There are many children in history that are remembered for important roles they played. In many cases we know the individuals. In other instances the collective grouping is better known. In many cases these children were involved as children in the events of the day. In other instances it was childhood experiences that motivated their conduct as adults. We note children and youths playing such roles from the ancient world down to our current day. Here is an initial list of children that initially comes to mind to us. Please let us know if you can think of another child or group of children that we should include.
We have arranged the following children chronologically and biefly sketched their experiences and impact on history.
The pasage of time and paucity of written records limits our knowledge of ancient times. The most texts exist from Greece and Rome and of course the Jews because of the Bible Despite the time expired we know of some famous boys from ancient history. The most famous is of course Alexander. Ther is also Jacob, Cicero, and Marcus. There are also many legends, the most important about Romulus and Remus to whom legend attributes the founding of Rome.
We know very little about individual Native American until the European conquests of the 16th century. Some of the very dew Native American children we know something about are the amazingly well preserved remains of a few children found in the High Andes. These children are sacrificial victims found within the Inca Empire and appear to date from the approximate time of the European conquest. The facial features of these children and their vividly preserved clothing have been found intact. Americans will of course recall Pocahontus and Sacagawea.
Ismail I was the founder of the Safavid dynasty. By 18 years of age cnquered much of northern and central Persia. He would go on to convert the Persian people to Shiism. The Middle East even today is still profoundly affected by the reliogious and political movements he set in motion. He is also considered an important poet.
We know of quite a few children from medieval Europe. Most of the are future kings, in part because most people gave little attention to peasant children. They generally had no education and had little opportunity in life. We only know of a few peasant children. Some of the future kings we have some good information because they had contemporary portraits done. Portraits done by artists looking back in time often only imagine the clothes their subjects may have worn. Contemporary portraits, however, can have very accurate depictions of clothing.
The names of many more children are known to us in the modern era. We will list these children separately by centuries beginning with the 16th century (1500- ). We note some who say that children today can not play the same role in history that was the case in past centuries when they spent less time in school and ebtered the work force earlier. Surprisingly there are quite a large number of children that palyed important roles in the 2oth century.
Brooks, E.S. Historic Boys (1913/14). This interesting book sketches the lives of 12 historic boys that have impacted history.
Philip Hoose, We Were There, Too!.
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