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gerontius grumpus
466960.  Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:32 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
slightly to my surprise - there are no chess players.

Or composers, that's surprising.

466965.  Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:52 pm Reply with quote

Not in the top twelve, no.

Petr Il'ič Čajkovskij was in the fifty, as was an opera singer named Fėdor Ivanovič Šalāpin. (I confess I'd not heard of the latter, but then I know little of opera. In keeping with the old Russian tradition of using French spelling for transliteration, his name often appears as Chaliapine.)

505971.  Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:45 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
British people, take a look down the list and score yourself a minus point for every person you thought was American.

Only -10 points for me, but then there was only 18 people I'd heard of at all.

Stefan Linnemann
558080.  Fri May 22, 2009 4:35 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
I've watched this thread and I'm intrigued.

What's meant by "greatest" in this context? Had most impact? Best loved? Most positive?

If you look at the variety of names on any list of greats and figure out why they're there it becomes obvious that everyone has their own definition of what constitutes greatness.

Then, of course, there's the factor of what's current. If you ask the public who's the "greatest" pop singer of all time the top 100 will inevitably be over-represented with people who are currently popular.

Exactly. Hence the success of Pim Fortuyn in the Dutch contest, to which I wish to briefly return:
The "greatest Dutchman", Stadholder William "the Silent" I of Orange, was a German. But, since his family had substantial interests in the Provinces, he helped organise and finance the Dutch Revolt against the Spanish rule. (Another way to finance it was by selling weapons to the Spanish! :-) ) And so he became the first person to unify the Provinces into a more coherent state. So in a way he created the Netherlands as a nation. I also think that makes him qualify.
He was offered the Kingship, but refused. Nevertheless the Nassaus remained the head of State of choice after his death, and our current royal family are direct descendants.


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