Born on December 25

317 Philip III of Macedon a Greek king of Macedon from after June 11, 323 BC until his death. He was a son of King Philip II of Macedonia by Philinna of Larissa and a half-brother of Alexander the Great. Named Arrhidaeus at birth, he assumed the name Philip when he ascended to the throne
940 Makan ibn Kaki a Daylamite military leader active in northern Iran in the early 10th century. He became involved in the succession disputes of the Alids of Tabaristan, and managed to establish himself as the ruler of Tabaristan and Gurgan for short periods of time, in competition to other Daylamite warlords such as Asfar ibn Shiruya or the Ziyarid brothers Mardavij and Vushmgir. He alternately opposed and secured support from the Samanid governors of Khurasan, and eventually fell in battle against a Samanid army
1003 Pope John XVIII Pope and ruler of the Papal states from January 1004 to his abdication in June 1009. He was born Fasanius at Rapagnano, near Ascoli Piceno, the son of a Roman priest named Leo
1250 John IV Laskaris emperor of Nicaea from August 18, 1258 to December 25, 1261. This empire was one of the Greek states formed from the remaining fragments of the Byzantine Empire, after the capture of Constantinople by Roman Catholics during the Fourth Crusade in 1204
1400 John Sutton 1st Baron Dudley an English nobleman. A diplomat and councillor of Henry VI, he fought in several battles during the Hundred Years War and the Wars of the Roses, and acted as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1428–1430
1461 Christina of Saxony a Saxon princess who became Queen consort of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. She was born a granddaughter of Frederick the Gentle of Saxony, and daughter of Ernest, Elector of Saxony and Elisabeth of Bavaria. She was the grandmother of Christina of Denmark through her son Christian II
1463 Johann of Schwarzenberg a German moralist and reformer who, as judge of the episcopal court at Bamberg, introduced a new code of evidence which amended the procedure then prevalent in Europe by securing for the accused a more impartial hearing.
1493 Antoinette de Bourbon a French noblewoman of the House of Bourbon. She was the wife of Claude de Lorraine, Duke of Guise. Through her eldest daughter, Mary of Guise, Queen consort of King James V of Scotland, she was the maternal grandmother of Mary, Queen of Scots
1505 Christine of Saxony a German noble, landgravine of Hesse. She was the regent of Hesse in 1547-1549
1583 Orlando Gibbons an English composer, virginalist and organist of the late Tudor and early Jacobean periods. He was a leading composer in the England of his day
1584 Margaret of Austria Queen of Spain Queen consort of Spain and Portugal by her marriage to King Philip III.
1601 Ernest I Duke of Saxe-Gotha a duke of Saxe-Gotha and Saxe-Altenburg. The duchies were later merged into Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
1616 Christian Hoffmann von Hoffmannswaldau a German poet of the Baroque era.
1624 Angelus Silesius a German Catholic priest and physician, known as a mystic and religious poet. Born and raised a Lutheran, he adopted the name Angelus and the surname Silesius on converting to Catholicism in 1653. While studying in the Netherlands, he began to read the works of medieval mystics and became acquainted with the works of the German mystic Jacob Böhme through Böhme's friend, Abraham von Franckenberg. Silesius's mystical beliefs caused tension between him and Lutheran authorities and led to his eventual conversion to Catholicism. He took holy orders under the Franciscans and was ordained a priest in 1661. Ten years later, in 1671, he retired to a Jesuit house where he remained for the rest of his life
1628 Noël Coypel a French painter, and was also called Coypel le Poussin, because he was heavily influenced by Poussin.
1638 Michel Bégon (1638–1710) a French ancien regime official. He was intendant de la marine at the port of Rochefort and intendant of the généralité of La Rochelle, as well as a passionate plant collector
1642 Isaac Newton English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher
1652 Archibald Pitcairne a Scottish physician.
1665 Lady Grizel Baillie a Scottish songwriter.
1667 Melusine von der Schulenburg Duchess of Kendal a long-time mistress to King George I of Great Britain. Her middle name was probably given in reference to the Melusine legends
1674 Thomas Halyburton a Scottish divine.
1686 Giovanni Battista Somis an Italian violinist and composer of the Baroque music era.
1696 Prince Johann Ernst of Saxe-Weimar a German prince, son by his second marriage of Johann Ernst III, Duke of Saxe-Weimar. Despite his early death he is remembered as a collector and commissioner of music and as a composer some of whose concertos were arranged for harpsichord or organ by Johann Sebastian Bach, who was court organist in Weimar at the time
1698 Jacobus Houbraken a Dutch engraver and the son of the artist and biographer Arnold Houbraken , whom he assisted in producing a published record of the lives of artists from the Dutch Golden Age.
1700 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.
1711 Jean-Joseph de Mondonville a French violinist and composer. He was a younger contemporary of Jean-Philippe Rameau and enjoyed great success in his day. Pierre-Louis Daquin claimed: "If I couldn't be Rameau, there's no one I would rather be than Mondonville"
1712 Pietro Chiari an Italian playwright, novelist and librettist.
1716 Johann Jakob Reiske a German scholar and physician. He was a pioneer in the fields of Arabic and Byzantine philology as well as Islamic numismatics
1717 Pope Pius VI born Count Giovanni Angelo Braschi, reigned from 15 February 1775 to his death in 1799.
1720 Anna Maria Mozart the mother of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Maria Anna Mozart.
1722 Stanisław Lubomirski (1722–1782) a Polish nobleman. He was awarded Knight of the Order of the White Eagle on August 3, 1757 in Warsaw
1724 John Michell an English clergyman and natural philosopher who provided pioneering insights in a wide range of scientific fields, including astronomy, geology, optics, and gravitation. Considered "one of the greatest unsung scientists of all time", he was the first person known to propose the existence of black holes in publication, the first to suggest that earthquakes travel in waves, the first to explain how to manufacture artificial magnets, and the first to apply statistics to the study of the cosmos, recognizing that double stars were a product of mutual gravitation. He also invented an apparatus to measure the mass of the Earth. He has been called both the father of seismology and the father of magnetometry
1728 Johann Adam Hiller a German composer, conductor and writer on music, regarded as the creator of the Singspiel, an early form of German opera. In many of these operas he collaborated with the poet Christian Felix Weiße. Furthermore, Hiller was a teacher who encouraged musical education for women, his pupils including Elisabeth Mara and Corona Schröter. He was Kapellmeister of Abel Seyler's theatrical company, and became the first Kapellmeister of Leipzig Gewandhaus
1730 Philip Mazzei an Italian physician. A close friend of Thomas Jefferson, Mazzei acted as an agent to purchase arms for Virginia during the American Revolutionary War
1730 Noël Martin Joseph de Necker a Belgian physician, and botanist.
1745 Chevalier de Saint-Georges a champion fencer, a virtuoso violinist and conductor of the leading symphony orchestra in Paris. Born in Guadeloupe, he was the son of George Bologne de Saint-Georges, a wealthy planter, and Nanon, his African slave. During the French Revolution, Saint-Georges was colonel of the 'Légion St.-Georges,' the first all-black regiment in Europe, fighting on the side of the Republic. Today the Chevalier de Saint-Georges is best remembered as the first classical composer of African ancestry
1753 Louis-Alexandre de Launay comte d'Antraigues a French pamphleteer, diplomat, spy and political adventurer during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.
1757 Benjamin Pierce (governor) an American Democratic-Republican politician. He served as Governor of New Hampshire from 1827 to 1828 and from 1829 to 1830
1759 Richard Porson an English classical scholar. He was the discoverer of Porson's Law; and the Greek typeface Porson was based on his handwriting
1763 Claude Chappe a French inventor who in 1792 demonstrated a practical semaphore system that eventually spanned all of France. This was the first practical telecommunications system of the industrial age, making Chappe the first telecom mogul with his "mechanical internet."
1771 Dorothy Wordsworth an English author, poet and diarist. She was the sister of the Romantic poet William Wordsworth, and the two were close all their lives. Wordsworth had no ambitions to be an author, and her writings consist only of series of letters, diary entries, poems and short stories
1781 Sydney Lady Morgan an Irish novelist, best known as the author of The Wild Irish Girl.
1790 Anna Eliza Bray a British novelist.
1796 Juan Esteban Pedernera interim President of Argentina during a brief period in 1861.
1797 Joseph Marie Quérard a French bibliographer.
1799 Manuel Bulnes a Chilean military and political figure. He was twice President of Chile between 1841–1846 and 1846-1851
1799 August Riedel a German painter.
1800 John Phillips (geologist) an English geologist. In 1841 he published the first global geologic time scale based on the correlation of fossils in rock strata, thereby helping to standardize terminology including the term Mesozoic, which he invented
1805 Mariya Volkonskaya the youngest daughter of the Russian general Nikolay Raevsky and Sophia Konstantinova, granddaughter of Mikhail Lomonosov. In 1825 Maria married the future Decembrist Major General Prince Sergey Grigorievich Volkonsky. When Volkonsky was arrested and exiled to Siberia, she followed him into exile on the condition that her children born after her departure to Siberia would be forever struck from the noble estate and become bonded laborers ; the threat, however, was not put into practice
1806 Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois a French dramatist. He was born in Paris