Who is the most famous person in human history?

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Walt Disney?

Edit: Specifically because Mickey Mouse is probably the most recognizable character in history and 99% of people know who made Mickey Mouse.

Edit#2: ^Probably BS but I'm just spitballing here^
 
my family is dying



My initial thought after Jesus and Adolf Hitler was Genghis Khan. Now I know the areas that his empire covered may not all have been densely populated, but the sheer size of it had to come with some serious recognition. I'd be curious to see how he stacked up to Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great and such due to the drastic differences in the population densities.
With this argument the answer would have to be Victoria. She ruled over a larger and far more populous empire.
 
Slight tangent, but does the perception of a figure versus historical evidence matter at all?
These aren't really easily distinguishable. Certainly the popular understanding of just about any figure won't actually fit well with that of historians.

But my point isn't specifically to say any one of these people didn't exist, but rather can they count if so little is actually known versus the widespread belief of events based on believers of their respective faiths?

Maybe it shouldn't matter at all. I don't know. Thoughts?
You should think about why we have sources on everyone else that we have sources on. Sources exist for a reason. People that enter the historical record do so because of a specific reason. That will always have an effect on our ability to piece our understanding of them together. You're drawing a sharp divide between religious figures and other historical figures that doesn't end up working particularly well.
 
Slight tangent, but does the perception of a figure versus historical evidence matter at all? For instance, most scholars believe there was a man named Jesus who at least a few events described in the Bible and other texts line up, but there is a big gap between historical evidence and what millions of people believe. Same with Muhammad, although my cursory Googling shows possibly less historical evidence that the man existed. The same might be true of the first Buddha.

But my point isn't specifically to say any one of these people didn't exist, but rather can they count if so little is actually known versus the widespread belief of events based on believers of their respective faiths?

Maybe it shouldn't matter at all. I don't know. Thoughts?
The question posed is famous human. What they are known for and whether or not the things they are known for actually happened or happened the way commonly believed doesn't matter. Only that they are known.
 
Slight tangent, but does the perception of a figure versus historical evidence matter at all? For instance, most scholars believe there was a man named Jesus who at least a few events described in the Bible and other texts line up, but there is a big gap between historical evidence and what millions of people believe. Same with Muhammad, although my cursory Googling shows possibly less historical evidence that the man existed. The same might be true of the first Buddha.

But my point isn't specifically to say any one of these people didn't exist, but rather can they count if so little is actually known versus the widespread belief of events based on believers of their respective faiths?

Maybe it shouldn't matter at all. I don't know. Thoughts?
Because then you could add Mickey Mouse to the arguement if it doesn't matter
 
Because then you could add Mickey Mouse to the arguement if it doesn't matter
Is Mickey Mouse a person?

More importantly, what does it mean that people existed outside of the historical conception of them? How are the person and later perceptions of them connected? The problem here is too difficult for an easy, or perhaps any, solution. It's best to simply avoid it.
 
I'm confused. Are you saying that people can't be aware of multiple religious texts?
He's saying that unless a person studies both (Or unless Mohammed is in the Bible), reading the Quran would make you aware of both while reading the Bible would only make you aware of one.

And while people CAN read multiple religious texts, most probably haven't.
 
These aren't really easily distinguishable. Certainly the popular understanding of just about any figure won't actually fit well with that of historians.



You should think about why we have sources on everyone else that we have sources on. Sources exist for a reason. People that enter the historical record do so because of a specific reason. That will always have an effect on our ability to piece our understanding of them together. You're drawing a sharp divide between religious figures and other historical figures that doesn't end up working particularly well.
Oh I know how difficult it is to actually know about people from long ago, and that the difference between Alexander the Great and Jesus is probably semantic; but that's why I asked if it mattered.

I guess another way to look at the question is should we allow somebody who may very well have not existed at all if enough people believe that person existed? At one what point should we draw a distinction between historical figure or religious/fictional figure? Or should the line be there at all?

It's possible that my perspective is just wrong. I don't know. There just seems to be a difference between somebody who we think we know a decent bit about their life, like Julius Caesar, and somebody like Jesus who we have sparse information on the man we believe is Jesus but little evidence that backs up a lot of what most people would say happened in his life.

To pose a crude metaphor, in Iron Man 3 an actor played the role of the Mandarin. If 1,000 years later 35% of people in the world believed the fictional version of the character was actually the real person and scholars could only agree that the guy existed and a few other events while the majority of his life was hotly contested, how would he fit in the debate?

I'm totally being pedantic and I do apologize for that.
 
I feel like Hitler's infamy will wane sooner, rather than later. He's a big deal now because he just happens to be the most recent evil conqueror type, but when comes someone else that evil, he will be replaced by that new person.
 
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