Greatest Belgian ever

Which individual(s) do you think is/are the greatest Belgian(s) ever ?

  • Clovis I (born in Tournai)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Charlemagne (born in Liège), first Holy Roman Emperor

    Votes: 5 41.7%
  • Godfrey of Bouillon, first King of Jerusalem

    Votes: 1 8.3%
  • Baldwin IX of Flanders-Hainault, first Latin Emperor

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jan van Eyck, inventor of oil painting

    Votes: 2 16.7%
  • Emperor Charles V (born in Ghent)

    Votes: 1 8.3%
  • Peter Paul Rubens

    Votes: 1 8.3%
  • Peter Minuit, founder of New York City

    Votes: 1 8.3%
  • King Leopold II of Belgium

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Ernest Solvay

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Victor Horta

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Hergé, creator of Tintin

    Votes: 1 8.3%
  • Eddy Merckx

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Justine Henin-Hardenne

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • George Simenon

    Votes: 1 8.3%
  • Andreas Vesalius

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 3 25.0%

  • Total voters
    12
I'd like to suggest George Simenon it seems that Maciamo forgot to mention him but he is the most famous belgian writer of the last century and a lot of europeans red his books or watched movies based on his novels ...but people actually think he was french
I'm quite skeptic in considering Charles V as a belgian(even though his mother tongues were dutch and french he is actually seen as a symbol of Spain) and surely Charlemagne wasn't a belgian........if Charlemagne were considered a belgian the roman emperor Trajan would be considered spanish and Augustus italian, but they were neither italian nor spanish they were just romans and Charlemagne imho was a frank
 
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Most of these people listed in your poll aren't Belgians, because Belgium as a Nation didn't exist, thus they can't be Belgian.
 
Without the Walloons, Europe would be Muslim (and would probably not have discovered the Americas nor developed the same level of scientific, artistic or political influence over the world.


He, he like the medieval/dark age Christianity was a thing of beauty. Thanks for saving it.
Please, it was a 1 000 waisted years, a millennium down the drain.
The biggest advances in Europe came after religion was separated from science, economy and later from politic. The things that made today's Europe, with hundreds of millions of people, peaceful and prosperous.
I don't really think that any religion, either pagan, Christianity or Islam would have changed the history (development of technological civilisation) of Europe too much. Give or take a hundred years but we would have gotten here regardless.
 
Well, would you describe Scots who lived before the creation of the UK to be British or only Scottish ? Likewise, are Scots born in the UK only Scottish or also British ? What if Scotland becomes independent ? Would a 19th-century Scot still seen as British if Scotland is no more part of the UK ?

What's more nationalities are we know now are a fairly recent concept (late 18th to early 20th century depending on the part of the world). The place of birth alone doesn't determine nationality nowadays (e.g. Audrey Hepburn was born in Belgium but was not Belgian). But a few centuries ago, as there were no nationality law or passports, birth (and heritage) was a major factor.

That's why I would say that Charles V of Habsburg was Belgian, eventhough his empire included about 10 modern countries, because he was born and raised in Belgium with French as his mother-tongue. Yet the Habsburg family split in the Austrian and Spanish branch after him, but he was neither Spanish nor Austrian of birth and education.

Same for Charlemagne, who was also born and raised in Belgium, as were his parents and grandparents, despite that his empire later split and gave birth to the Kingdom of France and "Germany" (Holy Roman Empire of the German nation).


British by Nationality. Scottish by the Grace of God.:giggle::grin:
 
Most of these people listed in your poll aren't Belgians, because Belgium as a Nation didn't exist, thus they can't be Belgian.

What if I said that someone is Andalucian or Cornish or Breton or Parisian or Provencal, because they were born and lived there most of their lives ? Are you saying that it is mistaken to give them such a label because there is no Cornish or Parisian nation ? Stop thinking in exclusive terms. People can be both French and Parisian, both Californian and American, both Bavarian and German, even if that does not match "nation-states".

Incidentally, the concept of nations or nation-states is completely obsolete nowadays. Borders are purely political fabrications. It's not because someone is born in Strasbourg and another person on the opposite side of the Rhine, let's say in Offenburg, that they are more different than people born at the other end of France or Germany. Try to think in terms of gradients instead of black and white. If central France is blue and central Germany is yellow, people living along the border are green. It's pointless to argue that green on the French side is bluer than on the German side. Well, at least in terms of history and genetics.
 
I'm quite skeptic in considering Charles V as a belgian(even though his mother tongues were dutch and french he is actually seen as a symbol of Spain) and surely Charlemagne wasn't a belgian........if Charlemagne were considered a belgian the roman emperor Trajan would be considered spanish and Augustus italian, but they were neither italian nor spanish they were just romans and Charlemagne imho was a frank

I fully agree with this.
 
Difficult to me to say who's the greatest Belgian, but I could speak about Belgians that have interested me and I like...

220px-Henry.Pirenne.Portrait.gif


Henri Pirenne (23 December 1862, Verviers - 25 October 1935, Uccle) was a leading Belgian historian. A medievalist of Walloon descent, he wrote a masterful multivolume history of Belgium in French and became a national hero. Historians continue to debate his influential theories about medieval history.

He also became prominent in the nonviolent resistance to the Germans who occupied Belgium in World War I.

Henri Pirenne's reputation today rests on three contributions to European history: for what has become known as the Pirenne Thesis, concerning origins of the Middle Ages in reactive state formation and shifts in trade; for a distinctive view of Belgium's medieval history; and for his model of the development of the medieval city.

Pirenne argued that profound, long-term social, economic, cultural, and religious movements resulted from profound underlying causes, and this attitude influenced Marc Bloch and the outlook of the French Annales School of social history.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Pirenne

 
I object to the presence of one of the cruelest war criminals, tyrants and blood-thirsty butchers in World history, Leopold II, to the list.
 
I object to the presence of one of the cruelest war criminals, tyrants and blood-thirsty butchers in World history, Leopold II, to the list.

Agreed!

And also Charles V was a war criminal that did many cruel things in Spain.
(Unknown to many Spanish members it seems)

A true hero of Belgium is to me Ambiorix.

At least he had the guts to give the Romans a beating.
 
Why is Henin there and Clijsters is not?!

Not enough space for all sports people. I had to make a choice and Henin achieved more (an Olympic gold medal, 7 Grand Slam titles against 2 for Clijsters, and longer position as #1).

Btw, Father Damien is without doubt the greatest Belgian ever.

How can a priest, let alone a missionary, be great in any way ? Spreading anti-scientific lies ? Father Damien was just one of millions of people in the world who helped poor people afflicted with a serious disease (leprosy in this case). Why does that make him so special ?
 
Agreed!
And also Charles V was a war criminal that did many cruel things in Spain.
(Unknown to many Spanish members it seems)

Please explain. I am familiar with his son's atrocities in Belgium and the Netherlands, but not with Charles V's "war crimes" in Spain (unless you are referring to the brutal Spanish colonisation of the Americas under his reign, but these were independent adventurers upon which the emperor had no direct control).
 
Father Damien's personal beliefs are irrelevant - he gave up his life for the poor and was the inspiration for Ghandi (in Mahatma's own words). He is at least much greater person then everybody on the list.
 
i'd say Charles Martel is the most important miliatary fiure
 

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