Famous People Of The 17th Century

The 17th century was a politically chaotic period in almost all parts of the world. Several great military conflicts took place including the Thirty Years' War, the Great Turkish War, and the Dutch-Portuguese War which led to the emergence of military leaders like Gustav II Adolf and Axel Gustafsson Oxenstierna, and other important political personnel like John III Sobieski and Mehmed IV. European politics were majorly controlled by Louis XIV and the period marked in earnest the European colonization of the Americas. The 17th century was also an important one in the scientific field. It saw the birth of Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Christian philosopher. Pierre de Fermat, Robert Hooke, Sir Isaac Newton, and Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz were also prominent scientists born in this era. The world of music and fine arts was enriched by the birth of the likes of Dieterich Buxtehude, Danish-German composer and Francesco Cavalli, Venetian opera composer. Artists like André Le Nôtre, Jan Steen, and Johannes Vermeer were also born in this era. Read on to learn more about the life and works of famous people of the 17th century.
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 1 
William Shakespeare
(English Playwright & Poet Who is Regarded as the Greatest Writer in the English Language)
William Shakespeare
207
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 26, 1564
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stratford-upon-Avon, England
Died: April 23, 1616

English playwright, poet, and actor William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. He is also often called England's national poet. Many of his works have been translated into other languages and his plays continue to be produced till day. Popular during his lifetime, he acquired an iconic status after his death.

 2 
Isaac Newton
(One of the Most Influential Scientists of All Time)
Isaac Newton
121
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: January 4, 1643
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lincolnshire, England
Died: March 31, 1727

One of the most influential and popular scientists of all time, Sir Isaac Newton played a prominent role in our understanding of natural phenomena. He formulated the law of universal gravitation and laws of motion. He also developed the Newtonian telescope among other devices. Apart from science, Newton was also intrigued by religion, occult, and alchemy.

 3 
Galileo Galilei
(Known as “Father” of Observational Astronomy who Invented the ‘Thermoscope’ and Various Military Compasses)
Galileo Galilei
94
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: February 15, 1564
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pisa, Italy
Died: January 8, 1642

An Italian astronomer, engineer, and physicist, Galileo Galilei is widely regarded as the father of observational astronomy, the father of the scientific method, the father of modern physics, and the father of modern science. He is credited with popularizing the telescope, which changed the course of history.

 4 
Elizabeth I of England
(Queen of England)
Elizabeth I of England
58
Birthdate: September 7, 1533
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Palace of Placentia
Died: March 24, 1603
Elizabeth I, daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, ruled as the Queen of England and Ireland from 1558 to 1603. She had been declared illegitimate after her mother’s execution. Nicknamed The Virgin Queen for her unmarried status, she established an English Protestant church and served as its governor.
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 5 
Johann Sebastian Bach
(One of the Greatest Composers of All Time)
Johann Sebastian Bach
21
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: March 31, 1685
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Eisenach, Germany
Died: July 28, 1750

Johann Sebastian Bach was an 18-th century German composer of the Baroque period. He redefined both church and secular music. He served as the court musician of Duke Johann Ernst and King Augustus III. He created more than 300 cantatas and vocal music such as Mass in B minor.

 6 
John Locke
(English Philosopher and Physician, Popularly Known as the ‘Father of Liberalism’)
John Locke
36
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 29, 1632
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wrington, Somerset, England
Died: October 28, 1704
John Locke, also known as The Father of Liberalism, was a prominent Enlightenment Age philosopher. A qualified physician, Locke postulated the theory of mind, empiricism, and the idea of tabula rasa. His ideas influenced the social contract theory, the works of Kant and Rousseau, and the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
 7 
Elizabeth Báthory
(Hungarian Noblewoman and Serial Killer)
Elizabeth Báthory
108
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 7, 1560
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nyírbátor, Hungary
Died: August 21, 1614
Known as The Blood Countess and Countess Dracula, Elizabeth Báthory was a Hungarian noblewoman who was accused of killing at least 650 young women from 1590 to 1610. She was also accused of cannibalism and bathing in the blood of her victims. She evaded punishment and died in house arrest.
 8 
René Déscartes
(French Philosopher, Mathematician and Inventor of ‘Analytic Geometry’)
René Déscartes
24
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: March 31, 1596
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Descartes, France
Died: February 11, 1650
René Descartes, the father of modern philosophy, laid down the idea of rationalism, later followed by Spinoza and Leibniz. Descartes also contributed to the field of analytical geometry and led to the Cartesian coordinate system being named after him. His Meditations on First Philosophy is still taught at many universities.
 9 
Peter the Great
(First Emperor of Russia)
Peter the Great
33
Birthdate: June 9, 1672
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Moscow
Died: February 8, 1725
Peter the Great ruled the Tsardom of Russia, and then the Russian Empire, from 1682 to 1725. He ushered in the Enlightenment and cultural revolution in Russia. He also strengthened the Russian navy and launched the Russo-Persian War. Saint Petersburg, the capital of Russia till 1917, was established by him.
 10 
Francis Bacon
(Philosopher, Statesman and Lord High Chancellor of England)
Francis Bacon
26
Birthdate: January 22, 1561
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Strand, London, England
Died: April 9, 1626

Francis Bacon was a Renaissance philosopher and author who was known as the Father of Empiricism, because of his belief in the scientific method and theory that scientific knowledge can only be created through inductive reasoning and experience. He was later knighted and served as the first Queen's counsel.

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 11 
Rembrandt
(One of the Greatest Visual Artists in the History of Art)
Rembrandt
14
Birthdate: July 15, 1606
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Leiden, Netherlands
Died: October 4, 1669

Rembrandt was a Dutch printmaker, painter, and draughtsman. A master in three major art media, Rembrandt is widely considered the most important visual artist in Dutch art history and one of the greatest of all time. He is also considered the greatest etcher in the history of printmaking. His life and work inspired several films, including the 1936 movie Rembrandt.

 12 
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
(Baroque Composer & Virtuoso Violinist Known for His Violin Concertos 'The Four Seasons')
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
18
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: March 4, 1678
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: July 28, 1741

Italian Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, and teacher, Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers. He was extremely popular during his lifetime and composed many instrumental concertos and operas. He was also a Roman Catholic priest and worked at a home for abandoned children. Even though he died in 1741, his music continues to be popular.

 13 
Blaise Pascal
(One of the Greatest Mathematicians of All Time Who Invented the Mechanical Calculator)
Blaise Pascal
14
Birthdate: June 19, 1623
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clermont-Ferrand, France
Died: August 19, 1662

Blaise Pascal was a French physicist, mathematician, philosopher, and inventor. A child prodigy, Pascal's work on projective geometry, at the age of 16 is commendable. He is one of the earliest inventors of the mechanical calculator, which he did when he was still a teenager. His work on probability theory influenced the development of social science and modern economics.

 14 
Johannes Vermeer
(One of the Greatest Painters of the Dutch Golden Age)
Johannes Vermeer
14
Birthdate: October 31, 1632
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Delft, Netherlands
Died: December 15, 1675

Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch painter renowned for his use of light in paintings. Although he did not achieve fame during his lifetime, Vermeer's works gained popularity in the 19th century. Today, Vermeer is often counted among the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. Over the years, Vermeer's work has inspired artists like Wilhelm Hammershoi and Thomas Wilmer Dewing.

 15 
Charles II
(King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1660 to 1685)
Charles II
36
Birthdate: May 29, 1630
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St James's Palace, London, England
Died: February 6, 1685
Charles II, son of King Charles I of England, ruled England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1660 to 1685. He was initially defeated by Oliver Cromwell and forced to go into exile, but returned to England after Cromwell’s death. He introduced the Clarendon Code and later sided with the Tories.
 16 
George II of Great Britain
(Former King of Great Britain & Ireland (1727 - 1760))
George II of Great Britain
16
Birthdate: November 10, 1683
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: October 25, 1760
George II was the king of Great Britain from 1727 to 1760. He had negligible control over his country’s policies, as the Parliament took most of the significant decisions back then. His participation in the 1743 Battle of Dettingen made him the last British monarch to fight in a battle.
 17 
Johannes Kepler
(Astronomer Best Known for his Laws of Plantery Motion)
Johannes Kepler
20
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: December 27, 1571
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Weil der Stadt, Germany
Died: November 15, 1630

This 17th-century German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer is remembered for his pathbreaking work on optics. He invented a developed version of the refracting telescope. He also laid down Kepler's laws of planetary motion and wrote Astronomia Nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae.

 18 
Baruch Spinoza
(One of the Most Important Philosophers of the Early Modern Period)
Baruch Spinoza
24
Birthdate: November 24, 1632
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: February 21, 1677
Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza is best remembered for his rationalist ideas and his posthumously released book Ethics. He opposed Rene Descartes’s ideas and believed that God was an abstract entity. He was later expelled from the Jewish society, while his books were banned by the Catholic Church.
 19 
Caravaggio
(One of the Most Prominent Italian Painters of His Generation)
Caravaggio
15
Birthdate: September 29, 1571
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: July 18, 1610
Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio is best remembered for his influence on the Baroque style of painting. He pioneered a tactic known as tenebrism, and combined light and darkness to create his masterpieces. He was known for his erratic and aggressive nature and died under mysterious circumstances.
 20 
Louis XIV of France
(King of France from 1643 to 1715)
Louis XIV of France
27
Birthdate: September 5, 1638
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Died: September 1, 1715

Louis XIV of France reigned as the King of France from 1643 to 1715. Louis XIV is the longest-reigning monarch of a sovereign country in the history of Europe. Under his rule, France often asserted its military prowess and emerged as the most dominant European monarchy. His life inspired several films, such as The Taking of Power by Louis XIV.

 21 
Henry IV of France
(King of France from 1589 to 1610)
Henry IV of France
25
Birthdate: December 13, 1553
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pau, France
Died: May 14, 1610

Henry IV of France reigned as the King of France from 2 August 1589 until his death on 14 May 1610. Remembered for his concern about the welfare of the people of France, Henry worked to eliminate corruption, promote agriculture, encourage education, and regularize state finance. The character of Ferdinand in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost was loosely based on Henry.

 22 
Miyamoto Musashi
(Japanese Swordsman and Philosopher Who Became Popular Through His Unique Double-Bladed Swordsmanship)
Miyamoto Musashi
10
Birthdate: 1584 AD
Birthplace: Harima Province, Japan
Died: June 13, 1645

Miyamoto Musashi was a Japanese swordsman, writer, strategist, and philosopher. Widely regarded as a Kensei, Musashi became famous through his stories of bravery, which involves his undefeated streak of 61 duels. He is also credited with founding the Niten Ichi-ryū school of swordsmanship. His life has inspired several films, TV series, stage plays, and video games.

 23 
Thomas Hobbes
(English Philosopher and One of the Founders of Modern Political Philosophy)
Thomas Hobbes
17
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 5, 1588
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Westport, Wiltshire, England
Died: December 4, 1679

Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher. Widely regarded as the co-founder of modern political philosophy, Hobbes is best known for his influential book Leviathan. Apart from political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes also contributed immensely to various other fields, such as ethics, theology, geometry, history, and jurisprudence.

 24 
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
7
Birthdate: October 24, 1632
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Delft, Netherlands
Died: August 26, 1723

Seventeenth-century Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, also known as the Father of Microbiology, is remembered as a pioneer of microscopy. His contribution to microbiology included the discovery of spermatozoa, bacteria, and muscle fibers. Though he had not authored any book, his letters to the Royal Society were later published.

 25 
Jonathan Swift
(Satirist & Author of 'Gulliver's Travels',' A Tale of a Tub' and 'A Modest Proposal')
Jonathan Swift
14
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: November 30, 1667
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: October 19, 1745

Eighteenth-century essayist, poet, and pamphleteer Jonathan Swift is remembered for his iconic works such as A Tale of a Tub, A Modest Proposal, and Gulliver's Travels. One of the world’s greatest satirists, he gave rise to the deadpan Swiftian style. He had also been the Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

 26 
John Smith
(British Explorer)
John Smith
9
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 6, 1580
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lincolnshire, England
Died: June 21, 1631

John Smith was an English explorer, soldier, colonial governor, author, and Admiral of New England. In the early-17th century, Smith played a major role in the establishment of the first indissoluble English settlement in America, which came to be known as the English colony at Jamestown. Apart from helping Jamestown survive various challenges, Smith's leadership also helped the colony flourish.

 27 
Henry Hudson
(Navigator and Explorer)
Henry Hudson
14
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 1565 AD
Birthplace: England, United Kingdom
Died: 1611 AD

Henry Hudson was an English navigator and sea explorer best remembered for his explorations of modern-day Canada and the northeastern United States. He is credited with laying the foundation for the Dutch colonization near the Hudson River, which is named in his honor. During his final expedition, he became the first European to witness the Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait.

 28 
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
(Founder of the Maratha Kingdom of India)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
42
Birthdate: February 19, 1630
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Maharashtra, India
Died: April 3, 1680

Shivaji was an Indian warrior-king. He is credited with founding the Maratha Empire, which became a force to reckon with during the 18th century. He is also credited with creating his own navy. Considered one of the most important Indian kings and a hero of the Hindus, Shivaji's life and work have inspired several works of art, including films.

 29 
Robert Hooke
(Philosopher)
Robert Hooke
14
Listed In: Architects
Birthdate: July 28, 1635
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Freshwater, Isle of Wight
Died: March 3, 1703

Scientist Robert Hooke, also called England's Leonardo, initially gained recognition as an architect, conducting surveys following the Great Fire of London. He also taught geometry and was part of the Royal Society. He assisted Robert Boyle and eventually developed his own microscope, thus becoming the first to visualize micro-organisms.

 30 
Walter Raleigh
(English Statesman, Soldier, Writer, Explorer and One of the Most Notable Figures of the Elizabethan Era)
Walter Raleigh
9
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 1552 AD
Birthplace: Hayes Barton,United Kingdom, United Kingdom
Died: October 29, 1618
English explorer Walter Raleigh is best remembered for his involvement in the Siege of Smerwick and for colonizing North America. He made smoking tobacco popular in England. His accounts of his first voyage to South America led to the legend of El Dorado. He was executed to please the Spanish.
 31 
John Milton
(English Poet and Intellectual Known for His Epic Poem ‘Paradise Lost’)
John Milton
24
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: December 9, 1608
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cheapside, London, England
Died: November 8, 1674

John Milton was an English poet whose epic poem Paradise Lost is widely regarded as one of the greatest works of literature. Milton's other celebrated work Areopagitica is counted among history's most impassioned and influential defenses of freedom of the press and freedom of speech. John Milton’s works have influenced other prominent writers, such as Thomas Hardy and George Eliot.

 32 
Louis XIII of France
(Former King of France (1610 – 1643))
Louis XIII of France
9
Birthdate: September 27, 1601
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Château de Fontainebleau, Fontainebleau, France
Died: May 14, 1643

Louis XIII of France reigned as the King of France between 1610 and 1643. He is best remembered for saving the kingdom from the mismanagement of his mother Marie de' Medici, who was exiled by a 16-year-old Louis XIII. He is also credited with popularizing wigs among men, which had not been fashionable since antiquity.

 33 
Akbar
(3rd Emperor of the Mughal Empire (1556 - 1605))
Akbar
82
Birthdate: October 25, 1542
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Umarkot, Pakistan
Died: October 27, 1605

Akbar, the third Mughal emperor, played an important role in inculcating Persian culture into the Indian subcontinent. Akbar is considered one of the most important rulers of the Mughal Empire, an empire that seeped foreign ideas and culture into medieval India, the effects of which are still visible in modern-day India, especially in the northern parts of the country.

 34 
Charles I of England
(King of England, Scotland & Ireland from 1625 to 1649)
Charles I of England
23
Birthdate: November 19, 1600
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dunfermline Palace, Dunfermline, Scotland
Died: January 30, 1649

Charles I, the King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1625 to 1649, was said to be authoritarian and was in constant battle with the Parliament over the issue of royal prerogative. The friction led to a civil war from 1642 to 1645 between him and the English and Scottish Parliaments. He was defeated and executed in 1649 for treason.

 35 
Charles II of Spain
(King of Spain from 1665 to 1700)
Charles II of Spain
17
Birthdate: November 6, 1661
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: November 1, 1700

Charles II of Spain reigned as the king of Spain from 1665 to 1700. He was the last king from the House of Habsburg to rule the Spanish Empire. Despite suffering from many illnesses throughout his life, Charles proved to be a reasonably influential king. The town of Charleroi and the Caroline Islands in modern Belgium were named after Charles.

 36 
Anne, Queen of Great Britain
(Queen of Great Britain and Ireland (1707 – 1714))
Anne, Queen of Great Britain
22
Birthdate: February 6, 1665
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: St James's Palace, Westminster, England
Died: August 1, 1714

Many biographers consider Anne, the Queen of Great Britain, a weak and irresolute woman. It is said that she lacked political astuteness and was easily influenced by others. Though she was troubled by poor health throughout her life, she became increasingly obese and ill during her 30s and eventually died at the age of 49.

 37 
James II of England
(King of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1685 to 1688)
James II of England
8
Birthdate: October 14, 1633
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 16, 1701

James II of England reigned as the king of Ireland, Scotland, and England from 1685 to 1688. His deposition as king, caused by the Glorious Revolution of 1688, ended a century of civil and political strife by establishing the principle that Parliament would be preferred over the Crown as opposed to the principles of divine right of kings and absolutism.

 38 
Samuel de Champlain
18
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 13, 1574
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hiers-Brouage, Marennes-Hiers-Brouage, France
Died: December 25, 1635

Samuel de Champlain was a French colonist, navigator, draftsman, soldier, and explorer who made between 21 and 29 trips across the Atlantic Ocean. He founded Quebec and New France and is considered an important figure in Canadian history. He is also referred to as the "Father of New France." As a businessman, he founded many trading companies.

 39 
Gottfried W. Leibniz
(German Mathematician Who Developed the Present Day Notation for the Differential and Integral Calculus)
Gottfried W. Leibniz
30
Birthdate: July 1, 1646
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: November 14, 1716
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a significant logician, mathematician, and philosopher of the Enlightenment era. He laid down his own concepts of differential and integral calculus. He was behind the invention of the mass-produced mechanical calculator and modified the binary number system. He also laid down a separate library cataloging system.
 40 
William Penn
(Writer)
William Penn
6
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 14, 1644
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 30, 1718

William Penn was a writer and one of the earliest members of the Quakers. He is credited with founding the Province of Pennsylvania. He also oversaw the planning and development of the city of Philadelphia. Penn has several universities and schools named in his honor, including the William Penn University in Iowa. 

 41 
Nader Shah
(Shah of Iran from 1736 to 1747)
Nader Shah
12
Birthdate: October 22, 1688
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dargaz, Iran
Died: June 19, 1747

Nader Shah reigned over Iran as the Shah of Iran from 1736 until his death in 1747. He is widely regarded as one of the most powerful rulers in the history of Iran. He has also been described as the Napoleon of Persia, thanks to his military genius, which was evident in his several campaigns.

 42 
El Greco
(Greek Painter, Sculptor and Architect of the Spanish Renaissance)
El Greco
7
Listed In: Architects
Birthdate: October 1, 1541
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Heraklion, Greece
Died: April 7, 1614
Artist Doménikos Theotokópoulos never let anyone forget his Greek heritage and almost always signed his art in Greek letters. Popularly known as El Greco, he was a significant figure of the Spanish Renaissance. His best-known works remain The Burial of the Count of Orgaz and The Assumption of the Virgin.
 43 
Mary II of England
(Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland (1689 - 1694))
Mary II of England
16
Birthdate: April 30, 1662
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 28, 1694

Mary II of England was Queen of England, Ireland, and Scotland from 1689 to 1694. Although she co-reigned along with her husband William III of England, she also took major decisions by herself whenever William was abroad. Mary has been portrayed in films, such as Orlando and England, My England.

 44 
Artemisia Gentileschi
(One of the Most Progressive and Expressive Painters of Her Generation)
Artemisia Gentileschi
9
Birthdate: July 8, 1593
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 1652 AD
Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi was a prominent artist of the 17th century. She was the first female member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno and was known for her depiction of the female form. She was raped by painter Agostino Tassi and participated in a 7-month trial.
 45 
Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
(Son of Louis Xiii of France and His Wife Anne of Austria)
Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
8
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 21, 1640
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Died: June 9, 1701

Philippe I, Duke of Orléans received the dukedoms of Chartres and Valois in 1661 as the younger son of Louis XIII of France. Unlike most royal persons of his generation, Philippe was open about his homosexuality and did not think twice before acting effeminately in public. However, he fathered several children and earned the nickname the grandfather of Europe.

 46 
Moliere
(French Playwright and One of the Greatest Writers of French Comedy)
Moliere
8
Birthdate: January 15, 1622
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rue Saint Honoré, Paris, France
Died: February 17, 1673

Moliere was a French poet, playwright, and actor. Considered one of the greatest French-language writers of all time, Moliere's plays are often performed at the Comédie-Française and have been translated into several languages. Moliere had a huge impact on the French language and is widely regarded as the creator of modern French comedy.

 47 
Peter Paul Rubens
(One of the Most Influential Artists of the Flemish Baroque Tradition)
Peter Paul Rubens
9
Birthdate: June 28, 1577
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Siegen, Germany
Died: May 30, 1640

Peter Paul Rubens is considered the most influential artist of the Flemish Baroque tradition. He lived during the Dutch Golden Age. His style of art emphasized movement, color, and sensuality. He painted altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings and also drew cartoons for the Flemish tapestry workshops. He was a classically educated humanist scholar as well.

 48 
Robert Boyle
(Founder of Modern Chemistry, Boyle's Law)
Robert Boyle
14
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: January 25, 1627
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ireland
Died: December 30, 1691

Robert Boyle was an Anglo-Irish chemist, natural philosopher, inventor, and physicist. Regarded as the first modern chemist, Boyle is often counted among the founders of modern chemistry. One of the pioneers of the scientific method, Robert Boyle is also remembered for his books, including The Sceptical Chymist, which is viewed as a keystone book in chemistry.

 49 
Ahmed I
(Ottoman Emperor)
Ahmed I
16
Birthdate: April 18, 1590
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Manisa, Turkey
Died: November 22, 1617
Ahmed I reigned as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1603 till 1617. He ended the Ottoman tradition of royal fratricide upon taking over the throne. He constructed the iconic Blue Mosque of Turkey. He also patronized art, especially calligraphy, and wrote poems under the pseudonym Bahti.
 50 
Daniel Defoe
(Author of Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders)
Daniel Defoe
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 1660 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 24, 1731
Daniel Defoe was an English trader, pamphleteer, and spy, who is best remembered for his 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe. He also helped in popularizing the novel format of writing in Britain. He was a forerunner of business journalism, too, and also traded in hosiery, woollen goods, and wine.