Died on December 16

705 Wu Zetian a Chinese sovereign, who ruled officially under the name of her self-proclaimed "Zhou dynasty", from 690 to 705. She was the only female emperor of China in more than 4,000 years. She had previous imperial positions, however, under both Emperor Taizong of Tang and his son Emperor Gaozong of Tang, of the Tang dynasty of China. Wu was a concubine of Emperor Taizong. After his death she married his successor and ninth son, Emperor Gaozong, officially becoming Gaozong's furen in 655, although having considerable political power prior to this. After Gaozong's debilitating stroke in 690, Wu Zetian ruled as effective sovereign until 705. She is the only recorded woman to rule China in her own right
714 Pepin of Herstal a Frankish statesman and military leader who de facto ruled Francia as the Mayor of the Palace from 680 until his death. He took the title, Duke and Prince of the Franks, upon his conquest of all the Frankish realms
866 Eberhard of Friuli the Frankish Duke of Friuli from 846. His name is alternatively spelled Everard, Evrard, Erhard, Eberhard, or Eberard, or in Latinized fashion Everardus, Eberardus, or Eberhardus. He wrote his own name "Evvrardus". He was an important political, military, and cultural figure in the Carolingian Empire during his lifetime. He kept a large library, commissioned works of Latin literature from Lupus Servatus and Sedulius Scottus, and maintained a correspondence with the noted theologians and church leaders Gottschalk, Rabanus Maurus, and Hincmar
882 Pope John VIII Pope from 13 December 872 to his death in 882. He is often considered one of the ablest pontiffs of the 9th century
999 Adelaide of Italy the second wife of Holy Roman Emperor Otto the Great and was crowned as the Holy Roman Empress with him by Pope John XII in Rome on February 2, 962. She was the daughter-in-law of Queen Matilda of East Francia. Empress Adelaide was perhaps the most prominent European woman of the 10th century; she was regent of the Holy Roman Empire as the guardian of her grandson in 991-995
1153 Ranulf de Gernon 4th Earl of Chester an Anglo-Norman potentate who inherited the honour of the palatine county of Chester upon the death of his father Ranulf le Meschin, 3rd Earl of Chester. He was descended from the Counts of Bessin in Normandy
1263 Haakon IV of Norway the King of Norway from 1217 to 1263. His reign lasted for 46 years, longer than any Norwegian king before him. Haakon was born into the troubled civil war era in Norway, but his reign eventually managed to put an end to the internal conflicts. At the start of his reign, during his minority, his later rival Earl Skule Bårdsson served as regent. As a king of the birkebeiner faction, Haakon defeated the uprising of the final bagler royal pretender, Sigurd Ribbung, in 1227. He put a definitive end to the civil war era when he had Skule Bårdsson killed in 1240, a year after he had himself proclaimed king in opposition to Haakon. Haakon thereafter formally appointed his own son as his co-regent
1316 Öljaitü the eighth Ilkhanid dynasty ruler in Tabriz, Iran from 1304 to 1316. His name "Ölziit" means "blessed" in the Mongolian language
1325 Charles Count of Valois the fourth son of Philip III of France and Isabella of Aragon. He was a member of the House of Capet and founded the House of Valois. In 1284, he was created Count of Valois by his father and, in 1290, received the title of Count of Anjou from his marriage to Margaret of Anjou
1379 John FitzAlan 1st Baron Arundel a Lord Marshal or Marshal of England.
1435 Eleanor of Alburquerque 3rd Countess of Alburquerque became Queen consort of Aragon by her marriage to Ferdinand I of Aragon. In Spanish, she is known as Leonor Urraca de Castilla, condesa de Alburquerque
1470 John II Duke of Lorraine Duke of Lorraine from 1453 to his death. He inherited the duchy from his mother, Duchess Isabelle, during the life of his father, Duke René of Anjou, also Duke of Lorraine and titular king of Naples. As heir-apparent of Naples, he was styled the Duke of Calabria, and spent most of his time engaging in plots for Angevin recovery of Naples. In 1466, the Catalonians chose his father as King of Aragon, and he was created Prince of Girona, as heir-apparent. He went into Catalonia to press the family's claims, but died, supposedly by poison, in Barcelona
1474 Ali Qushji an astronomer, mathematician and physicist originally from Samarkand, who settled in the Ottoman Empire some time before 1472. As a disciple of Ulugh Beg, he is best known for the development of astronomical physics independent from natural philosophy, and for providing empirical evidence for the Earth's rotation in his treatise, Concerning the Supposed Dependence of Astronomy upon Philosophy. In addition to his contributions to Ulugh Beg's famous work Zij-i-Sultani and to the founding of Sahn-ı Seman Medrese, one of the first centers for the study of various traditional Islamic sciences in the Ottoman caliphate, Ali Qushji was also the author of several scientific works and textbooks on astronomy
1515 Afonso de Albuquerque a Portuguese general, and a "great conqueror", a statesman, and empire builder.
1583 Ivan Fyodorov (printer) one of the fathers of Eastern Slavonic printing , he was the first printer in Russia and Ukraine, he was also a skilled cannon maker and the inventor of a multibarreled mortar.
1598 Yi Sun-sin well-respected for his exemplary conduct on and off the battlefield not only by Koreans, but by Japanese Admirals as well. Military historians have placed General Yi Sun-Shin on par with Admiral Horatio Nelson as arguably the greatest naval commander in history for his undefeated record against seemingly insurmountable odds despite no background in naval training. His title of Samdo Sugun Tongjesa , literally meaning "Naval Commander of the Three Provinces," was the title for the commander of the Korean navy until 1896
1669 Nathaniel Fiennes an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1640 and 1659. He was an officer in Parliamentary army during the English Civil War and an active supporter of the republican cause during the Interregnum
1670 Bartholomeus van der Helst a Dutch portrait painter.
1672 John II Casimir Vasa King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania during the era of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Duke of Opole in Upper Silesia, and titular King of Sweden 1648–1660. In Poland, he is known and commonly referred as Jan Kazimierz. His parents were Sigismund III Vasa and Constance of Austria. His older brother, and predecessor on the throne, was Władysław IV Vasa
1675 Armand-Nompar de Caumont duc de La Force a Marshal of France and peer of France. He was the son of another Marshal of France, Jacques-Nompar de Caumont, duc de La Force and Charlotte de Gontaut, daughter of Marshal Armand de Gontaut, baron de Biron. Like his father, Armand-Nompar was a Protestant
1687 William Petty an English economist, scientist and philosopher. He first became prominent serving Oliver Cromwell and Commonwealth in Ireland. He developed efficient methods to survey the land that was to be confiscated and given to Cromwell's soldiers. He also managed to remain prominent under King Charles II and King James II, as did many others who had served Cromwell
1690 Louise Elisabeth of Courland a princess of Courland from the Ketteler family by birth and by marriage Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg.
1702 Henry FitzJames the illegitimate son of King James II of England and VII of Scotland by Arabella Churchill, sister of the Duke of Marlborough.
1737 William Gustav of Anhalt-Dessau a German prince of the House of Ascania and heir to the principality of Anhalt-Dessau.
1744 Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria (governor) an Archduchess of Austria and a Princess of Lorraine, the younger sister of Empress Maria Theresa.
1745 Pierre Desfontaines a French journalist, translator and popular historian.
1751 Leopold II Prince of Anhalt-Dessau a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Dessau from 1747 to 1751; he also was a Prussian general.
1758 Andrzej Stanisław Załuski a priest in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
1765 Peter Frederick Haldimand a military officer and surveyor in the British Army.
1774 Susanne von Klettenberg a German abbess and writer. She was a friend of Katharina Elisabeth Goethe, the mother of writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Klettenberg corresponded with Goethe, and he shaped a character, "Beautiful Soul," after her in his novel Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
1774 François Quesnay a French economist of the Physiocratic school. He is known for publishing the "Tableau économique" in 1758, which provided the foundations of the ideas of the Physiocrats. This was perhaps the first work to attempt to describe the workings of the economy in an analytical way, and as such can be viewed as one of the first important contributions to economic thought. His Le Despotisme de la Chine, written in 1767, describes Chinese politics and society, and his own political support for constitutional Oriental despotism
1779 Emperor Go-Momozono the 118th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.
1783 Sir William James 1st Baronet a Welsh-born British navy commander, known for his successful campaigns against Indian native navies.
1783 Arima Yoriyuki a Japanese mathematician of the Edo period. He was the lord of Kurume Domain and approximated the value of and its square,. In 1766, he found the following rational approximation of pi, correct to 29 digits:
1783 Johann Adolph Hasse an 18th-century German composer, singer and teacher of music. Immensely popular in his time, Hasse was best known for his prolific operatic output, though he also composed a considerable quantity of sacred music. Married to soprano Faustina Bordoni and a great friend of librettist Pietro Metastasio, whose libretti he frequently set, Hasse was a pivotal figure in the development of opera seria and 18th-century music
1790 Ludwig August Lebrun a German oboist and composer.
1794 Jean-Baptiste Carrier a French Revolutionary, known for his cruelty to his enemies, especially to clergy.
1798 Thomas Pennant a Welsh naturalist, traveller, writer and antiquarian. He was born and lived his whole life at his family estate, Downing Hall near Whitford, Flintshire in Wales
1801 Charles Louis Hereditary Prince of Baden heir apparent of the Margraviate of Baden. He was born in Karlsruhe
1809 Antoine François comte de Fourcroy a French chemist and a contemporary of Antoine Lavoisier. Fourcroy collaborated with Lavoisier, Guyton de Morveau, and Claude Berthollet on the Méthode de nomenclature chimique, a work that helped standardize chemical nomenclature
1816 Vincenzo Galeotti an Italian and Danish dancer, choreographer and ballet master, who was influential as the director of the Royal Danish Ballet from 1775 until his death.
1817 Pattimura an Ambonese soldier and National Hero of Indonesia.
1821 Antonis Oikonomou a Greek naval captain in the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire.
1829 Anna Bunina a Russian poet. She was the first female Russian writer to make a living solely from literary work. She is an ancestor of Nobel Prize winner Ivan Bunin
1840 Johann Friedrich Abegg a German theologian.
1852 Hendrik Potgieter a Voortrekker leader. He served as the first head of state of Potchefstroom from 1840 and 1845 and also as the first head of state of Zoutpansberg from 1845 to 1852
1856 Narcisse-Achille de Salvandy a French politician.
1859 Lars Gabriel von Haartman a Swedish-speaking Finnish politician. Along with Count Gustaf Mauritz Armfelt, he was one of the most prominent politicians who were in favour of developing Finland as part of the Russian Empire instead of striving towards independence
1859 Wilhelm Grimm a German author, the younger of the Brothers Grimm.
1861 Karol Lipiński a Polish music composer and virtuoso violinist active during the partitions of Poland. The Karol Lipiński University of Music in Wrocław, Poland is named after him