E34: John Locke

Having stated that marriage and death “are nearly the same thing,” John Locke instead dedicated his life to knowledge, thought, and peace in one of England’s most turbulent times. From humble beginnings to the halls of power, John Locke’s philosophical ideas constructed the modern definition of the self. His political ideas surrounding the separation of church and state laid the foundation for democracy, and are also credited with starting the Age of Revolutions in the 18th century.  

E33: Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan is known as one of the most vicious rulers in history, but did you know that he created one of the first international courier systems called The Yam? It was a set of well-spaced outposts across his empire. Goods and information could be transported faster by replacing tired horses with fresh horses and it also allowed him to keep a closer eye on his network of military spies and scouts.

E23: Hernan Cortes

Hernan Cortes was born in 1485 in Medellin, Spain. From an early age, he sought adventure and romance, which led him to trouble throughout his life. He grew to be one of the first Spanish conquistadors who brought European culture to the Americas. His legacy lives on as both a hero of the Spanish Empire... and as a violent conqueror who slaughtered thousands of indigenous peoples in his quest for money and power.

E18: Michelangelo

Born in Italy on March 6, 1475, Michelangelo was destined to create outstanding and genius works of art. Although his family was of a lower class and discouraged him from pursuing a more noble career in the arts, Michelangelo followed his passion for art even as a young boy. And despite being well known for his paintings in the Sistine Chapel and his architecture, Michelangelo considered himself a sculptor above all else.

E17: Nicolaus Copernicus

When Nicolaus Copernicus was born in 1473, scholars believed that the earth stood still, and the sun circled around it. Copernicus devoted his life to understanding the structure of our solar system, and found mathematical proof that the earth, in fact, orbits around the sun. Although he didn’t live to see his influence on astronomy, his findings opened the door to space travel, the discovery of other planets and galaxies...and even the chance of finding life outside of earth.