Great people in history serve as catalysts to the events and concepts that influence the world. Thomas Carlyle stated in his book, On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History (1840) that “the history of the world is but the biography of great men”; musing on the mass significance of decisive historical impact by individuals, observing how history has turned on the decisions of outstanding individuals. However, in order to adequately acknowledge and appreciate the achievements of the most influential figures in history, one must create a rubric that determines the eligibility of an individual to be considered “great”. Greatness and influence of an individual is a subjective concept, requiring one to view the figures in question objectively, with as little bias as possible. My methodology in dictating the greatness of an individual in history borrows from the biograph system and is as follows: effect on the sum total of wisdom and beauty on the world, demonstration and exemplification of strength and morality in character, lasting influence, and global recognition. The four categories are weighted with a possible 15 points for both effect on the sum total of wisdom and beauty on the world and demonstration and exemplification of strength and morality in character, and a possible 35 points for lasting influence and impact, and global recognition, with a total of 100 points.
Effect on the sum total of wisdom and beauty on the world. Influential figures in history must be able to contribute to the sum total of wisdom and beauty in the world, bestowing their experiences to serve humanity. Their ability to do good and be good is quintessential to their eligibility to be considered as a great person in history. Demonstration and exemplification of strength and morality in character. Strength and morality is what lends a person the ability to rise above the circumstances of their society. Lasting influence and impact and global recognition is how history remembers an individual’s achievements. To be an influential person in history is to be remembered, recognized, and acknowledged for their contributions.
The study of quintessential figures in history, during it’s popularization in the 19th century, was a starting point for the understanding of which human traits make great leaders despite having no scientific validity. The Great Man theory, as coined by the Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle, despite having no true validity due to the subjectivity of greatness, can contemporarily used as a perspective to undertake when studying history, placing emphasis on the achievements of the individual as opposed to broader concepts, environments, or populations.
I believe that the greatest person in history should be determined based on the following criteria:
Effect on the sum total of wisdom and beauty in the world, demonstration and exemplification of strength of morality and character, lasting influence, and most importantly, global recognition and impact. Mary of Nazareth, Mother of God should be hailed as the single most greatest person on based on the aforementioned criteria.
Effect on the sum total of wisdom and beauty in the world: Mary’s contribution and effect on the total wisdom and beauty in the world can be largely attributed to the fact that she was the mother of Jesus. She carried Jesus in her womb and supplied all of the genetic matter for the human form God took in Jesus christ. My historical figure carried and created divinity within her. What she has contributed to the world is Jesus Christ, the divine figure of the world’s largest religion, christianity. Her work is hailed in all demonstrations of the humanities such in music, literature, art, architecture, philosophy, leaving the greatest effect on the total wisdom and beauty in the world with only that single contribution. She created Jesus Christ, and in that is the biggest contribution to the sum total of wisdom and beauty in the world.
Angelic sweetness, ardent charity, profound humility, and heroic patience, ruled with an immaculate heart full of grace, thoughtfulness, strength, and love, Mary was the epitome of humanity; displaying a strength in character and morality strong enough to have been chosen as the genesis of God’s human nature. It was this exact reasoning that allowed to be the mother of god. As Pope Benedict XVI (16th) emphasized, It is necessary to go back to Mary if we want to return to that “truth about Jesus Christ,” “truth about the Church” and “truth about man.” Jesus Christ is humanity and divinity, and it was Mary’s demonstration and exemplification of strength of morality and character that constitutes the humanity that lives in Jesus Christ.
Mary’s legacy lives on to be the largest religion in the world with a following of 2.2 billion devotees. Her lasting influence can be observed in christianity, for as long as the belief in Jesus Christ exists, so will she, for she carried divinity in her womb and gifted this to humanity. In terms of lasting influence and global recognition, I would like to call attention to christianity, a religion followed by two thirds of the world population, two thousand years strong and ever growing.
One cannot separate the miracles of Jesus Christ and his impact of on the world without paying respect and acknowledging the sheer immensity of the contribution of the woman that gave birth to him. Without Mary, there would not have been Jesus.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST EVA:
– While she was no doubt a revolutionary, she was just another a woman disenchanted by the glitz and glamour of power.Eva is a highly hypocritical figure. She claims to be an activist for the poor and the working classes, but heavily indulges in expensive luxuries such as world class clothing, jewelry, and decor. A rag to riches story, Eva is just as materialistic as the figures she criticizes, but worse as she uses the controversy she stirs for advocating for the lower classes in order to support her lifestyle.
– Eva Peron and Juan Peron pioneered Peronism, an authoritarian ideology with values coinciding with fascist dictators. Peronism preserved capitalist exploitation and class division, and silenced any opposition by accusing opponents of being unpatriotic. The two supported and admired Benito Mussolini, the leader of the national fascist party. Carlos Fayt, an Argentine lawyer, politician, academic and a member of the Supreme Court of Justice of Argentina criticizes that Peronism was just “an Argentine implementation of Italian fascism.”
Is this the leader you want to make your greatest person? A leader that is hypocritical about their values only to use them to their own advantage both in personal and political affairs?
COUNTERPOINTS FOR REBUTTALS:
– Mary have fulfilled what was conventionally expected of women, but in feminism lies choice. Mary is was asked of the angels to carry Jesus and she took this as an honor and accepted the task wholeheartedly. It was in alignment with her faith and what she values. Empowerment lies in choice, and Mary’s empowerment was is in traditional values, and invalidating where a woman finds empowerment just because it coincides with conventional roles is against the core belief of feminism that women deserve to choose their fate.
Using the following model of effect on the sum total of wisdom and beauty in the world, demonstration and exemplification of strength and morality and character, lasting influence, and global recognition to determine the greatest historical figure, Eva Peron simply does not measure up. Her contributions are only on a national scale and accomplishments remembered by contemporaries in her five seconds of fame through the broadway show Evita. Against 2,000 years worth of legacy, endless architecture, music, art and literature praising Mary’s name, Argentina can go cry for their Evita. Hail Mary, Mother of god pray for the class to recognize the immensity of Mary’s greatness, and for Eva Peron, whom most of you never even heard of until this day.