Famous People Of The 10th Century

The 10th century, also known as the Century of Lead and Iron, was one marked by prolific scientific and industrial development. In Africa, Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi Billah founded the Fatimid dynasty while in the Americas, Ah Mekat Tutul Xiu founded the League of Mayapan. Poets like Adikavi Pampa, Ferdowsi, and Li Fang enriched the world of literature in their respective countries. The period also saw the reigns of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto the Great and King Edmund I of England. Alhazen, a Muslim scientist and mathematician, was another important figure of this era. Check out this section to know more about the famous people of the 10th century.
Vote for Your Favourite People Of The 10th Century

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

 1 
Leif Erikson
(First European to reach North America)
Leif Erikson
20
Birthdate: 0970 AD
Birthplace: Iceland
Died: 1020 AD

Leif Erikson was a Norse explorer widely believed to have been one of the earliest Europeans to have set foot on North America, at least 500 years before Christopher Columbus. He is also credited with establishing a Norse settlement at coastal North America, as told in the sagas of Icelanders. He has been portrayed in films like The Viking (1928).

 2 
Homer
(Ancient Greek Author Who is Considered One of the Greatest and Most Influential Authors of All Time)
Homer
28
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 0928 AD
Birthplace: Ionia, Greece
Homer, a legendary poet from the 8th century B.C., authored the Greek epics the Iliad and the Odyssey. However, the Homeric Question raises doubts regarding the existence of the poet. Some assume the epics were written by a single blind bard, while others believe they were created by multiple authors.
 3 
Avicenna
(Persian polymath the most significant physiciansand writers of the Islamic Golden Age, and the father of early modern medicine.)
Avicenna
17
Birthdate: 0980 AD
Birthplace: Afshona, Uzbekistan
Died: May 31, 1037
Renowned as father of early modern medicine, Avicenna was an illustrious Persian polymath. He is specifically distingusihed for his contributions in the fields of medicine and Aristotelian philisophy. He is best-known for his works namely, The Canon of Medicine and The Book of Healing. The corpus of his writings also include alchemy, geology, psychology, geography, physics, poetry and Islamic theology.
 4 
Lady Godiva
(11th-century Anglo-Saxon noblewoman)
Lady Godiva
8
Birthdate: 0980 AD
Birthplace: Mercia
Died: 1067 AD

Lady Godiva was the wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia. A 13th-century legend stated how she rode naked through Coventry to reverse an oppressive tax imposed by Leofric. Everybody stayed indoors, except a tailor named Thomas, who watched her, giving rise to the name Peeping Tom associated with voyeurs.

 5 
Erik the Red
(Norwegian Explorer and Founder of the First Settlement in Greenland)
Erik the Red
20
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0950 AD
Birthplace: Norway
Died: 1003 AD
Tenth-century Norse explorer Erik Thorvaldsson, also known as Erik the Red for his red beard and hair, is a prominent figure in Icelandic legends. He was the founder of the first settlement in Greenland. Icelandic explorer Leif Erikson, the first Viking to explore Vinland, was one of Erik's sons.
 6 
David
(King of Israel from 1010 to 970 BCE)
David
2
Birthdate: 1040 BC
Birthplace: Bethlehem, Israel
Died: 0970 BC

King David of Israel remains a significant figure not just in Christianity, but also in Judaism and Islam. The Books of Samuel describe him as a shepherd. Legends also mention how he killed the giant Goliath and had an affair with Bathsheba. He was also a poet and a psalmist.

 7 
Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī
(Iranian Scholar, Scientist and Polymath)
Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī
18
Birthdate: 0973 AD
Birthplace: Beruni, Uzbekistan
Died: 1050 AD

Apart from being a pioneer of Indology and geodesy, Persian scholar Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī also worked on subjects such as anthropology, math, and ethnography. It is believed he didn’t know his father. He had penned many works, such as the encyclopaedic volume The Chronology of Ancient Nations.

 8 
Mahmud of Ghazni
(Sultan of the Ghaznavid Empire from 998 to 1030)
Mahmud of Ghazni
35
Birthdate: November 2, 0971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ghazni, Afghanistan
Died: April 30, 1030

Mahmud of Ghazni was the sultan of the Ghaznavid Empire on two separate occasions. He first ascended the throne upon the death of his father, Mahmud, in 1030. However, he was soon overthrown by his twin brother Ma'sud I. Years later, he was reinstated as sultan but was soon executed by his nephew Maw'dud. His entire family was also killed. 

 9 
Ibn-al-Haytham
(Arab Mathematician, Astronomer, and Physicist of the Islamic Golden Age)
Ibn-al-Haytham
22
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: 0965 AD
Birthplace: Basrah, Iraq
Died: 1040 AD

Ibn al-Haytham was an Arab mathematician, physicist, and astronomer of the Islamic Golden Age. He is best remembered for his contributions to the principles of optics for which he is called the father of modern optics. He was the first person to explain visual perception. A polymath, Ibn al-Haytham also wrote influential books on philosophy, medicine, and theology. 

 10 
Vladimir the Great
(Prince of Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kiev)
Vladimir the Great
12
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0958 AD
Birthplace: Kiev, Ukraine
Died: July 15, 1015
 11 
Edgar the Peaceful
(King of England)
Edgar the Peaceful
3
Birthdate: August 7, 0942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wessex
Died: July 8, 0975

Edgar the Peaceful reigned as the King of the English for more than 17 years. His reign was noted for its stability as he consolidated his predecessors' work. His coronation at Bath in 973, which was the pinnacle of his reign, forms the basis for the present-day coronation ceremony.

 12 
Edmund Ironside
(King of the English from 23 April to 30 November 1016)
Edmund Ironside
4
Birthdate: 0990 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: November 30, 1016

Edmund Ironside was King of the English who reigned from 23 April to 30 November 1016. He earned his cognomen Ironside after displaying valor while resisting the Danish invasion, which was led by Cnut the Great. His life and work inspired the Elizabethan play Edmund Ironside and the 1970 TV film The Ceremony of Innocence.

 13 
Harald I of Norway
(King of Norway)
Harald I of Norway
4
Birthdate: 0850 AD
Birthplace: Norway
Died: 0932 AD
 14 
Sweyn Forkbeard
(King of Denmark)
Sweyn Forkbeard
2
Birthdate: April 17, 0963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Denmark
Died: February 10, 1014
 15 
Harald Bluetooth
(King)
Harald Bluetooth
7
Birthdate: 0910 AD
Birthplace: Jelling, Denmark
Died: 0986 AD
 16 
Ferdowsi
(Persian Poet and One of the Most Influential Figures of Persian Literature)
Ferdowsi
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 0940 AD
Birthplace: Tous, Iran
Died: 1020 AD

Ferdowsi was a Persian writer and poet best remembered for authoring Shahnameh which is considered the greatest epic in Persian speaking countries. Shahnameh is also one of the longest epic poems ever composed by a single poet. One of the most celebrated figures of Persian literature, Ferdowsi is also counted among the greatest in the history of literature.         . 

 17 
Al-Farabi
(Philosopher)
Al-Farabi
5
Birthdate: 0872 AD
Birthplace: Farab
Died: 0950 AD

Al-Farabi was an early Islamic philosopher who explored various fields, such as metaphysics, political philosophy, logic, and ethics. A multi-talented man, Al-Farabi was also a jurist, mathematician, cosmologist, scientist, and music theorist. Al-Farabi is credited with influencing other important philosophers like Moses ben Maimon and Ibn Sina. His work made him famous in the East as well as the West.

 18 
Edward the Martyr
(King of England)
Edward the Martyr
2
Birthdate: 0962 AD
Birthplace: Wessex
Died: March 18, 0978

Edward the Martyr reigned as the King of the English from 975 to 978. The oldest son of King Edgar the Peaceful, Edward was selected as king after his father's death. However, he was killed in 978 at Corfe Castle and was succeeded by his half-brother Æthelred the Unready. Edward is recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church.

 19 
Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor
(Holy Roman Emperor (962 - 973))
Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor
6
Birthdate: November 23, 0912
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wallhausen, Germany
Died: May 7, 0973

Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, known for his ruthlessness, not only united the German empire by crushing all rebellious vassals, but also put an end to the attacks by the Magyars of Hungary. His strategy of making the German bishops feudal lords helped his cause of stabilizing his empire.

 20 
Al-Zahrawi
(Physician, Surgeon, Chemist and Founder of Medieval Surgical and Medical Instruments)
Al-Zahrawi
39
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: 0936 AD
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: 1013 AD

Al-Zahrawi was an Arab Andalusian chemist, surgeon, and physician. Dubbed the father of modern surgery, Al-Zahrawi is widely regarded as the greatest surgeon of the Middle Ages. Al-Zahrawi was the first surgeon to use catgut for stitches and his pioneering contributions had an enormous effect in the West and East. Some of his discoveries are part of modern medical sciences.

 21 
Eric Bloodaxe
(King of Norway from 931 to 933)
Eric Bloodaxe
7
Birthplace: Svanoya, Norway
Died: 0954 AD

While some believe Eric Bloodaxe was the son of Norwegian king Harald Fairhair, others believe Danish king Harald Bluetooth was his father. True to his nickname, he was a barbarian Viking tyrant who slaughtered his four brothers for the Norwegian throne. Icelandic sagas mention he married a witch named Gunnhild. 

 22 
Raja Raja Chola I
(Chola Emperor Who was the Most Powerful King in South India During His Reign)
Raja Raja Chola I
25
Birthdate: 0947 AD
Died: 1014 AD

Raja Raja Chola I was an emperor who reigned over south India from 985 to 1014. Also known as Rajaraja the Great, the emperor was deemed the most powerful southern king. He is remembered for resuscitating the Chola power and controlling south India and Indian Ocean. He is also credited with building the Brihadisvara Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 23 
Budai
(Buddhist monk)
Budai
1
Birthplace: China
Died: 0916 BC

Legendary 10th-century Chinese monk Budai, is better known as The Laughing Buddha and The Fat Buddha. Named after the “budai” or cloth sack that he carried with him, he was considered an avatar of Maitreya, or the future Buddha. His figures adorn many homes, as a symbol of prosperity and contentment.

 24 
Olaf II of Norway
(King of Norway)
Olaf II of Norway
2
Birthdate: 0995 AD
Birthplace: Ringerike, Norway
Died: July 29, 1030
 25 
Yaroslav the Wise
(Prince)
Yaroslav the Wise
5
Birthdate: 0978 AD
Birthplace: Ukraine
Died: February 20, 1054
 26 
Al-Tabari
(Iranian Historian and Educator)
Al-Tabari
5
Birthdate: 0839 AD
Birthplace: Āmol, Iran
Died: February 17, 0923

Al-Tabari was a historian, scholar, and commentator on the Quran. He is best remembered for his expertise in historiography and Qur'anic exegesis. A polymath, Al-Tabari wrote on a variety of topics like world history, poetry, mathematics, grammar, ethics, lexicography, and medicine. He is credited with founding a school of thought called madhhab which flourished among Sunni Muslims for two centuries.

 27 
Edwy of England
(King of England (955-959))
Edwy of England
2
Birthdate: 0941 AD
Birthplace: Wessex, England
Died: October 1, 0959
 28 
Constantine VII
(Emperor)
Constantine VII
3
Birthdate: May 18, 0905
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Constantinople, Turkey
Died: November 9, 0959
 29 
Louis IV of France
(King of West Francia)
Louis IV of France
1
Birthdate: September 10, 0920
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Laon, France
Died: September 10, 0954
 30 
Athelstan
(King of England)
Athelstan
7
Birthdate: 0894 AD
Birthplace: Wessex
Died: October 27, 0939
Æthelstan, or Athelstan, son of Edward the Elder, was an Anglo-Saxon king who ruled from 924 to 927. He was also the King of the English from 927 to 939. Æthelstan is known for his victory at the Battle of Brunanburh and for his significant contribution to European politics. 
 31 
Ahmad ibn Fadlan
(Traveler)
Ahmad ibn Fadlan
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0879 AD
Birthplace: Baghdad, Iraq
Died: 0960 AD
 32 
Thorfinn Karlsefni
(Explorer)
Thorfinn Karlsefni
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0980 AD
Birthplace: Iceland
 33 
Sabuktigin
(The Founder of the Ghaznavid Dynasty)
Sabuktigin
2
Birthdate: 0942 AD
Birthplace: Barskhan, Afghanistan
Died: August 5, 0997
Sebüktigin reigned as the Emir of Ghazna from 20 April 977 to 5 August 997 after founding the Ghaznavid dynasty in 977. He expanded his kingdom as far as the Indus River in Pakistan and the Neelum River in Kashmir. Sebüktigin is considered the architect of the Ghaznavid Empire.
 34 
Abd Al-Rahman Al Sufi
(Iranian Astronomer)
Abd Al-Rahman Al Sufi
3
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: December 7, 0903
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Shahr-e-Rey, Iran
Died: May 25, 0986

Abd Al-Rahman Al Sufi was a Persian astronomer best remembered for his popular work The Book of Fixed Stars which he published in 964. The book was highly influential and is still extant in the form of various translations and manuscripts, the oldest being preserved at the Bodleian Library in the University of Oxford. 

 35 
Al-Hallaj
(Iranian Poet and Saint)
Al-Hallaj
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 0858 AD
Birthplace: Fars Province, Iran
Died: March 26, 0922

Al-Hallaj was a Persian poet, mystic, and teacher of Sufism. An influential preacher, Al-Hallaj gained a wide following before entering into a conflict with the Abbasid court, which had him executed on religious and political charges on 26 March 922. Although he was criticized by many of his Sufi contemporaries, Al-Hallaj later became an important figure in the Sufi tradition.

 36 
Clement of Ohrid
(The First Bishop of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church Who Inspired Slavs to Follow Christianity)
Clement of Ohrid
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Macedonia Greece, Greece
Died: July 27, 0916

A pioneering medieval Bulgarian saint, Clement of Ohrid was a student of saints Cyril and Methodius. He inspired a huge number of Slavs to follow Christianity. He was also the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s first bishop and one of its Seven Apostles. He is remembered as the patron saint of North Macedonia.

 37 
Oleg of Novgorod
(Grand Prince of Kiev From 882 to 912)
Oleg of Novgorod
4
Birthdate: 0845 AD
Birthplace: Russia
Died: 0912 AD
Oleg of Novgorod, or Oleg the Prophet, was a Varangian prince who reigned over the Rus' people in late 9th and 10th centuries. He established the rule of Kievan Rus' and attacked Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. He finds mention in Scandinavian legends and in many historical films.
 38 
Simeon I of Bulgaria
(Ruled over Bulgaria from 893 to 927)
Simeon I of Bulgaria
3
Birthdate: 0864 AD
Birthplace: Bulgaria
Died: May 27, 0927
 39 
Al-Masudi
(Historian)
Al-Masudi
1
Birthdate: 0896 AD
Birthplace: Baghdad, Iraq
Died: August 31, 0956
 40 
Mieszko I of Poland
(Ruler)
Mieszko I of Poland
1
Birthdate: 0930 AD
Birthplace: Poland
Died: May 25, 0992
 41 
Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia
(Duke of Bohemia (921-935))
Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0911 AD
Birthplace: Stochov, Czech Republic
Died: September 28, 0935
 42 
Li Qingzhao
(Chinese Essayist and Poet)
Li Qingzhao
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: March 13, 1084
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Jinan, China
Died: 1155 AD
 43 
Al-Mutanabbi
(Poet)
Al-Mutanabbi
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 0915 AD
Birthplace: Kufa, Iraq
Died: September 3, 0965
 44 
Saint Gregory Narekatzi
(Poet)
Saint Gregory Narekatzi
2
Birthdate: 0950 AD
Birthplace: Yemişlik, Turkey
Died: 1003 AD
 45 
Sei Shōnagon
(Writer)
Sei Shōnagon
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 0966 AD
Birthplace: Tohoku Region, Japan
Died: 1025 AD

Tenth-century Japanese writer Sei Shōnagon was patronized by Empress Teishi. The daughter of a scholar/poet, she is best remembered for The Pillow Book, which was a vivid classification of the things and people she saw around her, such as Annoying Things. She was particularly popular for her wit.

 46 
Pope Silvester II
(Bishop of Rome Who Ruled the Papal States From 999 to His Death)
Pope Silvester II
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0946 AD
Birthplace: Saint-Simon, France
Died: May 12, 1003
A French-born scholar and teacher, Pope Sylvester II served as the bishop of Rome and ruled the Papal States from 999 to his death. He is known for endorsing and promoting study of Arab and Greco-Roman arithmetic, mathematics, and astronomy. Pope is said to be the first to introduce in Europe the decimal numeral system using the Arabic numeral system.
 47 
Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor
(Emperor)
Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor
1
Birthdate: 0980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kessel, Germany
Died: January 23, 1002
 48 
Olga of Kiev
4
Birthplace: Pskov, Russia
Died: July 11, 0969
Although revered as a saint, Olga, the first Kiev royal member to adopt Christianity, is remembered for the brutal revenge on her husband Igor I’s murderers. She got her men to capture the Drevlians who suggested she marry Prince Mal, who had killed Igor, and watched them being buried alive. 
 49 
Saint Aelfheah
(Saint)
Saint Aelfheah
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0954 AD
Birthplace: Upper Weston, Bath, United Kingdom
Died: April 19, 1012
 50 
Harald II of Denmark
(King of Denmark from 1014 to 1018)
Harald II of Denmark
0
Birthdate: 0980 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 1018 AD