Born in January

January 25, 17 Messalina the third wife of the Roman Emperor Claudius. She was also a paternal cousin of the Emperor Nero, second cousin of the Emperor Caligula, and great-grandniece of the Emperor Augustus. A powerful and influential woman with a reputation for promiscuity, it was claimed that she conspired against her husband and was executed when the plot was discovered. Her notorious reputation is arguably the result of political bias. It has been perpetuated by works of art and literature into modern times
January 31, 36 Antonia Minor the younger of two daughters of Mark Antony and Octavia Minor. She was a niece of the Emperor Augustus, sister-in-law of the Emperor Tiberius, paternal grandmother of the Emperor Caligula and Empress Agrippina the Younger, mother of the Emperor Claudius, and both maternal great-grandmother and paternal great-aunt of the Emperor Nero. She was additionally the maternal great-aunt of the Empress Valeria Messalina and Faustus Cornelius Sulla Felix, and paternal grandmother of Claudia Antonia, Claudia Octavia, and Britannicus
January 14, 38 Nero Claudius Drusus a Roman politician and military commander. He was a patrician Claudian on his legal father's side but his maternal grandmother was from a plebeian family. He was the son of Livia Drusilla and the legal stepson of her second husband, the Emperor Augustus. He was also brother of the Emperor Tiberius, father of the Emperor Claudius, paternal grandfather of the Emperor Caligula, and maternal great-grandfather of the Emperor Nero
January 30, 58 Livia the wife of the Roman emperor Augustus throughout his reign, as well as his adviser. She was the mother of the emperor Tiberius, paternal grandmother of the emperor Claudius, paternal great-grandmother of the emperor Caligula, and maternal great-great-grandmother of the emperor Nero. She was deified by Claudius who acknowledged her title of Augusta
January 24, 76 Hadrian Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. He is also known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. Hadrian was regarded by some as a humanist and was philhellene in most of his tastes. He is regarded as one of the Five Good Emperors
January 14, 83 Mark Antony a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic from an oligarchy into the autocratic Roman Empire.
January 13, 101 Lucius Aelius Caesar became the adopted son and intended successor of Roman Emperor Hadrian , but never attained the throne. Aelius was born with the name Lucius Ceionius Commodus, and later called Lucius Aelius Caesar. He is often mistakenly referred to as Lucius Aelius Verus, though this name is not attested outside the Augustan History and probably arose as a manuscript error
January 3, 106 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
January 30, 133 Didius Julianus Roman Emperor for nine weeks during the year 193.
January 20, 225 Gordian III Roman Emperor from 238 AD to 244 At the age of 13, he became the youngest sole legal Roman emperor throughout the existence of the united Roman Empire. Gordian was the son of Antonia Gordiana and an unnamed Roman Senator who died before 238. Antonia Gordiana was the daughter of Emperor Gordian I and younger sister of Emperor Gordian Very little is known on his early life before his acclamation. Gordian had assumed the name of his maternal grandfather in 238 AD
January 10, 291 Philomena Saint Philomena was, as believed by her devotees within the Catholic Church, a young virgin martyr whose remains were discovered in 1802 in the Catacombs of Priscilla. Three tiles enclosing the tomb bore an inscription that was taken to indicate that her name was Filumena, the English form of which is Philomena
January 11, 347 Theodosius I Roman Emperor from 379 to 395. Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire. On accepting his elevation, he campaigned against Goths and other barbarians who had invaded the Empire; he failed to kill, expel, or entirely subjugate them, and after the Gothic War they established a homeland south of the Danube, in Illyricum, within the empire's borders. He fought two destructive civil wars, in which he defeated the usurpers Magnus Maximus and Eugenius at great cost to the power of the Empire
January 16, 378 Chak Tok Ich'aak I an early Maya king of Mutal. He is one of Tikal's best known kings, with his name recorded on a number of ceramic pieces and a stela, with the possibility of a second stela also being attributed to him
January 19, 398 Pulcheria the second child of Eastern Roman Emperor Arcadius and Empress Aelia Eudoxia. Her older sister was Flaccilla, born in 397 but assumed to have died young. Her younger siblings were Arcadia, born in 400, Theodosius II, the future emperor, and Marina, both born in 401. When her father died in 408, Theodosius II was made Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, at seven years of age. On July 4, 414 a fifteen-year-old Pulcheria proclaimed herself regent over him, then thirteen years of age, and made herself Augusta and Empress of the Eastern Roman Empire. According to the historian Sozomen, in his Ecclesiastical History, Pulcheria took a vow of virginity when she became Augusta, and her sisters followed suit. Theodosius II died on July 26, 450, and Pulcheria soon married Marcian on November 25, 450. Marcian and Pulcheria were proclaimed Emperor and Empress of the Eastern Roman Empire. Three years later, in July 453, Pulcheria died and was later made a saint by the Church. Pulcheria is known to have held a significant amount of power in her brother's reign as emperor. Pulcheria was also of great influence over the church and theological practices of this time, including over anti-pagan policies, church-building projects, and the debate over the Marian title Theotokos
January 6, 437 Rufius Antonius Agrypnius Volusianus a fifth-century Roman aristocrat who held at least two important posts during the reign of the emperor Honorius. He is best known for his exchange of letters with Augustine
January 8, 454 John the Silent a Christian saint known for living alone for seventy-six years. He was given the surname because he loved recollection and silence. John's feast day is May 13 in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, and December 3 in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches
January 1, 512 Saint Maurus O.S.B. was the first disciple of Benedict of Nursia. He is mentioned in Gregory the Great's biography of the latter as the first oblate; offered to the monastery by his noble Roman parents as a young boy to be brought up in the monastic life. Four stories involving Maurus recounted by Gregory formed a pattern for the ideal formation of a Benedictine monk. The most famous of these involved Maurus's rescue of Saint Placidus, a younger boy offered to Benedict at the same time as Maurus. The incident has been reproduced in many medieval and Renaissance paintings
January 28, 598 Emperor Taizong of Tang the second emperor of the Tang Dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649. As he encouraged his father, Li Yuan to rise against Sui Dynasty rule at Taiyuan in 617 and subsequently defeated several of his most important rivals, he was ceremonially regarded as a co-founder of the dynasty along with Emperor Gaozu
January 4, 659 Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin the fourth Shiite Imam, after his father Husayn, his uncle Hasan, and his grandfather Ali, the Prophet’s son-in-law. He survived the Battle of Karbala and was taken along with the enslaved women to the caliph in Damascus. Eventually, however, he was allowed to return to Medina where he led a secluded life with only a few intimate companions. Imam Sajjad's life and statements were entirely devoted to asceticism and religious teachings mostly in the form of invocations and supplications. His famous supplications are well known as Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya
January 28, 676 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
January 9, 727 Emperor Daizong of Tang an emperor of the Chinese Tang Dynasty.
January 18, 748 Odilo Duke of Bavaria Duke of Bavaria from 736 until his death. He had the Lex Baiuvariorum compilation edited, the first ancient Germanic law collection of the Bavarians
January 25, 750 Leo IV the Khazar Byzantine Emperor from 775 to 780 AD.
January 1, 766 Ali al-Ridha the seventh descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the eighth of the Twelve Imams, according to the Twelver Shia sect of Islam as well as an Imam of knowledge according to the Zaydi Shia school and Sufis. His given name was 'Alī ibn Mūsā ibn Ja'far
January 14, 771 Constantine VI Byzantine Emperor from 780 to 797.
January 19, 840 Michael III Byzantine Emperor from 842 to 867. Michael III was the third and traditionally last member of the Amorian Dynasty, also known as the Phrygian Dynasty. He was given the disparaging epithet the Drunkard by the hostile historians of the succeeding Macedonian dynasty, but modern historical research has rehabilitated his reputation to some extent, demonstrating the vital role his reign played in the resurgence of Byzantine power in the 9th century
January 11, 844 Abdullah ibn Muhammad al-Umawi the seventh Emir of Córdoba, reigning from 888 to 912 in Al-Andalus.
January 1, 870 Zwentibold the illegitimate son of the Carolingian Emperor Arnulf of Carinthia. In 895, his father, then king of East Francia, granted him the Kingdom of Lotharingia, which he ruled until his death. After his death he was declared a saint and martyr by the Catholic Church
January 31, 877 Taejo of Goryeo the founder of the Goryeo Dynasty, which ruled Korea from the 10th to the 14th century. Taejo ruled from 918 to 943
January 7, 891 Abd-ar-Rahman III the Emir and Caliph of Córdoba of the Ummayad dynasty in al-Andalus. Called al-Nasir li-Din Allah , he ascended the throne in his early 20s, and reigned for half a century as the most powerful prince of Iberia. Although people of all creeds enjoyed tolerance and freedom of religion under his rule, he repelled the Fatimids, partly by supporting their Maghrawa enemies in North Africa, and partly by claiming the title Caliph for himself
January 13, 915 Al-Hakam II the second Caliph of Córdoba, in Al-Andalus , and son of Abd-ar-Rahman III and Murjan. He ruled from 961 to 976
January 26, 967 Emperor Kazan the 65th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.
January 20, 1029 Alp Arslan the second Sultan of the Seljuk Empire and great-grandson of Seljuk, the eponymous founder of the dynasty. His real name was Muhammad bin Dawud Chaghri, and for his military prowess, personal valour, and fighting skills he obtained the name Alp Arslan, which means "Heroic Lion" in Turkish
January 8, 1037 Su Shi a Chinese writer, poet, painter, calligrapher, pharmacologist, gastronome, and a statesman of the Song dynasty. A major personality of the Song era, Su was an important figure in Song Dynasty politics, aligning himself with Sima Guang and others, against the New Policy party lead by Wang Anshi. Su Shi was famed as an essayist, and his prose writings lucidly contribute to the understanding of topics such as 11th-century Chinese travel literature or detailed information on the contemporary Chinese iron industry. His poetry has a long history of popularity and influence in China, Japan, and other areas in the near vicinity and is well known in the English speaking parts of the world through the translations by Arthur Waley, among others. In terms of the arts, Su Shi has some claim to being "the pre-eminent personality of the eleventh century." He is credited with creating dongpo pork, a prominent dish in Hangzhou cuisine
January 4, 1076 Emperor Zhezong of Song the seventh emperor of the Song Dynasty of China. His personal name was Zhào Xù. He reigned from 1085 to 1100
January 16, 1093 Isaac Komnenos (son of Alexios I) the third son of Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos and Empress Irene Doukaina. He was raised to the high rank of sebastokrator by his older brother John II Komnenos, but they later fell out and Isaac was exiled by John for several years. During the struggle for John's succession in 1143, he supported the unsuccessful candidacy of his nephew, likewise named Isaac, over the younger Manuel I Komnenos. A few years later, he was forced to retire to a monastery by Manuel. Isaac was noted for his erudition and his patronage of learning
January 15, 1096 Theodora Komnene Angelina a Byzantine noblewoman, being the fourth daughter of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos and Irene Doukaina. She married admiral Constantine Angelos, by whom she had seven children. Byzantine emperors Alexios III Angelos and Isaac II Angelos were her grandsons, thereby making her an ancestress of the Angelos dynasty
January 11, 1113 Wang Chongyang a Chinese Taoist and one of the founders of the Quanzhen School in the 12th century during the Song dynasty. He was one of the Five Northern Patriarchs of Quanzhen. He also appears as a character in works of wuxia fiction
January 14, 1131 Valdemar I of Denmark King of Denmark from 1157 until his death in 1182.
January 27, 1137 John of Crema an Italian papal legate and Cardinal. He was a close supporter of Pope Callistus II
January 25, 1138 Antipope Anacletus II an Antipope who ruled from 1130 to his death, in a schism against the contested, hasty election of Pope Innocent II.
January 26, 1143 Ali ibn Yusuf the 5th Almoravid king he reigned 1106–1143.
January 13, 1147 Robert de Craon the second Grand Master of the Knights Templar from June 1136 until his death. He was a member of the Craon family
January 15, 1151 Elias II Count of Maine the younger son of Fulk V of Anjou and his first wife, Eremburga, daughter of Elias I of Maine. There is debate as to whether he was ever count of Maine
January 16, 1160 Herman III Margrave of Baden Margrave of Verona and Baden.
January 21, 1183 Ardoino da Piacenza an Italian cardinal. Hi first name is listed also as Arduino
January 3, 1194 Emperor Tsuchimikado the 83rd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.
January 19, 1200 Dōgen a Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher born in Kyōto. He founded the Sōtō school of Zen in Japan after travelling to China and training under Rujing, a master of the Chinese Caodong lineage
January 9, 1205 Giovanni di San Paolo a Benedictine monk at San Paolo fuori le Muri in Rome. He was made Cardinal-Deacon on February 20, 1193, then Cardinal Priest of Santa Prisca in May 1193 and finally Cardinal Bishop of Sabina at the end of 1204. He is often referred to as a member of the powerful Roman Colonna family, but modern scholars have established that this is based on the falsehood from the beginning of 16th century. More likely he was nephew of Celestine III and member of the Bobone family. He studied medicine at Amalfi
January 15, 1208 Pierre de Castelnau born in the diocese of Montpellier.