Died on December 23

119 Salonina Matidia the daughter and only child of Ulpia Marciana and wealthy praetor Gaius Salonius Matidius Patruinus. Her maternal uncle was the Roman Emperor Trajan. Trajan had no children and treated her like his daughter. Her father died in 78 and Matidia went with her mother to live with Trajan and his wife, Pompeia Plotina
668 Mor Gabriel the 7th bishop of Tur Abdin in South-eastern Turkey.
679 Dagobert II the king of Austrasia , the son of Sigebert III and Chimnechild of Burgundy. He is also accounted a saint by the Roman Catholic Church; his feast day is 23 December
761 Gaubald the first bishop of Regensburg after the foundation of the diocese of Regensburg. He has been beatified. His name is also spelled Gawibald, Geupald or Gaibald
910 Saint Naum a medieval Bulgarian writer, enlightener, one of the seven Apostles of the First Bulgarian Empire and missionary among the Slavs. He was among the disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius and is associated with the creation of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts. Naum was among the founders of the Pliska Literary School and is venerated as a saint in the Orthodox Church
918 Conrad I of Germany Duke of Franconia from 906 and King of Germany from 911 to 918, the only king of the Conradine dynasty. Though Conrad never used the title rex Teutonicorum nor rex Romanorum , he was the first king of East Francia who was elected by the rulers of the German stem duchies as successor of the last Carolingian ruler Louis the Child. His Kingdom of Germany evolved into the Holy Roman Empire upon the coronation of Emperor Otto I in 962
940 Ar-Radi the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 934 to his death at the age of thirty-three in 940.
1115 Ivo of Chartres the Bishop of Chartres from 1090 until his death and an important canon lawyer during the Investiture Crisis.
1193 Saint Thorlak the patron saint of Iceland. He was bishop of Skalholt from 1178 until his death. Thorlac’s relics were translated to the cathedral of Skálholt in 1198, not long after his successor as bishop, Páll Jónsson, announced at the Althing that vows could be made to Thorlac. His status as a saint did not receive official recognition from the Catholic Church until January 14, 1984, when John Paul II canonized him and declared him the patron saint of Iceland
1230 Berengaria of Navarre Queen of England as the wife of Richard She was the eldest daughter of Sancho VI of Navarre and Sancha of Castile. As is the case with many of the medieval English queens, relatively little is known of her life
1304 Matilda of Habsburg the eldest daughter of Rudolph I of Germany and Gertrude of Hohenburg. She was regent of Bavaria in the minority of her son
1383 Beatrice of Bourbon Queen of Bohemia a French noblewoman. A member of the House of Bourbon, she was by marriage Queen of Bohemia and Countess of Luxembourg
1384 Thomas Preljubović ruler of Epirus in Ioannina from 1366 to his death on December 23, 1384. He also held the title of Albanian-slayer
1524 Vasco da Gama a Portuguese explorer. He was the first European to reach India by sea, linking Europe and Asia for the first time by ocean route, as well as the Atlantic and the Indian oceans entirely and definitively, and in this way, the West and the Orient
1534 Otto Brunfels a German theologian and botanist. Carl von Linné listed him among the "Fathers of Botany"
1556 Nicholas Udall an English playwright, cleric, and schoolmaster, the author of Ralph Roister Doister, generally regarded as the first comedy written in the English language.
1559 Anne du Bourg a French magistrat, nephew of the chancellor Antoine du Bourg.
1575 Akiyama Nobutomo a samurai during the Age of Warring States in Japan. He is known as one of the "Twenty-Four Generals of Takeda Shingen". Nobutomo also served under Shingen's son, Takeda Katsuyori
1588 Henry I Duke of Guise the eldest son of Francis, Duke of Guise, and Anna d'Este. His maternal grandparents were Ercole II d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, and Renée of France. Through his maternal grandfather, he was a descendant of Lucrezia Borgia and Pope Alexander VI
1596 Hattori Hanzō a famous samurai and ninja of the Sengoku era, credited with saving the life of Tokugawa Ieyasu and then helping him to become the ruler of united Japan. Today, he is often a subject of varied portrayal in modern popular culture
1605 Francis Tresham a member of the group of English provincial Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a conspiracy to assassinate King James I of England.
1619 John Sigismund Elector of Brandenburg a Prince-elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg from the House of Hohenzollern. He also served as a Duke of Prussia
1629 Giovanni I Cornaro the 96th Doge of Venice, reigning from 24 January 1625 until his death.
1631 Michael Drayton an English poet who came to prominence in the Elizabethan era.
1638 Barbara Longhi an Italian painter. She was much admired in her lifetime as a portraitist, although most of her portraits are now lost or unattributed. Her work, such as her many Madonna and Child paintings, earned her a fine reputation as an artist
1646 François Maynard a French poet who spent much of his life in Toulouse.
1652 John Cotton (minister) a clergyman in England and the American colonies, and by most accounts was the preeminent minister and theologian of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Following five years of study at Trinity College, Cambridge, and another nine years at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, he had already built a reputation as a scholar and outstanding preacher when he accepted the position of minister at Saint Botolph's Church in Boston, Lincolnshire in 1612. As a Puritan he wanted to do away with the ceremony and vestments associated with the established Anglican Church, and preach in a simpler, more consensual manner. Though he felt the English church needed significant reforms, he nevertheless was adamant about not separating from it; his preference was to change it from within. While many ministers were removed from their pulpits for their puritan practices, Cotton thrived at Botolph's for nearly 20 years because of supportive aldermen, lenient bishops, and his very conciliatory and gentle demeanor. By 1632, however, the Anglican church had greatly increased its pressure on the non-conforming clergy, and Cotton was forced to go into hiding. The following year he and his wife boarded a ship for New England
1675 Caesar duc de Choiseul a Marshal of France and French diplomat, generally known for the best part of his life as the maréchal du Plessis-Praslin.
1688 Jean-Louis Lully a French musician and composer. He was born in Paris, the youngest son of Jean-Baptiste Lully
1705 Princess Luise Dorothea of Prussia the daughter of Frederick I, First King in Prussia by his first wife Elisabeth Henriette of Hesse-Kassel. She was the Hereditary Princess of Hesse-Kassel by marriage but died in childbirth
1722 Pierre Varignon a French mathematician. He was educated at the Jesuit College and the University in Caen, where he received his M.A. in 1682. He took Holy Orders the following year
1744 Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans a French petite-fille de France and by marriage to Leopold, Duke of Lorraine, duchess and later regent of Lorraine and Bar. She was also suo jure Princess of Commercy. Among her children was Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, a co-founder of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine
1745 Jan Dismas Zelenka a Czech composer and musician of the Baroque period. His music is admired for its harmonic inventiveness and counterpoint
1749 Mark Catesby an English naturalist. Between 1729 and 1747 Catesby published his Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, the first published account of the flora and fauna of North America. It included 220 plates of birds, reptiles and amphibians, fish, insects, and mammals, as well as plants
1761 Alastair Ruadh MacDonnell a chief of Clan MacDonell of Glengarry, a Scottish Jacobite who was identified by Andrew Lang as the secret agent "Pickle," who acted as a spy on Prince Charles Edward after 1750.
1762 Archduchess Maria Johanna Gabriela of Austria an Archduchess of Austria and Princess of Tuscany, Hungary and Bohemia as the eleventh child and ninth daughter of Francis Stephen of Lorraine, Holy Roman Emperor and Maria Theresa. She was described as likeable and good-natured, but died aged 12 of smallpox
1763 Antoine François Prévost a French author and novelist.
1771 Marie-Marguerite d'Youville a French Canadian widow who founded the religious order the Order of Sisters of Charity of Montreal, commonly known as the Grey Nuns of Montreal. She was canonized by Pope John-Paul II of the Roman Catholic Church in 1990
1777 Anton Cajetan Adlgasser a German organist and composer at Salzburg Cathedral and at court, and composed a good deal of liturgical music as well as oratorios and orchestral and keyboard works.
1779 Augustus Hervey 3rd Earl of Bristol a British admiral and politician.
1787 Princess Louise of France (1737–1787) the youngest of the ten children of Louis XV and his wife, Maria Leszczyńska. As a daughter of the king, she held the rank of a fille de France. From 1740 she was known as Madame Louise
1789 Charles-Michel de l'Épée a philanthropic educator of 18th-century France who has become known as the "Father of the Deaf".
1795 Henry Clinton (American War of Independence) a British army officer and politician, best known for his service as a general during the American War of Independence. First arriving in Boston in May 1775, from 1778 to 1782 he was the British Commander-in-Chief in North America. In addition to his military service, due to the influence of the 2nd Duke of Newcastle, he was a Member of Parliament for many years. Late in life he was named Governor of Gibraltar, but died before assuming the post
1797 Frederick II Eugene Duke of Württemberg the fourth son of Duke Karl Alexander and Princess Maria Augusta of Thurn and Taxis.
1802 Darya Petrovna Saltykova a Russian lady in waiting, socialite and noble and Dame of the Order of Catherine's first degree. She was the sister of the lady in waiting Princess Nataliya Petrovna Chernysheva, and in 1769 married to Field Marshal Count Ivan Petrovich Saltykov
1805 Geneviève Thiroux d'Arconville a French author and chemist.
1805 Pehr Osbeck a Swedish explorer, naturalist and an apostle of Carl Linnaeus. He was born in the parish of Hålanda in Västergötland and studied at Uppsala with Carolus Linnaeus
1805 Francis Masson a Scottish botanist and gardener, and Kew Gardens’ first plant hunter.
1809 József Fabchich a Hungarian writer and translator, known mainly for his translations of Ancient Greek poetry into the Hungarian language.
1815 Jan Potocki a Polish nobleman, Polish Army Captain of Engineers, ethnologist, Egyptologist, linguist, traveler, adventurer and popular author of the Enlightenment period, whose life and exploits made him a legendary figure in his homeland. Outside Poland he is known chiefly for his novel, The Manuscript Found in Saragossa