Religious Affiliations of Influential People I

Out of all the explorers in the world, Christopher Columbus is one of the most recognizable. He’s often affiliated with the New World and changing history forever. When it comes to discussing influential people in history, highlights usually focus on their achievements and often overlook their religious affiliations. In this article, you will learn what faith some of the most talked-about figures in history were associated with, such as William the Conqueror.

Christopher Columbus

Born sometime before October 31, 1451 in the Republic of Genoa (present-day Italy), Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator that led Europe to the Americas. With the backing of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, the explorer embarked on four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean. In the end, he helped heighten the knowledge that Europeans had of the American continents found in the Western Hemisphere. Columbus was at the heart of establishing permanent settlements in the island of Hispaniola. He also jumpstarted the process of Spanish colonization, which led to the overall European colonization of what was known as the ‘New World.’ Columbus was part of the Catholic faith.

William the Conqueror

With his efforts, William I (better known as William the Conqueror) established the foundation that led to modern England. Born around 1028, William would grow up to become the first Norman King of England. He ruled from 1066 until 1087, and in that time, he greatly influenced the history of his land. William was an illegitimate child and in an attempt to claim the English crown, he invaded England in 1066 with the help of an army consisting of Normans, Bretons, Flemings and Frenchmen. He defeated the English forces of King Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings, and was able to fan the flames of any English revolts in what was later referred to as the Norman Conquest.

During the medieval era, William was known for his military skills. When he conquered a larger kingdom, he would attack at a smaller base. He is also known for creating a feudal state with a strong centralized government. His overall efforts would reshape the way the rest of the world looked at England – especially during the Middle Ages. William the Conqueror was a Catholic.


Like Aristotle, Euclid (or Euclid of Alexandria) followed the teachings of Platonism and Greek philosophy. He was born in 300 BC and became a mathematician known for developing Euclidian geometry during the reign of Ptolemy. Because of his contributions, he is called the ‘Father of Geometry.’ He also wrote a math textbook that influenced many students and was used for many years. Other subjects that Euclid worked with include number theory, rigor and conic sections.