Born on December 22

244 Diocletian a Roman emperor from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in the Roman province of Dalmatia, Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become cavalry commander to the Emperor Carus. After the deaths of Carus and his son Numerian on campaign in Persia, Diocletian was proclaimed emperor. The title was also claimed by Carus' other surviving son, Carinus, but Diocletian defeated him in the Battle of the Margus. Diocletian's reign stabilized the empire and marks the end of the Crisis of the Third Century. He appointed fellow officer Maximian as augustus, co-emperor, in 286
1091 Jutta von Sponheim currently the Rhineland-Palatinate. She was the daughter of Count Stephen of Spanheim
1095 Roger II of Sicily King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon. He began his rule as Count of Sicily in 1105, became Duke of Apulia and Calabria in 1127, and then King of Sicily in 1130. By the time of his death at the age of 58, Roger had succeeded in uniting all the Norman conquests in Italy into one kingdom with a strong centralized government
1177 Emperor Antoku the 81st emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1180 through 1185. During this time, the imperial family was involved in a bitter struggle between warring clans. Yoritomo, with his cousin Yoshinaka, led a force from the Minamoto clan against the Taira, who controlled the emperor. During the sea battle of Dan-no-ura in March 1185, a member of the royal household took Antoku and plunged with him into the water in the Shimonoseki Straits, drowning the child emperor rather than allowing him to be captured by the opposing forces. The conflict between the clans led to numerous legends and tales. Antoku's tomb is said to be located in a number of places around western Japan, including the island of Iwo Jima, a result of the spreading of legends about the emperor and the battle
1189 Chagatai Khan the second son of Genghis Khan. He was Khan of the Chagatai Khanate from 1226-1242 C.E. The Chagatai language and Chagatai Turks take their names from him. He inherited most of what are now the five Central Asian states after the death of his father. He was also appointed by Genghis Khan to oversee the execution of the Yassa, the written code of law created by Genghis Khan, though that lasted only until Genghis Khan was crowned Khan of the Mongol Empire. The Empire later came to be known as the Chagatai Khanate, a descendant empire of the Mongol Empire. Chagatai Khan was considered hot-headed and somewhat temperamental by his relatives, because of his attitude of non-acceptance of Jochi as Great Khan. He was the most vocal about this issue among his relations. Chaghatai himself appears to have been a just and energetic governor, though perhaps rough and uncouth, and addicted to hard drinking. At any rate, he was animated by the soldier-like spirit of his father, and succeeded in keeping order among as heterogeneous a population, as a kingdom was ever composed of
1300 Khutughtu Khan Emperor Mingzong of Yuan a son of Khayishan who briefly ascended the throne of the Yuan Dynasty in 1329, but died soon after he seized the throne of Great Khan of the Mongols and Emperor of China.
1459 Sultan Cem a pretender to the Ottoman throne in the 15th century.
1490 Giovanni Tornabuoni an Italian merchant, banker and patron of the arts from Florence.
1546 Kuroda Yoshitaka a Japanese daimyo of the late Sengoku through early Edo periods. Renowned as a man of great ambition, he was a chief strategist and an adviser to Toyotomi Hideyoshi
1550 Cesare Cremonini (philosopher) an Italian professor of natural philosophy, working rationalism and Aristotelian materialism inside scholasticism. He signed his Latin texts Cæsar Cremoninus , or Cæsar Cremonius
1597 Frederick III Duke of Holstein-Gottorp a Duke of Holstein-Gottorp.
1617 Charles I Louis Elector Palatine the second son of German king Frederick V of the Palatinate, the "Winter King" of Bohemia, and his wife, Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King James I of England.
1639 Jean Racine a French dramatist, one of the three great playwrights of 17th-century France , and an important literary figure in the Western tradition. Racine was primarily a tragedian, producing such "examples of neoclassical perfection" as Phèdre, Andromaque, and Athalie, although he did write one comedy, Les Plaideurs, and a muted tragedy, Esther, for the young
1654 Edmond Martène a French Benedictine historian and liturgist.
1665 Tommaso Redi (painter) an Italian painter, who was active during the late-Baroque in his native Florence.
1666 Guru Gobind Singh the last of the ten Sikh Gurus. He was a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at the young age of nine. He contributed much to Sikhism; notable was his contribution to the continual formalisation of the faith which the first Guru Guru Nanak had founded, as a religion, in the 15th century; and his promotion of the covering of one's hair with a turban. Guru Gobind Singh, the last of the living Sikh Gurus, initiated the Sikh Khalsa in 1699, passing the Guruship of the Sikhs to the Eleventh and Eternal Sikh Guru, the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred Book of the Sikhs
1670 Anna Sophie of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg a princess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg and Duchess in Saxony by birth, and by marriage a Princess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt.
1694 Hermann Samuel Reimarus remembered for his Deism, the doctrine that human reason can arrive at a knowledge of God and ethics from a study of nature and our own internal reality, thus eliminating the need for religions based on revelation. He denied the supernatural origin of Christianity, and is credited by some with initiating historians' investigation of the historical Jesus
1696 James Oglethorpe a British general, Member of Parliament, philanthropist, and founder of the colony of Georgia. As a social reformer, he hoped to resettle Britain's poor, especially those in debtors' prisons, in the New World
1702 Jean-Étienne Liotard a Swiss-French painter, art connoisseur and dealer.
1707 Johann Amman a Swiss-Russian botanist, a member of the Royal Society and professor of botany at the Russian Academy of Sciences at St Petersburg. He is best known for his "Stirpium Rariorum in Imperio Rutheno Sponte Provenientium Icones et Descriptiones" published in 1739 with descriptions of some 285 plants from Eastern Europe and Ruthenia. The plates are unsigned, though an engraving on the dedicatory leaf of the work is signed "Philipp Georg Mattarnovy", a Swiss-Italian engraver, Filippo Giorgio Mattarnovi , who worked at the Petersburg Academy
1723 Carl Friedrich Abel a German composer of the Classical era. He was a renowned player of the viola da gamba, and composed important music for that instrument
1735 Thomas Astle an English antiquary and palaeographer.
1746 Johann von Böber a German teacher, entomologist and botanist. He was first a professor at Peter's College Jelgava then in 1796. became an advisor to the Academy of Sciences in Petersburg. In 1809 he wrote Description de quelques nouvelles espèces de papillons découverts en Sibérie Mém. Soc. Imp. Nat. Mosco 2: 305-310, 1pl. His botanical works are
1755 Aloys Blumauer an Austrian poet.
1755 Georges Couthon a French politician and lawyer known for his service as a deputy on the Legislative Assembly during the French Revolution. Couthon was elected to the Committee of Public Safety on 30 May 1793, serving with his friends and close associates Maximilien Robespierre and Louis Antoine de Saint-Just during the Reign of Terror until his death in 1794. Couthon played an important role in the development of the Law of 22 Prairial, which was responsible for sharply increasing the rate at which accused counter-revolutionaries were executed
1765 Johann Friedrich Pfaff a German mathematician. He was described as one of Germany's most eminent mathematicians during the 19th century. He was a precursor of the German school of mathematical thinking, which under Carl Friedrich Gauss and his followers largely determined the lines on which mathematics developed during the nineteenth century
1770 Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin an emigre Russian aristocrat and Roman Catholic priest known as The Apostle of the Alleghenies. Since 2005, he has been under consideration for possible canonization by the Catholic Church. His current title is Servant of God
1789 Ann Hasseltine Judson one of the first female American foreign missionaries.
1789 Levi Woodbury an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, a U.S. Senator, Governor of New Hampshire and cabinet member in three administrations. He was the first Justice to have attended law school
1792 Pavel Katenin a Russian classicist poet, dramatist, and literary critic who also contributed to the evolution of Russian Romanticism.
1799 Charles II Duke of Parma King of Etruria , Duke of Lucca , and Duke of Parma.
1800 Alberto Cavos a Russian–Italian architect best known for his theatre designs, the builder of the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
1803 Joseph K. Mansfield a career United States Army officer, civil engineer, and a Union general in the American Civil War, mortally wounded at the Battle of Antietam.
1805 John O. Westwood an English entomologist and archaeologist also noted for his artistic talents.
1807 Johan Sebastian Welhaven a Norwegian author, poet, critic and art theorist.
1808 Eugénie de Beauharnais a Franco-German princess. She was the second daughter of Eugène de Beauharnais and Princess Augusta of Bavaria, and a member of the house of Beauharnais. In 1826 she married Constantine, Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen
1812 Paul Auguste Ernest Laugier a French astronomer, one of two French astronomers referred to as Laugier.
1815 Johann Jakob Bachofen a Swiss antiquarian, jurist and anthropologist, professor for Roman law at the University of Basel from 1841 to 1845.
1815 Lucien Petipa a French ballet dancer in the early 19th century and was the brother of the famous ballet master of the Russian Imperial Ballet , Marius Petipa. He was born in Marseilles and died in Versailles
1815 Marmaduke Wyvill (chess player) a leading English chess master and Liberal Party politician.
1815 Charles Louis Müller a French painter.
1818 Charles Deas an American painter noted for his oil paintings of Native Americans and fur trappers of the mid-19th century.
1819 Pierre Ossian Bonnet a French mathematician. He made some important contributions to the differential geometry of surfaces, including the Gauss–Bonnet theorem
1819 Franz Abt a German composer and choral conductor. He composed roughly 3,000 individual works mostly in the area of vocal music. Several of his songs were at one time universally sung, and have obtained a more or less permanent place in the popular repertory. During his lifetime, Abt was a renowned choral conductor and he spent much of the last three decades of his life working as a guest conductor with choirs throughout Europe and in the United States
1821 Giovanni Bottesini an Italian Romantic composer, conductor, and a double bass virtuoso.
1821 Junius Brutus Booth Jr. an American actor and theatre manager.
1822 John Strong Newberry an American geologist, physician, explorer, author, and a member of the Megatherium Club at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
1822 Charles Lebouc a French cellist.
1823 Jean-Henri Fabre a French entomologist and author.