Famous People Of The 2nd Century

The 2nd century saw the Roman Empire expand exponentially under the emperor Trajan who is listed in the annals of history as one of the most influential personalities of the time. The period also saw the reign and death of the philosopher emperor Marcus Aurelius. The prominent Chinese scholar Cai Yong lived during this era, as did Nagarjuna, the founder of Madhyamaka Buddhism. The period was significant from a literary point of view as well with important writers like Aulus Gellius, Chariton, and Juvenal enriching the world with their works. Check out this section to know more about the famous people of the 2nd century.

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

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 1 Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar.
10
Famous As: Former Roman dictator
Birthdate: July 13, 0100
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: March 15, 0044

Julius Caesar is considered one of the greatest military commanders in history and played an important role in the events that led to the downfall of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He assumed control of the government after a civil war. He was assassinated by rebel senators on the Ides of March, 44 BC.

 2 Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius.
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 26, 0121
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: March 17, 0180

Marcus Aurelius played an important role in the Roman Empire. A Stoic philosopher, Marcus was part of the Five Good Emperors and the last emperor of the Pax Romana—a 200-year-long period of relative peace in the Roman Empire. Also a writer, his work Meditations is regarded by many as one of the greatest works of philosophy.

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 3 Commodus

Commodus.
1
Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: August 31, 0161
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lanuvium
Died: December 31, 0192
Commodus ruled Rome as an emperor, with his father Marcus Aurelius, from 176 till 180, and then as a sole ruler till 192. His rule ended the 200-year peaceful era of Pax Romana. His dictatorial rule was portrayed in films such as Gladiator. He was assassinated by his wrestling partner.

 4 Lu Bu

Lu Bu.
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Military General
Birthdate: 0161 AD
Birthplace: Wuyuan Commandery, China
Died: February 7, 0199

 5 Hadrian

Hadrian.
0
Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: January 24, 0076
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Italica, Hispania
Died: July 10, 0138
Hadrian was the Roman emperor from 117 to 138. Though he was married to Vibia Sabina, he was said to have many male lovers. He reconstructed the Pantheon and built the Temple of Venus and Roma. He also supported military discipline and came to be known as a benevolent dictator.

 6 Claudius Ptolemy

Claudius Ptolemy.
0
Famous As: Astronomer, Cartographer & Mathematician
Birthdate: 0090 AD
Birthplace: Egypt
Died: 0168 AD
Claudius Ptolemy was a 2nd-century mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, and geographer, who had written a number of scientific treatises, such as The Great Treatise, Geography, and the Tetrábiblos. He lived in Alexandria under the Roman rule in Egypt. He had also authored Harmonics, a book on music theory.

 7 Antoninus Pius

Antoninus Pius.
1
Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: September 19, 0086
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lanuvium, Italy
Died: March 7, 0161
Antoninus Pius was the Roman emperor from 138 to 161 and is regarded as one of the Five Good Emperors of the Nerva–Antonine dynasty. He was adopted by emperor Hadrian. His reign was marked by peace and the construction of the Antonine Wall. He was largely an efficient ruler.
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 8 Cao Cao

Cao Cao.
1
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Chinese warlord
Birthdate: March 18, 0155
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bozhou, Anhui, China
Died: March 15, 0220

Cao Cao was a Chinese warlord, poet, and statesman. He played an important role in laying the foundations for the state of Cao Wei, which was formed shortly after his death. Although he was posthumously honoured with the title Emperor Wu of Wei, Cao Cao never ruled as an emperor, but kept Emperor Xian under his control.

 9 Pertinax

Pertinax.
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: August 1, 0126
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Alba Pompeia, Italy
Died: March 28, 0193

Born to a freed slave, Pertinax joined the Roman army early in life and soon rose to be a commander. He was declared the emperor after Commodus was murdered but was himself killed within three months of his rule. Septimius Severus later organized a state funeral and also deified him.

 10 Guan Yu

Guan Yu
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Died: 0219 AD

Guan Yu was nicknamed Beautiful Beard for his long, flowing beard. Featured in literary works such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Guan was a Chinese military general who served Liu Bei of the Eastern Han dynasty. Lord Guan is now revered as a deity in Chinese folk culture.

 11 Shimon bar Yochai

Shimon bar Yochai
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Galilee, Israel
Died: 0160 AD

Shimon bar Yochai was a 2nd-century tannaitic sage in ancient Judea. One of the most eminent disciples of Rabbi Akiva, he is credited with the authorship of the Zohar, the chief work of Kabbalah. The legal works of Sifre and Mekhilta are also attributed to him. He is held in unique reverence by kabbalistic tradition.

 12 Antinous

Antinous.
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Roman Emperor Hadrian’s Lover
Birthdate: November 29, 0111
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bolu, Turkey
Died: October 30, 0130

Blessed with beguiling beauty, Antinous was quick to catch Roman emperor Hadrian’s attention, who took him as his lover. Antinous died shortly before turning 20, with some calling it a suicide and others suggesting it was a sacrifice. He was deified by Hadrian, who named a city in his honor.

 13 Tacitus

Tacitus.
0
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: 0056 AD
Birthplace: Gallia Narbonensis
Died: 0120 AD

Tacitus was a Roman politician and historian. He is widely considered one of the greatest Roman historians of all time. Tacitus is best remembered for his fascinating insights into the psychology of politics, especially power politics.

 14 Gaius Marius

Gaius Marius.
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Roman General
Birthdate: 0157 BC
Birthplace: Arpinum
Died: January 13, 0086
Born to a plebeian farmer, near Arpinum, Gaius Marius was a skilled military leader but lacked the polish and sophistication required of a political leader. Known as "the third founder of Rome" for his win at the Cimbrian War, Marius had been made a consul for seven terms.

 15 Didius Julianus

Didius Julianus.
0
Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: February 2, 0137
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mediolanum
Died: June 1, 0193
Born into an influential Roman family, Didius Julianus was raised by Marcus Aurelius’s mother, Domitia. As the man who bid the highest in an auction for the throne, he became the Roman emperor, following Pertinax’s murder. However, just after 66 days of rule, he was murdered in his palace.

 16 Galen

Galen.
1
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: 0130 AD
Birthplace: Pergamon, Turkey
Died: 0200 AD

Galen was a Greek physician, philosopher, and surgeon in the Roman Empire. Regarded as one of the most proficient medical researchers in ancient history, Galen influenced the growth of several scientific disciplines, such as neurology, pharmacology, pathology, physiology, and anatomy. Thanks to the translation of his works into Arabic, Galen's approach to medicine remains influential in the Islamic world.

 17 Liu Bei

Liu Bei.
0
Famous As: Founder of the Chinese Shu Han Dynasty
Birthdate: 0161 AD
Birthplace: Zhuozhou, Baoding, China
Died: June 10, 0223

Liu Bei was a warlord in the Eastern Han dynasty. He is credited with founding the state of Shu Han. Liu Bei went on to reign as the emperor of Shu Han from 221 until his death in 223. Liu Bei is best remembered for his remarkable skills as a leader and politician. His life has inspired several TV series.

 18 Patanjali

Patanjali
0
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: India
Died: 0150 AD

 19 Irenaeus

Irenaeus.
1
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Bishop
Birthdate: 0130 AD
Birthplace: Smyrna
Died: 0202 AD

Greek bishop Irenaeus, now revered as a Catholic saint, is remembered for his clashes with the Gnostics and his notable work Adversus haereses. Irenaeus apparently preached about the validity of the Jewish Bible, while the Gnostics were against it. Legend has it that he had seen Polycarp of Smyrna.

 20 Justin Martyr

Justin Martyr.
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Christian Apologist
Birthdate: 0100 AD
Birthplace: Nablus
Died: 0165 AD

Justin Martyr was a philosopher and early Christian apologist. He is best remembered for his text, the First Apology, which attempts to convince Emperor Antoninus to give up the persecution of the Church. He was martyred and is venerated as a saint by Anglican Church, Catholic Church, Oriental Orthodox Churches, and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

 21 Lucius Verus

Lucius Verus.
0
Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: December 15, 0130
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: January 23, 0169

Lucius Verus was the Roman emperor from 161 to 169, alongside his adoptive brother Marcus Aurelius. Their succession together marked the first time that the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors. The eldest son of Lucius Aelius Caesar, Verus hailed from the Nerva-Antonine dynasty. He ruled for only a few years before he died of an illness in 169.

 22 Polycarp

Polycarp.
0
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 0069 AD
Birthplace: Smyrna, Turkey
Died: February 23, 0155

Polycarp was a Christian bishop of Smyrna. According to some sources,  he had been a disciple of John the Apostle, one of Jesus’ disciples. Along with Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch, he is regarded as one of three chief Apostolic Fathers. He died a martyr, according to the Martyrdom of Polycarp, and is considered a saint.

 23 Tertullian

Tertullian.
0
Birthdate: 0160 AD
Birthplace: Carthage, Tunisia
Died: 0225 AD

Born to pagan parents in North Africa, Tertullian was initially gearing up to be a lawyer. Following his conversion to Christianity in Rome at about 40, he became a leader of the African church and wrote several Christian treatises, to eventually become the father of Latin Christianity.

 24 Macrinus

Macrinus
0
Famous As: Roman emperor
Birthdate: 0164 AD
Birthplace: Caesarea of Mauretania
Died: May 31, 0218

 25 Kanishka

Kanishka
0
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0078 AD
Birthplace: Peshawar, Pakistan
Died: 0144 AD

 26 Lucilla

Lucilla
0
Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: March 7, 0150
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 0182 AD

 27 Dong Zhuo

Dong Zhuo
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Warlord
Birthdate: 0138 AD
Birthplace: Min County, Dingxi, China
Died: May 22, 0192

 28 Annia Galeria Faustina

Annia Galeria Faustina
0
Famous As: Roman patrician
Birthdate: September 21, 0130
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Roman Empire
Died: 0175 AD

 29 Tiberius Gracchus

Tiberius Gracchus.
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: 0165 BC
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 0133 BC

Tiberius Gracchus was a Roman politician best remembered for proposing the Lex Sempronia Agraria, a law aimed at improving the lives of the poor. The law suggested the transfer of land from wealthy landowners to poorer citizens. Unsurprisingly, Tiberius Gracchus was killed due to his populist program and his uncompromising behavior.

 30 Hillel the Elder

Hillel the Elder
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Jewish scholar
Birthdate: 0110 AD
Birthplace: Babylonia

 31 Apollonius of Tyana

Apollonius of Tyana
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 0015 AD
Birthplace: Tyana, Turkey
Died: 0100 AD

 32 Baldwin V

Baldwin V
0
Famous As: King
Birthdate: July 31, 1177
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Israel
Died: July 31, 1186

 33 Simon bar Kokhba

Simon bar Kokhba
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Military leader
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0135 AD

 34 Clement of Alexandria

Clement of Alexandria
0
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: 0150 AD
Birthplace: Athens, Greece
Died: 0215 AD

 35 Charaka

Charaka
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: 0100 AD
Birthplace: India
Died: 0200 AD

 36 Sima Qian

Sima Qian
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: 0145 BC
Birthplace: Hejin, Yuncheng, China
Died: 0086 AD

The first noted Chinese historian, Sima Qian is best remembered for authoring the history of China titled Shiji. The son of Sima Tan, a court historian of the Han dynasty, Qian traveled widely and was also responsible for modifying the Chinese calendar. He was later castrated for defaming Emperor Wu.

 37 Héloïse

Héloïse
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: French nun
Birthdate: 1101 AD
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 16, 1164

 38 Marcion of Sinope

Marcion of Sinope
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: 0085 AD
Birthplace: Sinop, Turkey
Died: 0160 AD

 39 Montanus

Montanus
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Religious leader
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Unknown

 40 Terence

Terence
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: 0185 BC
Birthplace: Carthage, Tunisia
Died: 0159 BC

 41 Tigranes the Great

Tigranes the Great
0
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0140 BC
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0055 BC

 42 Ceto

Ceto
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Daughter of Pontus
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Greece

 43 Apuleius

Apuleius
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: 0125 AD
Birthplace: M’Daourouch, Algeria
Died: 0170 AD

 44 Cai Lun

Cai Lun
0
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: 0050 AD
Birthplace: Hunan, China
Died: 0121 AD

Cai Lun was a Chinese inventor who served as an eunuch court official of the Han dynasty. Cai Lun played an important role at the imperial court of Emperor He, overseeing the production of weapons and instruments for imperial use. He is credited with inventing paper as we know it today and is hence considered the inventor of modern paper.

 45 Arrian

Arrian
0
Famous As: Greek historian
Birthdate: 0086 AD
Birthplace: Nicomedia
Died: 0146 AD

 46 Cleopatra Selene of Syria

Cleopatra Selene of Syria
0
Famous As: Queen regnant
Birthdate: 0130 AD
Birthplace: Egypt
Died: 0069 AD

 47 Zhao Gao

Zhao Gao
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: 0258 AD
Birthplace: Qin, China
Died: 0207 AD

Zhao Gao was a eunuch who served the emperors of the Qin dynasty. He conspired to overthrow Qin Shi Huang and hid his death from the emperor’s eldest son, sending him a false letter that stated the emperor wanted the prince to commit suicide. Zhao was eventually assassinated.

 48 Marcia Mistress

Marcia Mistress
0
Listed In: Criminals
Famous As: Mistress
Birthdate: May 5, 0167
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Anagni, Italy

 49 Valentinus

Valentinus
0
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: 0100 AD
Birthplace: Egypt
Died: 0160 AD

 50 Lucullus

Lucullus
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: 0118 BC
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 0056 BC