.
There is a difference between most important and most influential. For many Scandinavians Leif Ericson is more important than Columbus, but Columbus obviously influenced world history more than Ericson.

The same holds true for a comparison of Nicola Tesla and Thomas Edison. Tesla was probably the greater genius but Edison, on account of his ruthless organising talent, was more influential.


































.
John Lennon's musings that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus comes to mind. It does not diminish the importance of the Beatles to point out that Jesus' influence has endured for two thousand years, although he was probably not known to more than a few hundred people during his lifetime.






































.
The Norman warrior Rurik might be a legendary figure but he could be considered the founder of the Rurik dynasty - the eventual founders of Russia. His lifeline marks therefore the beginning of an emerging nation.











































.
Shakespeare for example could serve as a landmark personality. His position on the timeline allows viewers to imagine the approximate time frame of other - lesser known - literary figures.











































.
Charles Martel, the Frankish ruler who stopped the Moslem advance into Western Europe in 732 at Poitiers, comes to mind.

Without him this text might possibly be written in Arabic instead of English.











































.
Example:
John Locke who provided the theoretical justification for the separations of the powers of the state into legislative and executive branches and who expressed many ideas of the American Revolution almost one hundred years ahead of that time.


































.
A new literary form was created by Lady Murasaki who wrote around AD 1010 the 'Tale of Genji' which is thought to be the world's first novel.