for military strategist, I would have to cast my vote for Napoleon. He revolutionized the way commanders directed the battle, introduced new strategies, just overall a brilliant strategist. As for Sun Tzu, I see him more of a military theorist. The Art of War is more a philosophy or war then pure strategy.

  • undaunted warrior 1

    @woyzeckforever(38) Good shit pal nice to hear from you again, its quite late my part of the world now so I will have my triple whisky and hit the sack.

  • oberingrutty

    This list (and others like it) are wonderful. I spent what is probably way too much time reading about people or refreshing what I already know about them. One little thing that would be nice to see are dates. Some of them have the year or years in the text but many don’t. I often try to have a quick read of these on a handheld device and would really appreciate that, especially with people or events I’m not familiar with. Something like: Genghis Khan (reign 1206–1227) – in the heading or first line would be wonderful. I enjoy the lists and the comments, for most part, immensely.

  • demirah

    ibn al-Wal?d FTW

  • medstudent24

    I don’t whether the attempt to make this list more cosmopolitan and politically correct was what made you put Rhazes as the choice for medicine.

    Seriously?!?! Are you a distant relative oh his hell-bent on preserving his name? Come on.

    The obvious choice would’ve been Hippocrates; but there’s also Henry Gray, John Hunter, Vesalius, Paracelsus, and if you wanted to stray outside of Europe, the great Avicenna.

    Otherwise good list though.

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    @Julius: Fedor would get owned by Silva today, even in Fedor’s prime he was no Silva.

    @flamehorse: Well Bruce could easily beat Chuck. And Silva would eat Bruce alive so…

  • flamehorse

    @General Tits Von Chodehoffen: Well, I like Chuck cause he shoots first and fights later.

    Bruce, well, they got a saying in MMA: the only two people who ever punched like a heavyweight and moved like a middleweight were Ali and Bruce Lee.

  • Julius

    @General Tits Von Chodehoffen: Fedor vs. Silva would indeed be a tightly contested fight, but silva eating bruce alive? Really? That’s just blasphemy… No one of the current fighters would eat bruce alive, show some respect to a legend…

  • flockoseagulls

    JF–Please stop including these “” links. They have possible viruses inbedded in them.

    • gS49

      I second that. My hard drive had to wiped clean because IT couldn't dig out the virus any other way. Embarrassing, to say the least. (Especially the second time–originally I didn't realize that 2leep was responsible.)


  • @flockoseagulls: Can you email me more information please? So far I have had no problem with them and they do vet each article that is listed. My email address is on the about page.

  • jesherman

    This list is Dutch-centric.

  • mordechaimordechai

    Oh my! oh my!
    Nor one of the forementioned achievers is from Belize!
    Every one should point and shame the listverse for not having enough ethno-cultural …thing!

  • mordechaimordechai


    It is dutch-centric indeed my friend!
    And also it is Italian at the extremes

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    @Julius: He absolutely would and its naive of you to think otherwise. The size difference, the more technical muay thai, Bruce’s lack of ground skills…

  • mom424

    Awesome list today. I’ve not enough expertise to fault any of the choices. Bonus; a couple of folks I’d not heard of.

    @Julius:n I think you’re mistaken about Genghis Khan. His empire imploded not long after he died. There was infighting amongst his sons and none of them had the force of will to hold the reigns of power alone. He didn’t just rush in with superior numbers; often he was out-numbered. Sure he was ruthless and bloodthirsty – and he embellished this reputation at every turn. That way fighting was often avoided; the conquered folks agreeing to mongol oversight and taxes without spilling a drop.

  • tryclyde

    @Moonbeam: Listverse comes up with the title, not the author…Very interesting list.

  • bloodwts

    @woyzeckforever: or Jules Winnfield…

  • Julius

    @General Tits Von Chodehoffen: I am not saying Bruce would win, but if he played his cards well (avoided the ground, used his superior speed) he could give Silva a pretty hard time.

  • theturbolemming

    Ack! Why on Earth is there a field for painter but none for musician?

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    @Julius: That’s more realistic

  • vergilijus

    Definitely think Godel should have been the top logician; his Incompleteness Theorem basically showed Russell and Whitehead’s goal with Principia Mathematica was for naught.

  • k1w1taxi

    Overall a nice job 7raul7, if not quite Eurocentric enough :) The fields I know anything about do not have any obvious clangers and those where I disagree it is due to either the subjectivity of the category (Painting) or the abundance of geniuses who qualify (Military strategy, Physician, Astronomy)

    @mom424: Genghis Khans empire lasted until the rule of his Grandson Kublai. Though it was divided after the death of Genghis’s son into 4 Khanates; The Golden Horde (Kipchak Khanate), Il Khanate and Chagatai Khanate were nominally subservient to the Great Khanate.

    Also for those promoting Genghis as Top Military Strategist you should not forget his General Subotai
    who was tasked by Genghis with many of his more difficult manouvres/campaigns/diversions and who was the one to do most of the conquering of Eastern Europe for the Mongol Empire.


  • bluesman87

    @flockoseagulls: Agree totally , iv been avoiding that website since before it was linked here and when you are on it and want to open an article its a maze of new windows opening . Also alot of the stuff is plain shit .

  • Moonbeam

    @tryclyde: (at 54) Oh – my bad. Thanks for the info.

  • mom424

    @k1w1taxi: thank you for the clarification. Most appreciated.

  • aikipanther

    1) Are you referring to Tupac Shakur?
    2) I might agree with the General Akbar proposal.
    3) Damn, you’re a dumbass!

  • deeeziner


    There’s no women either, but you don’t see me complaining.

    Nice way to take the initiative 7raul7….but perhaps a bit too close on the heels of the last list?

    A fine list of alternative fields. Nice choices for topics, a bit edgy on entries. Cool that you chose more international persons.

    Would have appreciated more consistency on the era/timeline each entry lived in.

  • shadydeathrow

    @Julius ok point taken about odysseas but leonidas was in fact a real person, and still Alexander the great would be a better entry than Kh?lid ibn al-Wal?d

    @ aikipanther 1) yes
    2)explained that

  • Kyle

    I agree Zhuge Liang should have been included

  • ppond

    if zhuge liang is the best of military strategist
    where is General Yue yi of Zhanguo age?
    i think he better than zhuge liang because he used only 50,000 troops to defeat the majorpower states except Qi states. Or General uiljimundoek general of goguryeo who defeated 1 million chinese army at the battle of salsu river by 100,000 troops

  • Jon


  • Ray

    Great List!! Loved it

  • … — …

    Khalid bin Al-Walid definitely deserves his spot. Perhaps entirely, his tactics and advance are the reason for the quick Islamic spread during the 7th century. In the battle of Mou'tta before Prophet Muhammad's death, his deceptive techniques allowed the 3,000-man Muslim army to retreat from the battle due to the much larger Roman army's fear of ambush.

  • julius2

    Kh?lid ibn al-Wal?d looks like centaur khan… .

  • Miu Miu Shoes

    Thankfully some bloggers can still write. Thanks for this article!!!

  • dripable service

    I couldn’t agree with you more!!

  • raid hosting, shared web hosting, website host

    Great post!

  • Kreuzfahrten

    This post couldn’t be more correct…

  • hôtel samoëns

    What interpretive writing…

  • Ofelia Malara

    I have to show my thanks to the author of this blog. Keep adding an excellent concepts and strategies. A lot of folks will surely enhance their knowledge by reading blogs like this.

  • Hayne Crum

    Galileo cribbed much of his results from others, mainly Catholic monks. This and his blatant sarcasm about the scientific illiteracy of the pope is what got him in trouble with the church. A smart man, but not a top genius.