Died in December

December 24, 12 Juvenaly of Alaska a hieromartyr and member of the first group of Orthodox missionaries who came from the monastery of Valaam to evangelize the native inhabitants of Alaska. He was martyred while evangelizing among the Yupik Eskimos on the mainland of Alaska in 1796. His feast day is celebrated on July 2, and he is also commemorated with all the saints of Alaska , and with the first martyrs of the American land
December 7, 43 Cicero a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists
December 5, 63 Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura one of the chief figures in the Catilinarian Conspiracy and also a stepfather of Mark Antony.
December 22, 69 Vitellius Roman Emperor for eight months, from 16 April to 22 December 69. Vitellius was proclaimed emperor following the quick succession of the previous emperors Galba and Otho, in a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors
December 21, 72 Thomas the Apostle one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, according to the New Testament. He is best known from the account in the Gospel of Saint John, where he questioned Jesus' resurrection when first told of it, followed by his confession of faith as both "My Lord and my God" on seeing Jesus' wounded body
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
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
December 19, 211 Publius Septimius Geta a Roman emperor who ruled with his father Septimius Severus and his older brother Caracalla from 209 until his death, when he was murdered on Caracalla's orders.
December 20, 217 Pope Zephyrinus bishop of Rome or pope from 199 to his death in 217. He was born in Rome. His predecessor was Pope Victor Upon his death on 20 December 217, he was succeeded by his principal advisor, Pope Callixtus I
December 26, 268 Pope Dionysius the Bishop of Rome or Pope from 22 July 259 to his death in 268.
December 30, 274 Pope Felix I the Bishop of Rome or Pope from 5 January 269 to his death in 274.
December 7, 283 Pope Eutychian the Bishop of Rome from 4 January 275 to his death in 283.
December 3, 311 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
December 5, 334 Li Ban briefly an emperor of the Chinese/Ba-Di state Cheng Han.
December 31, 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
December 6, 343 Saint Nicholas a historic 4th-century Christian saint and Greek Bishop of Myra in Lycia. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, itself from a series of elisions and corruptions of the transliteration of "Saint Nikolaos". His reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints. In 1087, part of the relics were furtively translated to Bari, in Apulia, Italy; for this reason, he is also known as Nikolaos of Bari. The remaining bones were taken to Venice in 1100. His feast day is 6 December
December 11, 384 Pope Damasus I Pope from October 366 to his death in 384.
December 19, 401 Pope Anastasius I Pope from 27 November 399 to his death in 401.
December 27, 418 Pope Zosimus reigned from 18 March 417 to his death in 418. He was born in Mesoraca, Calabria
December 11, 420 Sabinus of Piacenza bishop of Piacenza until his death in the year 420.
December 1, 524 Ahkal Mo' Naab' I a ruler of the Maya city of Palenque. He ruled from June 5, 501 AD to his death
December 4, 530 Cyrus the Great the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Southwest Asia and much of Central Asia and the Caucasus. From the Mediterranean Sea and Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, Cyrus the Great created the largest empire the world had yet seen. Under his successors, the empire eventually stretched from parts of the Balkans and Thrace-Macedonia in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east. His regal titles in full were The Great King, King of Persia, King of Anshan, King of Media, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, and King of the Four Corners of the World. He also proclaimed what has been identified by scholars and archaeologists to be the oldest known declaration of human rights, which was transcribed onto the Cyrus Cylinder sometime between 539 and 530 This view has been criticized by some as a misunderstanding of what they claim to be the Cylinder's generic nature as a traditional statement of the sort that new monarchs may make at the beginning of their reign
December 5, 532 Sabbas the Sanctified Saint Sabbas the Sanctified , a Cappadocian-Greek monk, priest and saint, lived mainly in Palaestina Prima. He was the founder of several monasteries, most notably the one known as Mar Saba. The Saint's name is derived from Aramaic סַבָּא meaning "old man"
December 13, 558 Childebert I a Frankish King of the Merovingian dynasty, as third of the four sons of Clovis I who shared the kingdom of the Franks upon their father's death in 511. He was one of the sons of Saint Clotilda, born at Reims. He reigned as King of Paris from 511 to 558 and Orléans from 524 to 558
December 31, 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
December 3, 649 Birinus the first Bishop of Dorchester, and the "Apostle to the West Saxons" for his conversion of the Kingdom of Wessex to Christianity.
December 17, 658 Judicael ap Hoel the King of Domnonée and a Breton high king in the mid-seventh century.
December 1, 660 Saint Eligius the patron saint of goldsmiths, other metalworkers, and coin collectors. He is also the patron saint of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers , a corps of the British Army, but he is best known for being the patron saint of horses and those who work with them. Eligius was chief counsellor to Dagobert I, Merovingian king of France. Appointed the bishop of Noyon-Tournai three years after the king's death in 642, Eligius worked for twenty years to convert the pagan population of Flanders to Christianity
December 5, 662 Pelinus a Basilian monk, later bishop of Brindisi in Italy, martyred at Corfinio and made a saint in 668.
December 23, 668 Mor Gabriel the 7th bishop of Tur Abdin in South-eastern Turkey.
December 31, 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
December 23, 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
December 27, 683 Emperor Gaozong of Tang the third emperor of the Tang Dynasty in China, ruling from 649 to 683. Emperor Gaozong was the son of Emperor Taizong and Empress Zhangsun
December 17, 693 Begga the daughter of Pepin of Landen, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, and his wife Itta von Swaibia. On the death of her husband, she took the veil, founded seven churches, and built a convent at Andenne on the Meuse River where she spent the rest of her days as abbess. She was buried in Saint Begga's Collegiate Church in Andenne
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
December 11, 711 Justinian II the last Byzantine Emperor of the Heraclian Dynasty, reigning from 685 to 695 and again from 705 to 711. Justinian II was an ambitious and passionate ruler who was keen to restore the Empire to its former glories, but he responded poorly to any opposition to his will and lacked the finesse of his father, Constantine Consequently, he generated enormous opposition to his reign, and it resulted in his deposition in 695 in a popular uprising, and he only returned to the throne in 705 with the help of a Bulgar and Slav army. His second reign was even more despotic than the first, and it too saw his eventual overthrow in 711, abandoned by his army who turned on him before killing him
December 16, 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
December 29, 721 Empress Genmei the 43rd monarch of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.
December 6, 735 Prince Toneri a Japanese imperial prince in the Nara period. He was a son of Emperor Temmu. He was given the posthumous name, Emperor Sudoujinkei , as the father of Emperor Junnin. In the beginning of the Nara period, he gained political power as a leader of imperial family together with Prince Nagaya. He supervised the compilation of the Nihonshoki
December 24, 738 Maslama ibn Abd al-Malik an Umayyad prince and one of the most prominent Arab generals of the early decades of the 8th century, leading several campaigns against the Byzantine Empire and the Khazar Khaganate. He achieved great fame especially for leading the second and last Arab siege of the Byzantine capital Constantinople, and for strengthening the Muslim presence in the Caucasus, becoming the "founder of Islamic Derbent"
December 9, 748 Nasr ibn Sayyar an Arab general and the last Umayyad governor of Khurasan in 738–748. Nasr played a distinguished role in the wars against the Turgesh, although he failed to decisively confront the rebellion of al-Harith ibn Surayj in its early stages. Although respected as a soldier and a statesman, he owed his appointment as governor more to his obscure tribal background, which rendered him dependent on the Caliph. His tenure was nevertheless successful, as Nasr introduced long-overdue tax reforms that alleviated social tension and largely restored stabilized Umayyad control in Transoxiana, which had been greatly reduced under the Turgesh onslaught. His last years were occupied by inter-tribal rivalries and uprisings, however, as the Caliphate itself descended into a period of civil war. In 746 Nasr was driven from his capital by Ibn Surayj and Juday' al-Kirmani, but returned after the latter fell out among themselves, resulting in Ibn Surayj's death. Preoccupied with this conflict, Nasr was unable to stop the outbreak and spread of the Abbasid Revolution, whose leader, Abu Muslim, exploited the situation to his advantage. Evicted from his province in early 748, he fled to Iran pursued by the Abbasid forces, where he died in December 748
December 4, 749 John of Damascus a Syrian monk and priest. Born and raised in Damascus, he died at his monastery, Mar Saba, near Jerusalem
December 23, 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
December 7, 765 Ja'far al-Sadiq a descendant of Ali from his father's side and a descendant of Fatimah from his mother's side and was himself a prominent Muslim jurist. He is revered as an imam by the adherents of Shi'a Islam and Alevism and as a renowned Islamic scholar and personality by Sunni Muslims. The Shi'a Muslims consider him to be the Sixth Imam or leader and spiritual successor to Muhammad. Sunni sources claim that doctrines such as the Imamate were formulated many years after al-Sadiq and wrongly ascribed to him. The internal dispute over who was to succeed Ja'far as imam led to schism within Shi'a Islam. Al-Sadiq was celebrated among his brothers and peers and stood out among them for his great personal merits. He is highly respected by both Sunni and Shi'a Muslims for his great Islamic scholarship, pious character, and academic contributions
December 18, 768 Winibald abbot of the Benedictine double monastery of Heidenheim am Hahnenkamm. Traditionally, he is called the brother of Saint Willibald and Saint Walpurga
December 13, 769 Du Hongjian an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty who served as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Daizong. He was known, and much criticized by traditional Chinese historians, for his devotion to Buddhism
December 4, 771 Carloman I the king of the Franks from 768 until his death in 771. He was the second surviving son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon and was a younger brother of Charlemagne. Little is known of him, except such as touches upon his more famous father and brother
December 17, 779 Saint Sturm a disciple of Saint Boniface and founder and first abbot of the Benedictine monastery and abbey of Fulda in 742 or 744. Sturm's tenure as abbot lasted from 747 until 779
December 25, 795 Pope Adrian I Pope from 1 February 772 to his death in 795. He was the son of Theodore, a Roman nobleman
December 17, 796 Ecgfrith of Mercia king of Mercia from July to December 796. He was the son of Offa, the greatest king of Mercia, and Cynethryth. In 787, Ecgfrith had been consecrated king, the first known consecration of an English king, probably arranged by Offa in imitation of the consecration of Charlemagne's sons by the pope in 781