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Introduction. Rameses the Great, c.1302-1213 BC - Royal marriage in ancient Egypt. Solomon, c.1000-928 BC - The Ark of the Covenant. Sappho, c.630/610-c.570 BC - Lyrics from the ashes. Cyrus the Great, 590/580-530 BC - Persian empires up to the ayatollahs. The Buddha, c.563-483 BC - Enlightenment and rebirth; or, Whatever next? Confucius, 551-479 BC - Sun Tzu and The Art of War. Leonidas of Sparta, d.480 BC - The school for warriors. Herodotus, ?484-430/420 BC - The father of biography: Plutarch. Alcibiades, c.450-404 BC - The Greek trireme. Aristotle, 384-322 BC - Plato. Alexander the Great, 356-323 BC - Cleopatra, last of the Ptolemies. Hannibal, 247-c.183 BC - Elephants at war. The Maccabees, 2nd century BC - The Jewish Temple. Cicero, 106-43 BC - Julius Caesar, or, How to make it in ancient Rome. Jesus, c.4 BC-c.AD 30 - Prophets and messiahs in the age of Jesus. Marcus Aurelius, 121-180 - The emperor's wisdom. Constantine the Great, c.285-337 - Constantinople, city of the world's desire. Muhammad, 570-632 - Arab conquests, east and west. The Venerable Bede, 673-735 - "Write quickly": the death of Bede. Charlemagne, 768-814 - Imperial coronation. Haroun al-Rashid, 763/6-809 - The court of the caliphs. Eleanor of Aquitaine, 1122-1204 - The troubadours. Saladin, c.1138-1193 - Richard the Lionheart. Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, 1194-1250 - Falconry. Edward III, 1312-1377, and the Black Prince, 1330-1376 - The late-medieval knight. Filippo Brunelleschi, 1377-1446 - The Gates of Paradise. Joan of Arc, c.1412-1431 - Henry V and English archery. Ferdinand Magellan, 1480-1521 - Mapping the world. Babur, 1483-1530 - Akbar the Great. Suleiman the Magnificent, 1494-1566 - Clash of the empires. Elizabeth I, 1533-1603 - Power and powder. Tokugawa Ieyasu, 1543-1616 - The samurai tradition. Sir Walter Raleigh, c.1554-1618 - Colonizing Virginia. Galileo Galilei, 1564-1643 - The history of the telescope. William Shakespeare, 1564-1616 - Who was the real Shakespeare? Oliver Cromwell, 1599-1658 - The execution of Charles I. Samuel Pepys, 1633-1703 - The Great Fire of London. Isaac Newton, 1642-1727 - Theories of the universe. The Duke of Marlborough, 1650-1722 - Prince Eugene of Savoy. Voltaire, 1694-1778 - Torture and the Calas case. Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784 - Johnson's Dictionary. Frederick the Great, 1712-1786 - The Regiment of Giants. Casanova, 1725-1798 - Dangerous Liaisons. Captain James Cook, 1728-1779 - The Endeavour. Catherine the Great, 1729-1796 - Prince Potemkin. George Washington, 1732-1799 - The men who would be king: from White Rajahs to King Zog. Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826 - America's first Middle East war. Toussaint Louverture, c.1743-1803 - Bolivar and the liberators. John Paul Jones, 1747-1792 - Famous corpses, lost and found. Prince Talleyrand, 1754-1838 - Morning rituals of the old aristocracy. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756-1791 - Who was the greatest composer? Admiral Nelson, 1758-1805 - Powder monkeys and naval guns. The Duke of Wellington, 1769-1852 - Redcoats, Tommys and Victoria Crosses. Napoleon Bonaparte, 1769-1821 - The Empress Josephine. Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827 - Deafness and genius. Jane Austen, 1775-1817 - Debutantes and dowries; or, How to marry and English Gentleman. Lady Hester Stanhope, 1776-1839 - The life of the Bedouin. Lord Byron, 1788-1824 - The Romantics: Keats and Shelley. Honore de Balzac, 1799-1850 - Victor Hugo and Emile Zola. Alexander Pushkin, 1799-1837 - Pistol duelling. Alexandre Dumas pere, 1802-1870 - From the "Black Marquis" to the Dame aux camelias. Benjamin Disraeli, 1804-1881 - Democratic dynasties. Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1807-1882 - Peter the Great and other Fathers of their Peoples. Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865 - Assassinated presidents and prime ministers. Charles Darwin, 1809-1882 - Soapy Sam versus Darwin's Bulldog. Charles Dickens, 1812-1870 - The real Fagin and the Victorian underworld. Sir Richard Burton, 1821-1890 - The adventures of Jane Digby - Dorset to Damascus. Florence Nightingale, 1820-1910 - The charge of the Light Brigade. Louis Pasteur, 1822-1895 - Jenner and smallpox. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, 1840-1893 - The Russian dancer. Sarah Bernhardt, 1844-1923 - The actor-managers. Guy de Maupassant, 1850-1893 - Isaac Babel. Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900 - The Ballad of Reading Gaol. David Lloyd George, 1863-1945 - "Tiger" Clemenceau. Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864-1901 - The grandes horizontales. Gandhi, 1869-1948 - Midnight's children and Nehru's democracy. Marcel Proust, 1871-1922 - The great Modernist dinner party. Sir Ernest Shackleton, 1874-1922 - Antarctic rivals: Scott versus Amundsen. Winston Churchill, 1874-1965 - The last charge at Omdurman: Gordon and Kitchener. Albert Einstein, 1879-1955 - The theory of relativity. Ataturk, 1881-1938 - Powerful corpses, embalmed leaders. Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973 - Guernica. Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1882-1945 - American heroes: GIs and Medals of Honor. David Ben-Gurion, 1886-1973 - Middle Eastern peacemakers. Mikhail Bulgakov, 1891-1940 - Doctor-writers: from Chekhov to Conan Doyle. Marshal Zhukov, 1896-1974 - The machine that won the Second World War. Ernest Hemingway, 1899-1961 - The Dance of Death. George Orwell, 1903-1950 - The old school tie. Oskar Schindler, 1908-1974 - Righteous Gentiles and resistance fighters. Odette Sansom, 1912-1995 - Violette and Hannah: female spies and the SOE. John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963 - The Cuban Missile Crisis. Nelson Mandela, b.1918 - Sotho, Xhosa and Zulu. John Paul II, 1920-2005 - Polish heroes: Sobieski to the Warsaw Uprising. Andrei Sakharov, 1921-1989 - Courageous Soviet bloc dissidents. Margaret Thatcher, b.1925 - Great women leaders. Anne Frank, 1929-1945 - A lost and refound masterpiece. Elvis Presley, 1935-1977 - Immortal heroism: Elvis to Anastasia. Mohammed Ali, b.1942 - "I have a dream". Aung San Suu Kyi, b.1945 - People power. The Unknown Rebel. Index.

About the Author

Simon Sebag Montefiore, historian, novelist and journalist, is best known as the author of Prince of Princes: The life of Potemkin, Stalin: At the Court of the Red Tsar and Young Stalin. He lives in London, and is married to the novelist Santa Montefiore.

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