History’s Most Influential? Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Archimedes Rank High on MIT List

Modern day Greece may be in a mess, but the ideas of four of Ancient Greece’s greatest thinkers ranked them in the top 20 of a list of history’s most influential people, compiled by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Aristotle was ranked 6th, with Plato at 9th, and mathematician Archimedes at 10th. Socrates – the philosopher who taught Plato, who in turn taught Aristotle, came in at 13th, showing the long-standing power of their ideas some 2,500 years later. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) was also the teacher of Alexander the Great, and was born in Stageira, Chalcidice. He studied at Plato’s Academy, where he was later taught politics and rhetoric. His teacher, who lived from 428-347 B.C. was a great Athenian philosopher who wrote the Apology of Socrates and gave the theory of an ideal state in his most celebrated book, The Republic.
The often more-celebrated Socrates was one of the founders of Western philosophy. Socrates has become renowned for his contribution to the field of ethics, and it is this Platonic Socrates who also lends his name to the concepts of Socratic irony and the Socratic method, or elenchus.{55680}{55678}{55663}{55662}
Archimedes of Syracuse was also one of the world’s most renowned physicists, engineers, inventors and astronomers of the antiquity. He is also known for crying “Eureka!” running naked in the streets, having discovered the principle of specific gravity.
The researchers of Micro Connections group, who work at the Media Lab of the American University MIT, stressed that the list was limited to those who were born before 1950 and included how national culture is perceived through its representatives.
The Top 20:
1. Jesus Christ: Prophet and central figure of Christianity
2. Confucius: Chinese philosopher
3. Sir Isaac Newton: British physicist
4. Gandhi: Indian politician and activist
5. Albert Einstein: German physicist
6. Aristotle: Greek philosopher
7. Vasco da Gama: Portuguese explorer
8. Leonardo da Vinci: Italian artist
9. Plato: Greek philosopher
10. Archimedes: Greek philosopher
11. Mao Zedong: Chinese communist revolutionary
12. William Shakespeare: English playwright
13. Socrates: Greek philosopher
14. Karl Marx: German philosopher and socialist
15. Michelangelo: Italian sculptor
16. Gautama Buddha: Nepalese spiritual teacher
17. Nelson Mandela: South African politician
18. Galileo Galilei: Italian physicist
19. Julius Caesar: Roman emperor
20. Joseph Stalin: Soviet leader