The Greats of World History

ChurchillYou are familiar with quite a number of faces from world history. Few of us don’t recognize the iconic picture of ‘Che’ Guevara by Alberto Korda and everyone has seen a picture of ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi … but who really matters in world history? …and why? What does the list of ‘Greats’ really look like?

Historian Dionijs de Hoog divides the timeline of our Western  history into periods and tries to assess who are the most influential people per period in world history. Not only will we analyze the most notable actions associated with these people, but we’ll also investigate why it is that precisely these persons had the honor to be the icons they are today – and not their colleagues who often performed similar deeds but did not get to the foreground.

In a lecture series of 10 lessons, a ‘top 40’ of the ‘biggies’ pass by – from Julius Caesar to Charlemagne, from Leonardo da Vinci to Napoleon Bonaparte, from Albert Einstein to Nelson Mandela and even Lady Di and Barack Obama are discussed – and finally you’ll know once and for all who actually do matter in our history. We promise you a number of startling new insights! Oh… and on the side you’ll develop a very thorough understanding of world history!

Well… have a look at the whole top 40 we’ll cover:

1. Antiquity

Plato 427 BC -347 BC

Alexander the Great 356 BC – 323 BC

Julius Caesar 100 BC -44 BC

Cleopatra VI 69 BC -30 BC

 2. Middle ages

Charlemagne 747-814

Johannes Gutenberg  1397-1468

Jeanne d’Arc 1412-1431

Charles V 1500-1558

 3. Renaissance

Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519

Christopher Columbus 1451-1506

Desiderius Erasmus 1466-1536

Martin Luther 1483-1546

4. Early modern

Kenau Simonsdochter Hasselaer 1526-1589

William of Orange 1533-1584

Michiel de Ruyter 1607-1676

Baruch de Spinoza 1632-1677

 5. Modern

Napoleon Bonaparte 1769-1821

Charles Darwin 1809-1882

Karl Marx 1818-1883

Queen Victoria 1819-1901

6. Twentieth century I: The future

Sigmund Freud 1856-1939

Henry Ford 1863-1947

Marie Curie 1867-1934

Albert Einstein 1879-1955

7. Twentieth century II: Totalitarian

Winston Churchill 1874-1965

Josef Stalin 1878-1953

Adolf Hitler 1889-1945

Mao Tse Tung 1893-1976

8. Twentieth century III: Decolonization

Che Guevara 1928-1967

Mahatma Ghandi 1869-1948

John Kennedy 1917-1963

Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

9. Twentieth century IV: Let’s go to the right

Ayatollah Khomeini 1902-1989

Ronald Reagan 1911-2004

Evita Perón 1919-1952

Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013

10. Contemporary

Johan Cruijff 1947-2016

Pim Fortuyn 1948-2002

Lady Di 1961-1997

Barack Obama 1961-


This course consists of ten lectures. The course starts on Friday October 7th 2016 and ends on Friday December 16th 2016. On Friday October 21st there will be no lecture. Lectures start at 10 in the morning and end around 12:15.

A free digital syllabus is available shortly before the start of the course. You can also order a printed version of the syllabus for € 10,95 (including shipping). This printed version will be sent to you by mail shortly before the start of the course.


Book this course here.