Famous Ancient Roman Intellectuals & Academics

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 1 
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
(Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman and Dramatist)
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
6
Birthdate: 0004 BC
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: 0065 AD
Roman Stoic philosopher and dramatist Seneca the Younger is remembered for his tragic plays such as Medea and Phaedra. He was exiled to Corsica by emperor Claudius but later returned as a tutor to Nero. He became Nero’s advisor later but committed suicide for being part of the Pisonian conspiracy.
 2 
Claudius Ptolemy
(Astronomer, Cartographer & Mathematician)
Claudius Ptolemy
7
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.
 3 
Plutarch
(Greek Middle Platonist Philosopher, Historian, Biographer and Priest)
Plutarch
4
Birthdate: 0046 AD
Birthplace: Chaeronea, Greece
Died: 0119 AD

Plutarch was a Greek philosopher, essayist, biographer, and historian. He also served as the priest at the Temple of Apollo. He is best remembered for his work Parallel Lives, a series of 48 biographies of noteworthy men. His writings had a huge influence on French and English literature. Writers like Shakespeare were influenced by his works.

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 4 
Cicero
(One of Rome's Greatest Orators of Politics and Prose Stylists)
Cicero
8
Birthdate: January 3, 0106
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arpino, Italy
Died: December 7, 0043
Roman statesman, lawyer, and scholar Cicero was one of the greatest 1st-century BC prose writers and orators. He influenced Latin literature immensely and introduced Greek philosophy to the Romans. He was declared an enemy of the state, following his opposition to Mark Antony after Julius Caesar’s death, and was executed.
 5 
Josephus
(Historian)
Josephus
7
Birthdate: 0037 AD
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Died: 0100 AD

Josephus was a Romano-Jewish historian. He played a major role during the First Jewish–Roman War, where he fought against the Romans as head of Jewish forces. However, he surrendered to Roman forces in 67 CE. As a historian, Josephus' works provide the first-known source for stories considered Biblical history. These stories include the narration of the Siege of Masada

 6 
John the Apostle
(One of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus)
John the Apostle
5
Birthdate: 0006 AD
Birthplace: Bethsaida, Galilee, Roman Empire
Died: 0100 AD
John the Evangelist is known to have authored the Gospel of John. Christians also believe he was the same as John the Apostle, John the Presbyter, and John of Patmos. He is also known as Saint John, and his feast day is celebrated on December 27.
 7 
Pliny the Elder
(Roman Author, Natural Philosopher and Army Commander)
Pliny the Elder
6
Birthdate: 0023 AD
Birthplace: Como, Italy
Died: 0079 AD

Pliny the Elder was a Roman natural philosopher, author, and army and naval commander of the Roman Empire. His work Naturalis Historia became an editorial model for the present-day encyclopedias. Today, his statue greets the visitors of Cathedral of S. Maria Maggiore in his hometown, Como.

 8 
Livy
(Roman Historian)
Livy
4
Birthdate: 0059 BC
Birthplace: Padua, Italy
Died: 0017 BC

Livy was a Roman historian. His seminal work, Ab Urbe Condita, covers the history of Rome through several centuries. A respected figure in society, he was on friendly terms with members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He wrote during the reign of Emperor Augustus, who was reportedly his friend. Livy was married and had at least two children. 

 9 
Plotinus
(Ancient Philosopher and Founder of ‘Neoplatonism’)
Plotinus
6
Birthdate: 0204 AD
Birthplace: Lycopolis, Egypt
Died: 0270 AD

Plotinus was a Hellenistic philosopher whose writings on metaphysics have inspired centuries of Jewish, Christian, Pagan, and Gnostic mystics and metaphysicians. His philosophy also had a major influence on the evolution of Christian theology. Plotinus' ideas influenced medieval Islam as well as a group of philosophers and theologians at the University of Cambridge which was known as the Cambridge Platonists

 10 
Lucretius
(Roman Poet and Philosopher)
Lucretius
4
Birthdate: 0099 BC
Birthplace: Ancient Rome
Died: 0055 BC

Lucretius was a Roman philosopher and poet. He is credited with originating the three-age system, which was formalized by C. J. Thomsen in 1836. His only known work De rerum natura, a philosophical poem, influenced several Augustan poets, including Virgil. The poem also played a prominent role in the development of atomism.

 11 
Cato the Elder
(Historian)
Cato the Elder
4
Birthdate: 0234 BC
Birthplace: Tusculum, Italy
Died: 0149 BC

Known for writing the first authentic history of Rome in Latin, Cato disliked luxury and was against the Hellenic culture that the Scipio family propagated. His role in the destruction of Carthage is of major significance. The Roman statesman gained many enemies for his stern actions as a censor.

 12 
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
(A Syrian Monk Who Merged Neoplatonism and Christian Theology in His Treatises)
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
3
Birthplace: Unknown

Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite was a Christian Neoplatonist who is believed to have been a Syrian monk using a pseudonym. His Greek treatises merged Neoplatonism and Christian theology, though his identity hasn’t yet been confirmed. Some of his best-known treatises include On the Divine Names and On the Celestial Hierarchy.

 13 
Pelagius
(British Monk and Theologian Known for His Theological System called Pelagianism,)
Pelagius
3
Birthdate: 0354 AD
Birthplace: Britannia
Died: 0418 AD
 14 
Appian
(Historian)
Appian
3
Birthdate: 0095 AD
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: 0165 AD

Appian was a Greek historian who flourished during the monarchy of Antoninus Pius, Trajan, and Hadrian. Appian, who held Roman citizenship, is best remembered for his principal surviving work Roman History. The work is considered important and valuable for its description of the Roman Empire, especially during the civil wars.

 15 
Atticus
(Ancient Roman Philosopher Who Followed Platonism and Rejected the Peripatetic School)
Atticus
3
Birthdate: 0175 BC
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: March 31, 0032

Ancient Platonic philosopher Atticus lived in the 2nd century, during the reign of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. The only known source that reveals about him is Greek historian Eusebius's Preparatio Evangelica. He wrote against the Peripatetic school of philosophy. His polemic claimed Aristotle was an atheist.

 16 
Apuleius
(Numidian Latin-Language Prose Writer, Platonist Philosopher, and Rhetorician)
Apuleius
3
Birthdate: 0125 AD
Birthplace: M’Daourouch, Algeria
Died: 0170 AD
Apuleius was a Numidian prose writer who wrote in latin. A Platonist philosopher and rhetorician, Apuleius studied Platonism in Athens and was initiated into several cults. He is known to have used magic and was once accused of using magic to gain the fortune and attention of a wealthy widow. He is best remembered for his novel The Golden Ass.
 17 
Herodian
(Civil servant)
Herodian
2
Birthdate: 0170 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0240 AD
 18 
Macrobius
(Scholar)
Macrobius
3
Birthdate: 0370 AD
Birthplace: Rome
Died: 0430 AD
 19 
Quintus Fabius Pictor
(Historiographer)
Quintus Fabius Pictor
2
Birthdate: 0254 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 0201 AD
 20 
Velleius Paterculus
1
Birthdate: 0019 AD
Birthplace: Mirabella Eclano, Italy
Died: 0031 AD
 21 
Justin
(Writer)
Justin
2
Birthplace: Roman Empire
 22 
Valerius Maximus
2
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
 23 
Priscus
(Roman Historian Who Penned the Greek Work History of Byzantium)
Priscus
0
Birthplace: Panion

Thracian diplomat and historian Priscus was a rare Christian in the Pagan court of Attila the Hun, as a representative of Roman Emperor Theodosius II. He later also traveled to Egypt. The massive 8-volume Greek work History of Byzantium was penned by him. He penned an intriguing account of a dinner with Attila.

 24 
Eutyches
(Orthodox Abbot Who Opposed Nestorianism and Established Eutychianism)
Eutyches
2
Birthdate: 0380 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0456 AD

Orthodox abbot Eutyches served as an archimandrite of a monastery outside Constantinople and first gained notice when he opposed Nestorianism at the First Council of Ephesus. However, while denouncing Nestorianism as heresy, he himself established Eutychianism, an extreme heresy that stressed on the exclusive existence of the divinity in Christ.

 25 
John Argyropoulos
(One of the Major Figures of the Greek Renaissance in Italy)
John Argyropoulos
2
Birthdate: 1415 AD
Birthplace: Constantinople
Died: June 26, 1487

Greek Renaissance humanist John Argyropoulos was a major figure of the classical Greek revival in Italy in the 15th century. A teacher, he hopped between Constantinople and Italy. He later worked as a professor of Greek in Florence and then moved to Rome. He also translated many major Greek works into Latin.

 26 
Marcus Cornelius Fronto
2
Birthdate: 0100 AD
Birthplace: Cirta, Algeria
Died: 0166 AD
 27 
Aelius Donatus
(Grammarian)
Aelius Donatus
2
Birthplace: Rome
Died: 0380 AD
 28 
George Sphrantzes
2
Birthdate: August 30, 1401
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Constantinople
Died: 1478 AD
 29 
Joannes Zonaras
(Byzantine historian)
Joannes Zonaras
2
Birthdate: 1074 AD
Birthplace: Byzantine
Died: 1130 AD
 30 
Antiochus Of Ascalon
(Greek Philosopher Who Headed Plato's 'The Academy' and Began the Phase of Middle Platonism)
Antiochus Of Ascalon
2
Birthdate: 0125 AD
Birthplace: Ashkelon, Israel
Died: 0068 AD

Ancient Greek philosopher Antiochus of Ascalon who headed The Academy founded by Plato. His philosophical system was a combination of Platonism, Peripateticism, and Stoicism. He began the phase that later came to be known as Middle Platonism and taught many master philosophers including Cicero.

 31 
Nikephoros Bryennios the Younger
2
Birthdate: 1062 AD
Birthplace: Orestiada
Died: 1137 AD
 32 
Sextus Pompeius Festus
2
Birthplace: Narbonne, France
 33 
Peregrinus Proteus
(Greek Cynic Philosopher Who Committed Suicide on a Funeral Pyre at the ‘Olympic Games’)
Peregrinus Proteus
2
Birthdate: 0095 AD
Birthplace: Kemer, Turkey
Died: 0165 AD
 34 
Ahmed Cevdet Pasha
1
Birthdate: March 22, 1822
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ottoman Empire
Died: May 25, 1895
 35 
Kâtip Çelebi
(Polymath)
Kâtip Çelebi
1
Birthdate: 1609 AD
Birthplace: Istanbul Eyaleti
Died: October 6, 1657
 36 
Gnaeus Pompeius Trogus
1
Birthplace: Vaison-la-Romaine, France

Gnaeus Pompeius Trogus was a Gallo-Roman historian who lived during the reign of the emperor Augustus. He hailed from the Celtic Vocontii tribe in Narbonese Gaul. He is believed to have been a polymath and wrote books on the natural history of animals and plants. His best-known work is the Philippic Histories, preserved only in excerpts today. 

 37 
George The Syncellus
(Byzantine historian)
George The Syncellus
1
Birthplace: Byzantine
Died: 0810 AD
 38 
Marcus Minucius Felix
1
Birthplace: Cirta, Algeria
Died: 0260 AD
 39 
Publius Clodius Thrasea Paetus
(Roman Senator Who Is Remembered for His Opposition to Emperor Nero)
Publius Clodius Thrasea Paetus
1
Birthplace: Padua, Italy
Died: 0066 AD

First-century Roman senator Publius Clodius Thrasea Paetus is best known for opposing Emperor Nero. He was the most influential member of the faction of Stoic philosophers known as Stoic Opposition. He was eventually tried and condemned to death by choice, to which he obliged by cutting open the veins of his arms.

 40 
Nicephorus Gregoras
1
Birthdate: 1295 AD
Birthplace: Heraclea Pontica
Died: 1360 AD
 41 
Lucius Annaeus Cornutus
(Roman Stoic Philosopher Who Was Banished by Nero for Being Critical of Him)
Lucius Annaeus Cornutus
1
Birthplace: Leptis Magna, Libya
Died: 0065 AD

Roman Stoic philosopher of the 1st century, Lucius Annaeus Cornutus soared to fame during the reign of Emperor Nero. He was also an educator and friend of Roman poet and satirist Persius. He penned many works such as Theologiae Graecae but was banished by Nero for being critical of him in his works.

 42 
Menander Protector
1
Birthplace: Constantinople, Roman Empire
Quintus Aurelius Memmius Symmachus
1
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0526 AD
 44 
Nigidius Figulus
(Roman Philosopher and Author Who Revived Many Pythagorean Doctrines)
Nigidius Figulus
1
Birthdate: 0098 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 0045 AD

Roman philosopher and author Nigidius Figulus was a friend of philosopher Cicero, who supported him during the Catilinarian conspiracy. His iconic works on Roman religion include De diis. He also penned Commentarii grammatici. He also worked on Pythagorean doctrines, such as math, astrology, and magic.

Marcus Antistius Labeo
1
Birthplace: Rome
Died: 0010 AD
 46 
Gaius Asinius Pollio
(Roman Soldier, Orator, Politician, Playwright, Poet, Historian, and Literary Critic)
Gaius Asinius Pollio
1
Birthdate: 0075 AD
Birthplace: Italy
Died: 0004 AD
Gaius Asinius Pollio was a Roman soldier, orator, politician, playwright, poet, historian, and literary critic. A friend of Horace and a patron of Virgil, Asinius Pollio had poetic works devoted to him by both men. Gaius Asinius Pollio is credited with constructing Rome's first public library.
 47 
George Hamartolos
(Byzantine historian)
George Hamartolos
1
Birthdate: 0842 AD
Birthplace: Byzantine
Died: 0867 AD
Diadochos of Photiki
1
Birthdate: 0400 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0486 AD
 49 
John II, Bishop of Jerusalem
(Bishop of Jerusalem)
John II, Bishop of Jerusalem
1
Birthdate: 0356 AD
Birthplace: Byzantine
Died: January 10, 0417
John II served as the Bishop of Jerusalem from 387 to 417 AD. Modern scholars believe that John II, Bishop of Jerusalem authored the five Mystagogical Catecheses, which was previously ascribed to his predecessor Cyril. John II, Bishop of Jerusalem is venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
 50 
Fenestella
(Historian)
Fenestella
0
Birthdate: 0052 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0019 AD