Can You Name These Famous Historic Figures From One Image?

By: Valerie
Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

Are you a history buff? Do you feel if we don’t pay attention to the lessons of history, they are bound to repeat themselves? Then you’ll love this quiz, it takes the most famous people in history and helps you instantly recall their legacies. Take for instance, Alexander the Great who became king upon his father’s death and conquered most of the known world of his day. He was an inspiration for later conquerors, including Caesar and Napoleon. Go on, test your knowledge, you may be surprised at how well you do. We’re sure you can beat the 80% of people who can't name each of these famous historic figures from one image. 

When it comes to this quiz, one picture can speak a thousand words. Each image conjures up contributions to the art world, the science realm, the domain of religion and warfare, and more. Some of these historic figures blazed new paths during their lifetimes and others never received acceptance and recognition until after death. From Winston Churchill, to Genghis Khan and Darwin, the reach of each person’s influence changed lives at the historic moment and throughout the ages. Find out how well you do against the majority of people who can’t name them all. Take the quiz now.

Did you know that Jesus got his name from an angel of God who appeared when Joseph was planning to break his engagement with Mary? The angel said that Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit and not by a human. In the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel told Mary that her child's name would be Jesus. Jesus did not have a last name, like we do. In fact, Christ is not his last name, but a title that means “the anointed one.”

A leader of the Continental Army in the American Revolution, George Washington was the first to become U.S. president, in 1789. He is one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and the person you see on your U.S. one-dollar bill.

Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, author of the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, third president of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia.

Widely known as the greatest writer in the English language, William Shakespeare is often called England's national poet, or the "Bard of Avon." The greatest dramatist of all time, he invented thousands of new words in his poems and plays.

Charles Darwin's theory of evolution changed the way we understand the world. His idea that humans share a common ancestor with apes was met with a lot of criticism and challenged the foundations of Western civilization.

Aristotle, together with other philosophers, such as Socrates and Plato, laid the groundwork for Western philosophy. His works shaped centuries of philosophy, from Late Antiquity through the Renaissance, and are still studied with keen interest.

This military leader and first emperor of France conquered much of Europe in the early 19th century. He was successfully expanding his empire until a disastrous French invasion of Russia in 1812. Even though he briefly returned to power in his Hundred Days campaign a few years after, he abdicated once again and was exiled to a remote island, Elba, after a defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

Although this philosopher, social scientist, historian and revolutionary was largely ignored by scholars in his own lifetime, his bold ideas gained acceptance in the socialist movement after his death.

Alexander the Great became king upon his father’s death and conquered most of the known world of his day. He was an inspiration for later conquerors, including Caesar and Napoleon.

Abraham Lincoln is one of America's greatest heroes, due to his incredible impact on the nation - he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free the slaves within the Confederacy in 1863.

Henry VIII was a famous English monarch, second in the Tudor Dynasty, who turned his country into a Protestant nation. Henry VIII was witty, charismatic, wise, and is famous for his diverse appetites for art, music and culture. Oh, and he's also famous for those six wives.

Queen Victoria had the second longest reign of any British monarch in history - she was the queen of the U.K. from 1837 until her death in 1901. In total, she was the queen of Great Britain for 63 years. Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch in 2015.

Albert Einstein is the famous theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity. His ideas turned classical physics on its head, revolutionizing scientists’ understanding of everything - from space and time to gravity and energy.

A politically adept and popular leader, Julius Caesar significantly transformed the Roman Republic, creating the Roman Empire - the most extensive political and social structure in Western civilization.

Martin Luther was a German professor of theology, composer, priest and monk, who changed Christianity when he began the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. His works changed the course of religious and cultural history in Europe. The Protestantism that soon emerged was also shaped by Martin Luther’s ideas.

Also called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, the childless Elizabeth I was the last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. She inherited a bankrupt nation, torn by religious conflicts, and ruled alone for nearly half a century, making English peace and stability her main priority.

Theodore Roosevelt is considered to be the first modern president because he significantly expanded the influence and power of the executive office. He is also the youngest person to ever become president of the United States - he was only 42 when he succeeded to the office, after the assassination of William McKinley.

Isaac Newton is a key figure in the scientific revolution of the 17th century. He was an established physicist and mathematician, who developed the core principles of modern physics.

Also known as France's Sun King, Louis XIV had the longest reign in European history - starting at the age of four. During his reign, he brought absolute monarchy to its height, created a glittering court at Versailles and fought other European countries in four big wars.

The famous explorer, navigator, colonizer and sailor, Christopher Columbus, made four trips across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain. His main goal was to find a direct water route west from Europe to Asia, but instead he accidentally stumbled upon the Americas. Even though he did not really “discover” the New World – a lot of people already lived there –with his famous journey began centuries of trans-Atlantic travels and colonization.

Charles Dickens is the well-known British author of numerous works, such as "Great Expectations" and "A Christmas Carol," that are now considered classics. With little money and formal education, he taught himself, worked furiously and became a famous writer in his mid-twenties.

Also known as Charles the Great, Charlemagne was a medieval emperor who ruled much of Western Europe from 768 to 814. He is famous for uniting much of Europe during the early Middle Ages and creating the foundations for modern France, Germany and other smaller European countries.

Genghis Khan came to power by uniting numerous nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia and creating the Mongol Empire. It became the largest empire in history after his death. He was a military genius who also modernized Mongolian culture, allowing religious freedom and open contact between East and West.

Benjamin Franklin is most famous for drafting the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. The tenth son of a soap maker, he quickly became a renowned polymath and a leading author, printer, politician, freemason and scientist.

Ludwig van Beethoven was a genius, an innovator, who was combining vocals and instruments in a new way and creating a new type of classical music. He was also struggling against deafness, and some of his most important works were composed during the last 10 years of his life, when he was almost unable to hear his own music.

Thomas Edison was a real genius and America's greatest inventor. The father of the practical incandescent electric light bulb and the phonograph, he was also a smart businessman, who held more than 1,000 patents for his various inventions.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was learning to play clavier, violin and organ when he was around three years old. About at the same time, he gave his first concerts, learned several of the pretty advanced pieces at the age of four, and wrote his first compositions, a small Andante (K. 1a) and Allegro (K. 1b), when he was just five years old.

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote on truth, morality, language, aesthetics, cultural theory, history, nihilism and the meaning of life. His ideas have exerted an enormous influence on Western philosophy and intellectual history.

Not everybody knows it, but Sir Winston Churchill was not only the greatest statesmen of the 20th century, but also a great historian. In 1953, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his six-volume history of World War II.

Augustus completely transformed Rome from republic to empire during the hard years following the assassination of his great-uncle and adoptive father, Julius Caesar. He quickly became Rome’s sole ruler, laying the foundations of the 200-year Pax Romana (Roman Peace). The Empire he created lasted, in various forms, for nearly 1,500 years.

Plato is one of the most influential figures of the Ancient Greek world. A great philosopher and teacher, he also founded the Academy in Athens - the first known institution of higher learning in the Western world.

Charles I, monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, had a lot of conflicts with Parliament that led to civil war and his execution in 1649.

Before he became the 18th U.S. president, Ulysses S. Grant served as U.S. general and commander of the Union armies during the last years of the American Civil War. After he left the presidency, he commissioned Mark Twain to publish his memoirs.

The famous founder of psychoanalysis - a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a doctor - Sigmund Freud devoted all his life to exploring the human mind. He also defined the concepts of the unconscious, infantile sexuality and repression. He developed the theory that the mind is a complex energy-system.

James I was King of Scotland (as James VI) from 1567 to 1625 and first Stuart king of England from 1603 to 1625. He called himself “King of Great Britain.” James was the only son of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Ronald Reagan, a former actor and California governor, became the 40th U.S. president in 1981. He was raised in a small town in Illinois, became a Hollywood actor in his 20s, and served as the governor of California from 1967 to 1975.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, commonly known as FDR, is the only president in U.S. history who was elected four times. He was in his second term as governor of New York when he was elected as the 32nd president of the United States, in 1932. With term limits later put in place, no one can serve for more than two terms as president.

Even though he was admired by his contemporaries mainly as a talented organist, Johann Sebastian Bach is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.

Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most intriguing people in the history of Western art. His natural genius crossed so many disciplines that it's hard to determine his main area of interest. Leonardo’s curiosity and hunger for knowledge made him a famous painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, inventor and engineer, whose genius epitomized the term “Renaissance man.”

Brave English soldier and statesman Oliver Cromwell became a Member of Parliament in 1628. He was in charge of campaigns in Ireland and Scotland in the early 1650s, and served as Lord Protector of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland until his death.

Commonly known as Mahatma, or “the great-souled one," Mohandas Gandhi became famous for his nonviolent philosophy of passive resistance in British-ruled India. Shortly after World War I, he became the main figure in India’s struggle to gain independence from Great Britain.

Smart, witty and adventurous, Mark Twain wrote the classic American novels "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." His real name is Samuel L. Clemens; Mark Twain comes from a riverboating term

Alexander Hamilton was the United States' first secretary of the treasury, an outstanding politician and George Washington's assistant. His passionate political career ended in 1804 in a famous duel with Aaron Burr.

Socrates' way of life, character and ideas influenced ancient and modern philosophy. Even though Socrates never wrote anything, he is depicted in conversation by his admirers, particularly Plato. In his native Athens, he was a quite controversial figure and was frequently mocked in the plays of local dramatists.

Buddha realized that external conditions could not provide lasting happiness or protection from suffering. Although born a prince, he left everything behind and went on a long spiritual search in order to realize the nature of mind.

Even though he was also a famous editor and critic, Edgar Allan Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Raven." He died under very mysterious circumstances, adding to the Poe legend.

A notable astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher and mathematician, Galileo Galilei made groundbreaking observations of nature that changed the way people understood the world. His works had long-lasting implications for the study of physics and laid the foundation for modern astronomy.

The 18th century's most quotable and controversial historical figure, Voltaire is famous for his wit and attacks on the Catholic Church. During his career, he wrote many influential poems, essays and books, including the famous “Candide” and “Letters Concerning the English Nation.”

One of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, Elvis Presley rapidly became famous in the mid-1950s, both on the radio and TV. He is still one of the biggest names in rock 'n' roll.

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