Died on December 31

192 Commodus Roman Emperor from 180 to 192. He also ruled as co-emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 until his father's death in 180
335 Pope Sylvester I also spelled "Silvester", was Pope from 31 January 314 to his death in 335. He succeeded Pope Miltiades. He filled the See of Rome at an important era in the history of the Catholic Church, yet very little is known of him. The accounts of his papacy preserved in the Liber Pontificalis contain little more than a record of the gifts said to have been conferred on the Church by Constantine I, but it does say that he was the son of a Roman named Rufinus
596 Marius Aventicensis the Bishop of Aventicum from 574, remembered for his terse chronicle. After his death in Lausanne, he was venerated in that city as a saint, and his feast day was celebrated on 9 or 12 February
669 Li Shiji one of the most celebrated generals early in the Chinese Tang Dynasty. He was initially a follower of Li Mi, one of the rebel rulers rebelling against the preceding Sui Dynasty, and he submitted to Tang after Li Mi did so, upon which Emperor Gaozu, impressed with his loyalty to Li Mi, bestowed on him the imperial clan name of He later participated in destroying Xu Yuanlang and Fu Gongshi, two of Tang's competitors on Tang's campaign to reunify China. During the reign of Emperor Gaozu's son Emperor Taizong, he participated in the successful campaigns destroying Eastern Tujue and Xueyantuo, allowing Tang to become the dominant power in eastern Asia, and also served as a chancellor. During the reign of Emperor Gaozong, he served as chancellor and the commander of the army against Goguryeo, destroying Goguryeo in 668. He died the next year. He and Li Jing were considered the two most prominent early Tang generals
878 Emperor Seiwa the 56th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.
1164 Ottokar III of Styria Margrave of Styria from 1129 until 1164. He was the son of Leopold the Strong and father of Ottokar IV, the last of the dynasty of the Otakars. His wife was Kunigunde of Chamb-Vohburg
1178 Ioveta of Bethany the fourth and youngest daughter of King Baldwin II and Morphia of Melitene. She was the princess of Jerusalem
1194 Leopold V Duke of Austria the Duke of Austria from 1177 and the Duke of Styria from 1192 until his death in 1194. He was a member of the House of Babenberg, the son of Henry II Jasomirgott and his Byzantine wife, Theodora Comnena, a daughter of Andronicus Comnenus, the second eldest son of the Emperor John II Komnenos
1278 Bolesław II Rogatka a Duke of Kraków briefly in 1241, of Southern Greater Poland during 1241–1247, and Duke of all Silesia–Wrocław from 1241 until 1248, when it was divided between him and his brothers. He was Duke of Środa Śląska in Silesia from 1277 onward. During his reign the second Mongol raid against Poland, led by Nogai Khan occurred
1298 Humphrey de Bohun 3rd Earl of Hereford an English nobleman known primarily for his opposition to King Edward I over the Confirmatio Cartarum. He was also an active participant in the Welsh Wars and maintained for several years a private feud with the earl of Gloucester. His father, Humphrey de Bohun, fought on the side of the rebellious barons in the Barons' War. When Humphrey predeceased his father, Humphrey became heir to his grandfather, Humphrey. At Humphrey 's death in 1275, Humphrey inherited the earldoms of Hereford and Essex. He also inherited major possessions in the Welsh Marches from his mother, Eleanor de Braose
1302 Frederick III Duke of Lorraine the Duke of Lorraine from 1251 to his death. He was the only son and successor of Matthias II and Catherine of Limburg
1328 Giovanni Soranzo a Venetian statesman who served as the fiftieth Doge of Venice. He ascended to the position on July 13, 1312, and served until his death. Soranzo was a member of a noble and ancient family; he was married to Franchesina. In 1310 his son-in-law, Niccolo' Querini was exiled for life from Venice for taking part in Bajamonte Tiepolo's conspiracy to overthrow the state. Soranzo was succeeded as Doge by Francesco Dandolo
1344 Otto I Duke of Pomerania Duke of Pomerania-Stettin.
1369 John Chandos a medieval English knight who hailed from Radbourne Hall, Derbyshire. Chandos was a close friend of Edward, the Black Prince and a founding member and 19th Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1348. Chandos was a gentleman by birth, but unlike most commanders of the day he held no title of nobility
1384 John Wycliffe an English Scholastic philosopher, theologian, lay preacher, translator, reformer and university teacher at Oxford in England. He was an influential dissident in the Roman Catholic Church during the 14th century. His followers were known as Lollards, a somewhat rebellious movement, which preached anticlerical and biblically-centred reforms. The Lollard movement was a precursor to the Protestant Reformation. He has been characterized as the evening star of scholasticism and the Morning Star of the Reformation. He was one of the earliest opponents of papal authority over secular power. In assessing Wycliffe’s historical role, Lacey Baldwin Smith argues that Wycliffe expounded three doctrines that the established church recognized as major threats. First was his emphasis upon an individual's interpretation of the Bible as the best guide to a moral life, as opposed to the Church’s emphasis on receiving its sacraments as the only way to salvation. Second he insisted that holiness of an individual was more important than official office; that is, a truly pious person was morally superior to a wicked ordained cleric. Wycliffe challenged the privileged status of the clergy, which was central to their powerful role in England. Finally he attacked the luxurious and exorbitant luxury and pomp of the churches and their ceremonies
1388 Albert IV Duke of Mecklenburg co-regent of Mecklenburg from 1383 to 1388. He was the son of the Duke Henry III of Mecklenburg and Ingeborg of Denmark
1426 Thomas Beaufort Duke of Exeter an English military commander during the Hundred Years' War, and briefly Chancellor of England. He was the third of the four illegitimate children; the son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and his mistress Katherine Swynford. To overcome their problematic parentage, his parents were married in 1396, and he and his siblings were legitimated on two separate occasions, in 1390 and again in 1397. He married the daughter of Sir Thomas Neville of Horneby, Margaret Neville, who bore him one son, Henry Beaufort. However, the child died young
1460 Richard Neville 5th Earl of Salisbury a Yorkist leader during the early parts of the Wars of the Roses.
1502 Vitellozzo Vitelli an Italian condottiero. He was lord of Montone, Città di Castello, Monterchi and Anghiari
1502 Oliverotto Euffreducci described in Niccolò Machiavelli's Il Principe.
1510 Bianca Maria Sforza Holy Roman Empress as the second wife of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. She was the eldest legitimate daughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, by his second wife, Bona of Savoy
1535 William Skeffington a Lord Deputy of Ireland.
1568 Shimazu Tadayoshi a daimyo of Satsuma Province during Japan's Sengoku period.
1575 Pierino Belli an Italian soldier and jurist.
1579 Walerian Protasewicz bishop of Lutsk and Vilnius. To combat Reformation he invited Jesuits to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. He funded the Jesuit college in Vilnius and obtained Papal and Royal privileges to convert the college into Vilnius University in 1579. The university soon became spiritual and cultural center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
1583 Thomas Erastus a Swiss physician and theologian best known for a posthumously published work in which he argued that the sins of Christians should be punished by the state, and not by the church withholding the sacraments. A generalization of this idea, that the state is supreme in church matters, is known somewhat misleadingly as Erastianism
1588 Louis of Granada The Venerable Louis of Granada, O.P. was a Dominican friar who was noted as theologian, writer and preacher. The cause for his canonization has been long accepted by the Holy See
1610 Ludolph van Ceulen a German-Dutch mathematician from Hildesheim. He emigrated to the Netherlands
1616 Jan Szczęsny Herburt Polish-Ukrainian political writer, diplomat, poseł to the Sejm. Early supporter of kanclerz Jan Zamoyski, took part in many diplomatic missions. Later, supporter of the king Sigismund III Vasa and eventually his opponent, one of the leaders of rokosz of Zebrzydowski in 1607, imprisoned by royalists from 1607 to 1609. Author of many rokosz-related and anti-magnate treaties. Founder of the Kudryntsi Castle
1622 Philipp Clüver an Early Modern German geographer and historian.
1647 Giovanni Maria Trabaci an Italian composer and organist. He was a prolific composer, with some 300 surviving works preserved in more than 10 publications; he was especially important for his keyboard music
1650 Dorgon a Manchu prince and regent of the early Qing Dynasty.
1655 Janusz Radziwiłł (1612–55) a notable Polish noble and magnate. Throughout his life he occupied a number of posts in the state administration, including that of Court Chamberlain of Lithuania and Field Hetman of Lithuania. He was also a voivode of Vilna Voivodeship, as well as a starost of Samogitia, Kamieniec, Kazimierz and Sejwy
1667 Jerzy Sebastian Lubomirski a Polish noble , magnate, outstanding politician and military commander. Lubomirski was a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire SRI. He was the initiator of the Lubomirski Rokosz
1669 Bogusław Radziwiłł a princely magnate and a member of the Polish-Lithuanian szlachta, or nobility. He was of the Radziwiłł magnate family. By birth he was an Imperial Prince of the Holy Roman Empire. A descendant of the famous knight Zawisza Czarny
1679 Giovanni Alfonso Borelli a Renaissance Italian physiologist, physicist, and mathematician. He contributed to the modern principle of scientific investigation by continuing Galileo's custom of testing hypotheses against observation. Trained in mathematics, Borelli also made extensive studies of Jupiter's moons, the mechanics of animal locomotion and, in microscopy, of the constituents of blood. He also used microscopy to investigate the stomatal movement of plants, and undertook studies in medicine and geology. During his career, he enjoyed the patronage of Queen Christina of Sweden
1691 Dudley North (economist) an English merchant, politician and economist, a writer on free trade.
1691 Robert Boyle an Anglo-Irish natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, and inventor. Born in Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland, he was also noted for his writings in theology. Although his research clearly has its roots in the alchemical tradition, Boyle is largely regarded today as the first modern chemist, and therefore one of the founders of modern chemistry, and one of the pioneers of modern experimental scientific method. He is best known for Boyle's law, which describes the inversely proportional relationship between the absolute pressure and volume of a gas, if the temperature is kept constant within a closed system. Among his works, The Sceptical Chymist is seen as a cornerstone book in the field of chemistry
1705 Catherine of Braganza Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1662 to 1685, as the wife of King Charles Catherine was born into the House of Braganza, the most senior noble house of Portugal, which became Portugal's royal house after Catherine's father, John, 8th Duke of Braganza, was proclaimed King John IV after deposing the House of Habsburg in 1640.
1715 William Wycherley an English dramatist of the Restoration period, best known for the plays The Country Wife and The Plain Dealer.
1719 John Flamsteed an English astronomer and the first Astronomer Royal. He catalogued over 3000 stars
1742 Charles III Philip Elector Palatine a ruler from the house of Wittelsbach. He was Elector Palatine, Count of Palatinate-Neuburg, and Duke of Jülich and Berg from 1716 to 1742. Until 1728 Charles III Philip was also Count of Megen
1775 Richard Montgomery an Irish-born soldier who first served in the British Army. He later became a Major General in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and he is most famous for leading the failed 1775 invasion of Canada
1775 Anna Vorontsova a Russian lady in waiting, salonist and noble, cousin of the Empress Elizabeth of Russia. She was married to Chancellor Count Mikhail Illarionovich Vorontsov
1778 Alvise Giovanni Mocenigo doge of Venice from 1763 until his death.
1779 Johann Friedrich Cotta (theologian) a German theologian.
1783 Tadeusz Franciszek Ogiński a szlachcic from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
1793 Armand Louis de Gontaut a French soldier and politician, known for the part he played in the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars.
1799 Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton a French naturalist and contributor to the Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers.
1799 Jean-François Marmontel a French historian and writer, a member of the Encyclopediste movement.