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830 - 879
  Rurik, Founder of the Rurik Dynasty  
Rurik or Riurik was a legendary Varangian chieftain who gained control of Ladoga in 862, built the Holmgard settlement near Novgorod, and founded the Rurik Dynasty, which ruled Kievan Rus (and later the Grand Duchy of Moscow and Tsardom of...
 
 
927 - 976
  Emperor Taizu of Song, Founder Song Dynasty  
Emperor Taizu of Song was the founder and first emperor of the Song dynasty in China. He reigned from 960 until his death in 976. Formerly a distinguished military general of the Later Zhou dynasty, Emperor Taizu came to power after staging...
 
    Ferdowsi, Persian Poet of Shahnameh  
Abu 'l-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi, or Ferdowsi was a Persian poet and the author of Shahnameh ("Book of Kings"), which is the world's longest epic poem created by a single poet, and the national epic of Greater Iran. Ferdowsi is celebrated as t...
 
    Leif Ericson, 1st to sail to North America  
Leif Ericson was a Norse explorer known to be the first European to have landed in North America (presumably in Newfoundland, Canada). It is believed that Leif was born about 970 in Iceland, the son of Erik the Red, a Norwegian explorer and...
 
    Avicenna, Persian Polymath  
Avicenna is the Latinate form of Ibn-Sina. He was a Persian polymath regarded both in Europe and the Middle East as one of the most significant thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age. He is known to have written around 450 works acr...
 
    Harald III Hardrada, last great Viking of King of Norway  
Harald Sigurdsson, given the epithet Hardrada (roughly translated as "stern counsel" or "hard ruler") in the sagas, was King of Norway (as Harald III) from 1046 to 1066. In addition, he unsuccessfully claimed the Danish throne until 1064 an...
 
    William I, The Conqueror  
William I usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. The descendant of Viking raiders, he had been Duke of Normandy since 1035...
 
    Enrico Dandolo, Doge of Venice  
Enrico Dandolo was the 41st Doge of Venice from 1195 until his death. Remembered for his blindness, piety, longevity, and shrewdness, he is infamous for his role in the Fourth Crusade which he, at age ninety, directed against the Byzantine...
 
    Genghis Khan, Unified the Mongols  
Genghis Khan was the founder and Great Khan (emperor) of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his demise. He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of northeast Asia. After founding...
 
    Kublai Khan, Founder Yuan Dynasty  
Kublai Khan was the fifth Khagan (Great Khan) of the Ikh Mongol Uls (Mongol Empire), reigning from 1260 to 1294, and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty, a division of the Mongol Empire. Kublai was the fourth son of Tolui and a grandson of G...
 
    Osman I, Founder Ottoman Empire - 1299  
Osman I was the leader of the Ottoman Turks and the founder of the dynasty that established and ruled the Ottoman Empire. The state, while only a small principality (beylik) during Osman's lifetime, was named after him and would prevail as...
 
    Hafez, Persian Poet  
Hafez was a Persian poet who "laud[ed] the joys of love and wine [but] also targeted religious hypocrisy". His collected works are regarded as a pinnacle of Persian literature and are to be found in the homes of most people in Iran, who lea...
 
    Tamerlane (Timur) the Great  
Timur meaning "iron" or Tamerlane in English, was a 14th-century conqueror of much of western and central Asia, founder of the Timurid Empire and Timurid dynasty (1370–1405) in Central Asia, and great great grandfather of Babur, the founder...
 
    Constantine XI, Last Byzantine Emperor  
Constantine XI Dragaš Palaiologos, was the last reigning Byzantine Emperor, reigning as a member of the Palaiologos dynasty from 1449 to his death in battle at the fall of Constantinople. Following his death, he became a legendary figure in...
 
    Mehmed II, The Conqueror  
Mehmed II (1432-1481), nicknamed the conqueror, was the sultan of the Ottoman Empire a short time in 1444 to 1446, and from 1451 to 1481. Mehmed II brought an end to the Byzantine Empire by capturing Constantinople in 1453 (during the well-...
 
       
 
         
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