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    Shakespeare, England's National Poet  
William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His exta...
 
    Claudio Monteverdi, Italian Composer  
Claudio Monteverdi was an Italian composer, viol player, and singer. His work marks the transition from Renaissance to Baroque music. During his long life he produced work that can be classified in both categories, and he was one of the mos...
 
    Maarten Tromp, Dutch Admiral  
Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp was an officer and later admiral in the Dutch navy. Born in Den Briel, Tromp sailed the seas from the age of nine, and joined the Dutch navy as a lieutenant in 1621. His first distinction was being Piet Hein's fla...
 
    Oliver Cromwell, Commonwealth of England  
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader and later Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. Cromwell was one of the signatories of King Charles I's death warrant in 1649, and, as a member o...
 
    Pope Innocent XI  
Pope Innocent XI, born Benedetto Odescalchi, was Pope from 1676 to 1689. Odescalchi was a strong papal candidate after the death of Pope Clement IX (1667–69) in 1669, but the French government rejected him. After Pope Clement X (1670–76) di...
 
    Jan van Riebeeck, Founder Cape Town, 1652  
Jan van Riebeeck was a Dutch navigator and colonial administrator who arrived in Cape Town in the Dutch Cape Colony at the behest of the Dutch East India Company. He also spent some time in Malaysia as part of his profession and served a...
 
    Kangxi Emperor, China  
The Kangxi Emperor was the third emperor of the Qing Dynasty and the second Qing emperor to rule over China proper, from 1661 to 1722. Kangxi's reign of 61 years makes him the longest-reigning Chinese emperor in history (although his grands...
 
    Bartolomeo Cristofori, Inventor of the Piano  
Bartolomeo Cristofori di Francesco was an Italian maker of musical instruments, and is most remembered for inventing what would become the modern-day piano. He was born in Padua and became known as a harpsichord and spinet maker. In 1690 he...
 
    Alessandro Scarlatti, Composer  
Alessandro Scarlatti was among the most important Italian composers of opera from the late Baroque period. He is credited with establishing the Neapolitan school of opera in the eighteenth century, rapidly improving the predominantly provin...
 
    Mary II, Queen of England  
Mary II, born in 1662, was the daughter of James II and Anne Hyde. She was married to William of Orange as a matter of Charles II's foreign policy; she and William had no children. Mary died of smallpox in 1694. William III (William of Oran...
 
    Augustus II the Strong, King of Poland  
Frederick Augustus I or Augustus II the Strong was Elector of Saxony (as Frederick Augustus I) and King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (as Augustus II). Augustus's great physical strength earned him the nicknames "the Strong," "the S...
 
    David Hume, Scottish Philosopher  
David Hume was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist known especially for his philosophical empiricism and scepticism. He was one of the most important figures in the Scottish Enlightenment, and in the history of Wester...
 
    Baron Munchausen, Travels and Campaigns in Russia  
Baron Munchausen is a fictional German nobleman created by the German writer Rudolf Erich Raspe in his 1785 book Baron Munchausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia. The character is loosely based on a real baron,...
 
    Immanuel Kant, German Philosopher  
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher who is widely considered to be a central figure of modern philosophy. He argued that fundamental concepts structure human experience, and that reason is the source of morality. His thought continues to...
 
    Thomas Gainsborough, Painter  
Thomas Gainsborough was an English portrait and landscape painter, draughtsman, and printmaker. He surpassed his rival Sir Joshua Reynolds to become the dominant British portraitist of the second half of the 18th century. He painted quickly...
 
       
 
         
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