Famous 6th Century Historical Personalities

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Vote for Your Favourite 6th Century Historical Personalities

 1 
Cyrus the Great
(Founder of First Persian Empire)

Cyrus the Great
29
Birthdate: 0590 BC
Birthplace: Anshan, Iran
Died: 0530 BC

Cyrus II, or Cyrus the Great, founded the first Persian empire, the Achaemenid Empire. His kingdom extended from Western Asia to Central Asia. He advocated centralized administration, with the help of local governors. The biblical Edict of Cyrus, named after him, talks about the return of the Jews to Israel.

 2 
Darius the Great
(King of Persia)

Darius the Great
15
Birthdate: 0550 AD
Birthplace: Iran
Died: September 30, 0487

Darius the Great was a Persian ruler. He served as the third King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 522 BCE until he died in 486 BCE. The empire was at the peak of its glory under his reign and included much of Western Asia and parts of the Balkans. He invested a lot in construction projects.  

 3 
Xerxes I
(King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire (486-465))

Xerxes I
19
Birthdate: 0519 BC
Birthplace: Achaemenid Empire
Died: July 31, 0466

Xerxes I ruled the Achaemenid Empire from 486 to 465 BC as the fourth King of Kings. During his reign, Xerxes I supervised the completion of several construction projects at Persepolis and Susa. A popular ruler, his life has been adapted into several plays and films; in the 1960 movie Esther and the King, Xerxes is played by Richard Egan.

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 4 
Justinian I
(Byzantine Emperor)

Justinian I
7
Birthdate: 0482 AD
Birthplace: Tauresium, Dardania, then part of Diocese of Dacia (in today's Republic of Macedonia
Died: November 14, 0565

Also known as Justinian the Great, Justinian I was the Eastern Roman emperor from 527 to 565. Even though he came from a peasant family, he was well educated in jurisprudence, theology, and Roman history. As emperor, he was known to be highly energetic and ambitious. He brought about several judicial reforms in his kingdom.

 5 
Theodoric the Great
(King of the Ostrogoths (471–526))

Theodoric the Great
3
Birthdate: 0454 AD
Birthplace: Petronell-Carnuntum, Austria
Died: August 30, 0526

 6 
Uthman
(Caliph)

Uthman
5
Birthdate: 0576 AD
Birthplace: Taif, Saudi Arabia
Died: June 17, 0656

 7 
Theodora
(Empress consort of the Byzantine Empire (527-48))

Theodora
2
Birthdate: 0500 AD
Birthplace: Paphlagonia
Died: June 28, 0548

Theodora was an Eastern Roman empress who was married to Emperor Justinian. She was one of Justinian's chief advisers; she had a strong influence on Justinian. A saint in the Oriental Orthodox Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, Theodora is commemorated on 28 June. Over the years, she has been the subject of several books, films, and video games.

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 8 
Solon
(Statesman)

Solon
3
Birthdate: 0630 BC
Birthplace: Athens, Greece
Died: 0560 BC

Solon was an Athenian lawmaker, statesman, and poet. He is best remembered for his efforts to legislate against the moral, economic, and political decline in archaic Athens. Although his efforts did not prove to be fruitful during his lifetime, Solon is often credited with laying the foundation for Athenian democracy. 

 9 
Heraclius
(Emperor of Byzantine Empire)

Heraclius
7
Birthdate: 0575 AD
Birthplace: Cappadocia, present-day Turkey
Died: February 11, 0641

A skilled military leader, Heraclius was also deeply religious, having once read out passages from the Bible when his men wanted to invade Persia. He also treated his prisoners with respect. He is best remembered for his exploits in the Byzantine–Sasanian War and his clashes with the Arabs.

 10 

Romulus Augustus
4
Birthdate: 0465 AD
Birthplace: Pannonia, Austria
Died: 0511 AD

Romulus Augustus went down in history as the last Western Roman emperor. The son of Orestes, who was killed by German warrior Odoacer, Romulus was spared and allowed to move to southern Italy. Though not much is known of him, it is believed he lived till the rule of Theoderic.

Gorgo, Queen of Sparta
4
Birthdate: 0506 AD
Birthplace: Greece

The only child of Spartan king Cleomenes I, Gorgo later married Cleomenes’s successor and half-brother, Leonidas, thus becoming the queen of Sparta. She was a child when she warned her father against Aristagoras, who tried his best to bribe Cleomenes to have him as an ally after the Ionian revolt.

 12 

Cambyses II
9
Birthdate: 0559 BC
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: June 30, 0522

Cambyses II was the second King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire. He ruled from 530 BC to 522 BC. He was the son of Cyrus the Great and Cassandane. Before claiming the throne, he served as the governor of northern Babylonia under his father. His reign was relatively brief and marked by his conquests in Africa, notably Egypt. 

 13 
Empress Suiko
(Monarch)

Empress Suiko
4
Birthdate: 0554 AD
Birthplace: Yamato, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Died: April 15, 0628

Empress Suiko reigned as the 33rd monarch of Japan from 593 to 628. Suiko is often recognized as the first of eight women to assume the role of empress regnant in Japan. Empress Suiko reigned until her death and she is venerated even today at a memorial Shinto shrine in Osaka.

 14 
Clovis I
(First king of the Franks to unite all of the Frankish tribes under one ruler.)

Clovis I
6
Birthdate: 0466 AD
Birthplace: Tournai (present-day Belgium)
Died: November 27, 0511

Clovis I, regarded as the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, united the Frankish tribes under one leader and thus transformed the leadership system which had previously been based on leadership by a group of chieftains. His conversion to Catholicism led to widespread conversion among the Frankish people.

 15 
Tomyris
(Ruler)

Tomyris
5
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Iran

A legendary figure, Tomyris was the fabled queen of the Massagetai, an Iranian tribal population. She is perhaps best remembered for her campaign against Cyrus II the Great of Persia, whom she attacked and killed, thus defending her forces. She has been the subject of many literary and artistic creations.

 16 
Bardiya
(King)

Bardiya
7
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Pasargadae, Iran
Died: 0522 AD

Born to Cyrus the Great of Persia, Bardiya was also known as Tanyoxarces. Though most sources believe he was the king of Persia, some sources claim an impersonator ruled Persia, pretending to be the real son of Cyrus. Both historian Herodotus and king Darius believed the impersonator was Gaumata, a magus.

 17 
Harshavardhana
(Indian emperor)

Harshavardhana
10
Birthdate: 0590 AD
Died: 0647 AD

Harshavardhana, the second son of king Prabhakaravardhana of Thanesar, became a king at 16. Also known as Harsha, he reigned over a vast region of North and Northwestern India from 606 to 647 CE. Hieun Tsang’s Harshacharita detailed how Harsha converted from Hinduism to Buddhism, banned animal slaughter, and built monasteries.

Rædwald of East Anglia
4
Birthdate: 0560 AD
Birthplace: United Kingdom
Died: 0624 AD

 19 
Khosrau II
(considered to be the last great Sasanian king (shah) of Iran, ruling from 590 to 628, with an interruption of one year)

Khosrau II
3
Birthdate: 0570 AD
Birthplace: Ctesiphon, Iraq
Died: February 28, 0628

Brunhilda of Austrasia
5
Birthdate: 0543 AD
Birthplace: Toledo, Spain
Died: 0613 AD

Brunhilda was queen of Austrasia, which was part of Francia. The daughter of Visigothic king Athanagild, she was also one of the most powerful fighters of Merovingian age. Her conflict with Fredegund, the queen consort of Chilperic I, ended in her death by being torn apart by four horses.

 21 
Khosrow I
(Sasanian King of Kings of Iran from 531 to 579)

Khosrow I
5
Birthdate: 0501 AD
Birthplace: Ardestan, Iran
Died: January 31, 0579

Khosrow I was a 6th-century Persian king of the Sasanian Empire. Though most of the information on him is known through legends, he is believed to have been a patron of the arts. He introduced major tax reforms and also brought changes to the Sasanian bureaucracy.

 22 
Phocas
(Eastern Roman emperor from 602 to 610)

Phocas
3
Birthdate: 0547 AD
Birthplace: Thracia, Turkey
Died: 0610 AD

 23 
Cerdic
(King of Wessex)

Cerdic
4
Birthdate: 0467 AD
Birthplace: Germany
Died: 0534 AD

 24 
Ceol
(King)

Ceol
4
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: unknown
Died: 0597 AD

 25 
Aethelberht I
(King of Kent)

Aethelberht I
4
Birthdate: 0550 AD
Birthplace: Kingdom of Kent
Died: February 24, 0616

 26 
Emperor Yang of Sui
(Emperor of China’s Sui dynasty)

Emperor Yang of Sui
3
Birthdate: 0569 AD
Birthplace: Daxing District, Beijing, China
Died: April 11, 0618

Emperor Yang of Sui is remembered for constructing countless canals and palaces in China during his reign. He apparently took over the throne after executing his father and brother. Though a patron of the arts, he killed two poets when he found they wrote better poetry than him.

 27 
Peisistratos
(Ruler of Ancient Athens)

Peisistratos
3
Birthdate: 0600 AD
Birthplace: Athens, Greece
Died: 0527 AD

 28 
Polyxena
(Queen)

Polyxena
2
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Greece

 29 
Tiberius II Constantine
(Was Eastern Roman emperor from 574 to 582)

Tiberius II Constantine
2
Birthdate: 0520 AD
Birthplace: Thrace
Died: August 14, 0582

 30 
Tarquinius Priscus
(Fifth king of Rome)

Tarquinius Priscus
2
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Roman
Died: 0578 AD

 31 

Cambyses I
3
Birthdate: 0600 BC
Birthplace: Anshan, Iran
Died: 0559 BC

Cambyses I was the king of Anshan from c. 580 to 559 BC. He was an early member of the Achaemenid dynasty and was a great-grandson of its founder Achaemenes. Not much is known about his life other than the fact that he reigned under the overlordship of Astyages.  

 32 

Chlothar I
2
Birthdate: 0497 AD
Birthplace: Soissons, France
Died: November 29, 0561

 33 
Varahamihira
(Astronomer)

Varahamihira
2
Birthdate: 0505 AD
Birthplace: Avanti Region, Malwa, India
Died: 0587 AD

Best known for his treatise on mathematical astronomy, Pancha-siddhantika, Indian philosopher, astronomer, and polymath Varahamihira was well-versed in Western astronomy. He had also penned Brihat-Samhita and is believed to have been one of the Navaratnas, or Nine Jewels, of the court of Indian king Yashodharman Vikramaditya.

 34 
Phalaris
(Tyrant of Acragas)

Phalaris
2
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Italy
Died: 0554 AD

 35 
Cyrus I
(King)

Cyrus I
2
Birthdate: 0649 AD
Birthplace: Iran
Died: 0580 AD

 36 

Ceawlin of Wessex
2
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Wessex, Great Britain
Died: 0593 AD

 37 

Chlotar II
2
Birthdate: 0584 AD
Birthplace: Cambrai, France
Died: October 18, 0629

 38 

Śuddhodana
2
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Kapilavastu, Shakya

 39 
Alaric II
(King of the Visigoths from 484 until 507)

Alaric II
2
Birthdate: 0458 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: July 31, 0507

 40 
Dhu Nuwas
(Ruler)

Dhu Nuwas
0
Birthdate: 0450 AD
Birthplace: Himyar
Died: 0523 AD

 41 

Psamtik III
2
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Egypt
Died: 0535 AD

 42 
Fredegund
(Queen consort)

Fredegund
1
Birthdate: 0545 AD
Birthplace: Montdidier, France
Died: November 8, 0597

 43 
Apries
(Pharaoh)

Apries
1
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Egypt
Died: 0567 AD

 44 
Kavadh I
(Sasanian King of Kings of Iran from 488 to 531)

Kavadh I
1
Birthdate: 0473 AD
Birthplace: Iran
Died: September 13, 0531

 45 
Polycrates
(Son of Aeaces, was the tyrant of Samos from the 540s BC to 522 BC)

Polycrates
1
Birthdate: 0574 AD
Birthplace: Samos, Greece
Died: 0522 AD

Polycrates was a tyrant who ruled over Samos, a Greek island which is separated by the 1.6-kilometre wide Mycale Strait from present-day Turkey, from the 540s to 522 BC. Polycrates is credited with achieving engineering and technological expertise of unprecedented levels in ancient Greece. The Tunnel of Eupalinos, which is 1,036 metres long, was an aqueduct constructed during his time.

 46 
Kaleb of Axum
(Sovereign)

Kaleb of Axum
0
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Kingdom of Aksum
Died: 0540 AD

 47 
Radegund
(Queen)

Radegund
1
Birthdate: 0520 AD
Birthplace: Erfurt, Germany
Died: August 13, 0587

 48 
Maha Maya
(Gautama Buddha's mother)

Maha Maya
2
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Devdaha Municipality, Nepal
Died: 0563 AD

Maha Maya was the mother of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Maya is often depicted as a beautiful queen of the Śakya clan. She is revered in Buddhism and is often mentioned in the stories pertaining to the life of Gautama Buddha.

 49 
Gundobad
(King)

Gundobad
1
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Ancient Rome
Died: 0516 AD

 50 

Bertha of Kent
1
Birthdate: 0565 AD
Birthplace: France
Died: 0601 AD