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1000 Most Famous People In History (MIT’s Pantheon)

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Name the 1000 Most Famous People in History According to MIT’s Pantheon Project. Occupation and year of birth shown. HPI in the answer stats refers to the index which ranks the people.

Try other MIT Pantheon quizzes:
Most Famous People (MIT’s Pantheon) 10×10 Blackout | 100 Most Famous Living Women In History (MIT’s Pantheon)
100 Most Famous Living Women In History (MIT’s Pantheon) | Most Famous Person By Letter (MIT’s Pantheon) – Choose Letter
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giannis3
1 year ago

really good

Klinkhamer
1 year ago

An Italian action movie actor higher than an American president and war hero :’) This list keeps cracking me up.

jorgefernandez
1 year ago
Reply to  Klinkhamer

maybe because outside of america no one knows who he is

Klinkhamer
1 month ago
Reply to  jorgefernandez

As a European I know who freed the continet from the nazi’s. That Italian actor is virtually unknown for everybody below 50 and anyone who likes quality movies.

jdk
jdk
1 year ago

I’m not quite sure how Janis Joplin ranks ahead of John Lennon, with Mick Jagger not even making the cut. Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, and Babe Ruth didn’t make the top 1,000 – but a soccer player who was born in the 1920s made it.

Evaristo
1 year ago
Reply to  jdk

Maybe people search for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones instead of the musicians. Brady and Ruth are not known outside USA.

flaneur86
1 year ago
Reply to  Evaristo

I was thinking the same, most of the musicians/singers who make the list seem to be either solo artists or had bands named after them, with a few notable exceptions. Similar with sports, football is genuinely universal so not surprising it is the only sport represented. I remember Lance Armstrong used to make the cut in an earlier iteration but that’s about it.

bubnmog
1 year ago
Reply to  jdk

lol americans

hollandaflavio
1 year ago
Reply to  jdk

literally nobody outside of north america has a clue of who Babe Ruth is. Tom Brady also.

jdtrue63
1 year ago

I don’t get the critieria for this quiz. Famous means well known, not necessarily important or historically significant. Therer are a lot of people on this list that most people have no idea who they are. This wouldn’t bother me if the quiz was most important people in history. But since it’s most famous and Stallone is on the list, then why not Madonna or Beyonce, Depp or DiCaprio. Hillary Clinton and Al Gore, but nor Bill Clinton. Biden, Trump and both Bushs, but not Obama. Makes no sense.

jdtrue63
1 year ago
Reply to  darin

I see they’ve updated the list. Bill Clinton made it this time. Still don’t get how these MIT Pantheon people determine who’s on the list though. In what universe is Martin Van Buren more famous than Reagan, JFK and George Washington? Love the quiz though.

7thWardGuesser
1 year ago

Where is Obama and Bin Laden?

vesss2103
1 year ago

A politician born in 1962????

Klinkhamer
1 year ago
Reply to  vesss2103

Yes, hilarious to find him here

flaneur86
1 year ago
Reply to  Klinkhamer

By my reckoning the third most famous of their country of all time after a couple of painters. Hahaha

BadderGull
3 years ago

how is david attenborough not in here disgraceful

Klinkhamer
4 years ago

George Harrison is missing OK, but in the history of mankind I think people like Mary Wollstonecraft, or Jonas Salk are little bit more important than a 3rd Beatle.

Will2Power
4 years ago

Also they dropped half of the Beatles and left only Lennon and McCartney. I don’t recall George and Ringo having gotten less famous in the last decade or whatever it’s been, but who knows. If anything George’s legacy has improved over time.

Will2Power
4 years ago

Bizarre update. Almost no English language poets. Not even Chaucer. But still tons of French poets and literary people generally, esp Russians, French, etc. How would any of all the rest survive but not Yeats, Chaucer, Eliot, Wordsworth, Milton? Yes, Milton didn’t even make it. Shakespeare and just him. He wrote all English language poetry all by himself.

Klinkhamer
4 years ago

Maybe reset the scores, it seems that a lot have changed. Less Nazi’s and finally a cosmonaut 🙂 But also a terrible US president 🙁 haha

Will2Power
4 years ago

Odd that Biblical fictional figures are treated as real people but Heracles isn’t. Heracles is every bit as historical as Moses.

Aiwendil
5 years ago
Reply to  darin

Oh, maybe that was it. Thanks.

Lauro
9 years ago

Armstrong but no Gagarin?

CrowTRobot
9 years ago

Okay, I love this quiz and have played tons of times, and this isn’t exactly on it necessarily, but I’m starting to doubt MIT’s objectivity now that I realize Calvin (170) and Hobbes (165) are 5 people apart.

soundscape
9 years ago

Glaring omissions? Yes, Jordan for sure… Lebron also… Diego Maradona and Cristiano Ronaldo… Schumacher fell off the list… I don’t think this list takes sports in high regard.

CrowTRobot
9 years ago

This list is much better now that it’s been revised, but I’d still say the most glaring omission would have to be Michael Jordan, right?

BobbyC
9 years ago

Not one jazz musician on the list that I could find.

bgilroy26
9 years ago
Reply to  BobbyC

louis armstrong was on

SomeoneRan
9 years ago

Please accept just ‘Buddha’. I may disagree with many of the people on this list (I think it’s way too heavy on ancient Europeans) but great quiz anyway.

soundscape
9 years ago
Reply to  SomeoneRan

We’re making history for 2000+ years so it’s only natural the prevalence of Europeans. On a side note… is this the first quiz to reach 300 recorded results? You now need 74 guesses to enter the scoreboard.

Aiwendil
9 years ago

Sorry for the formatting of the above comment.

Aiwendil
9 years ago
Reply to  darin

Great! Three others I forgot to mention: “Leonidas I” is required instead of just “Leonidas”, I think “Amenhotep IV” should probably be accepted for “Akhenaten”, and “Octavian” should probably be accepted for “Augustus”.

Aiwendil
9 years ago
Reply to  Aiwendil

A couple more: I think “Nebuchadrezzar” is a typo for “Nebuchadnezzar”, “Starkey” should probably be accepted for Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey), and “Charles Dodgson” and “Samuel Clemens” (their real names) should be accepted for the pen names “Lewis Carroll” and “Mark Twain”.

atomat
9 years ago

Sorry, didn’t see it. My bad

guymmiller
9 years ago

Great quiz. Perhaps accept Al-Ghazzali with one Z has that seems to be the English standard?

Pete42869
10 years ago

I guessed Bieber, and was correct. I need to shower.

Klinkhamer
10 years ago

Is Queen Victoria really missing in this list? Or did I something wrong?

(Salk and Van Leeuwenhoek also missing, saving millions of lives by their discoveries isn’t enough to make list, so much for the general interest in medical sciences)

SomethingSharp
10 years ago

Loved seeing “pirate completed”.

This is a fascinating quiz – could you maybe post a version with no time limit so we can play through at our leisure and have time to look people up and read about them while playing? Maybe one with no leaderboard.

K7vn
10 years ago

You should accept Bruegel as an alternative spelling for Brueghel.

CrowTRobot
10 years ago

The Germans are disputing it. Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming it was offside.

jlk7e
10 years ago

There’s also some clear mistaken omissions, especially if you look at the master list. Lots of fairly obscure classical composers in the top 1000 (Offenbach, say, or Smetana), but Brahms is not anywhere in the top 10,000. There’s no way that makes any sense. I’m also not impressed by the inclusion of antediluvian Biblical characters whom nobody except fundamentalists thinks were real people (Methuselah, Enoch), while excluding, for some reason, Noah, who is actually at least well-known. The Biblical patriarch Jacob is not included, even though his father, grandfather, and second wife are included.

And, yeah, the algorithm obviously gives a bit too much credit for being ancient. Beyond the obscure Roman emperors, check out the obscure pharaohs – Ramesses I? Hor-Aha? Sneferu?

prcstntr
10 years ago
Reply to  jlk7e

I had a lot of the same questions. After entering Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and Wagner, I thought that, while I love Brahms and he was undoubtedly a master of the Romantic era, perhaps he simply wasn’t influential enough. But when I saw I some composers on the list who make Offenbach look influential and important, I emailed the makers of the list. They said that there was an error in their data collection method that missed a few people who should clearly be in the Pantheon set, including Brahms. I assume this explains some of the other puzzling omissions.

I also asked how they decided if a person was “real”. They said that they didn’t deliberately decide — they used the Freebase data set and accepted anyone with a “date of birth, place of birth, and cultural domain”. No matter what criteria you use, including or excluding religious figures will be controversial. I would question whether a default birthdate of 3500 BC should be considered a true birthdate.

Whether or not you think they belong on the list, if you are going to include the religious figures, 3500 BC is still an unsatisfactory birth date for many of these figures. If he was a real person, Judas would have been about the same age as Jesus, not 3500 years older. They told me they are working to align contemporaries when possible, which returns us to the question about the birthdate as part of the inclusion criteria for these figures.

K7vn
10 years ago
Reply to  jlk7e

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve known Brahms and Ramesses since I was a little kid. Agree with you about the obscure Roman emperors and biblical characters. On the other hand, I was actually surprised about some omissions, like Heidegger, Gagarin, Dumas, Mingus and even Ringo Starr being more famous than Mick Jagger.

candaroglu
10 years ago

Also, criticizing celebrities like Rihanna, Katy Perry, Jenna Jameson, etc. is fine, but this list seems to get very obscure in classical history. Three of the four emperors in the namesake year are among the thousand most famous people? Didius Julianus and two Valentinians make the cut? There’s messy stuff all around.

candaroglu
10 years ago

Some notes: Laozi should have more spellings, Lao-tzu, Lao-tze, Lao-tse, etc.
Judas Iscariot shouldn’t require more than Judas
Consistency: Saint is required for St. George, St. James, but not others
Hannibal and Hamilcar Barca-surname shouldn’t be required
Garcia Marquez and Garcia Lorca should be the answers for those two writers-Marquez and Lorca shouldn’t be acceptable, but whatever.
Vitruvius is usually known by Vitruvius.
Timur-i-leng should have Tamerlane accepted
Kublai, Batu, and Genghis Khan shouldn’t have their title required.

cp
cp
10 years ago

If you’re going to give bonuses for completing a category, it would be nice to separate out the different categories (in the “Rank” menu). Otherwise, weird, fun quiz.

Raphlein
Raphlein
10 years ago

“Giotto di Bondone” is simply known as “Giotto” in Italy, so I think the latter name should be accepted; you have to type “Honoré (well, Honore) de Balzac” to get the writer, but “Balzac” should be accepted

anonymous
10 years ago

Haha, “pornographicator completed” when entering the name of a certain actress. Good one!
I’d change the time bonus to 69 seconds for that one. 😉

jlk7e
10 years ago

Weird methodology on the project, with some very weird results. But very fun quiz.

jlk7e
10 years ago

Wow, some super bizarre classifications – Moliere is best known as an actor?

soundscape
10 years ago

Formula 1 has more worldwide following than both baseball and golf so it’s only natural to see Schumacher there. Lists like these will always be controversial… Lady Gaga is on the first half of the list but Margaret Thatcher is nowhere to be seen. Alexander #5? Questionable… It can fuel good discussions though.

jdk
jdk
10 years ago

Some curious choices by MIT’s methodology– Katy Perry over Mick Jagger? Jenna Jameson over Marilyn Monroe? Michael Schumacher over Babe Ruth and Tiger Woods?

BriskT
10 years ago

You’ve outdone yourself this time. This is the greatest quiz I’ve ever played!

soundscape
10 years ago

A bit out of my league here but on the other hand great room to improve. Great quiz!

uefa81glory
10 years ago

how are you spelling the founder of Islam?

jlk7e
10 years ago

Surely Leonardo da Vinci is primarily an artist, rather than an inventor (he didn’t actually invent any actual working inventions, notably).

Fojin
10 years ago

Please accept just “Goethe” for “Johann Wolfgang von Goethe”.

prcstntr
10 years ago
Reply to  Fojin

There is probably an exception I’m not thinking of, but as a rule of thumb, no German last name should start with “von”. When referring to Germans by surname only “von” is never included, and it is not used for alphabetization. You would never see “von Goethe”, or “von Humboldt”, just two examples I’ve found on this list.

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