Greatest French people ever ?

Who was the greatest French person in history ?

  • Louis XIV

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Voltaire

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Louis David

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Napoleon Bonaparte

    Votes: 4 44.4%
  • Victor Hugo

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Alexandre Dumas

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Louis Pasteur

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Jules Verne

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Georges Bizet

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Gustave Eiffel

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Auguste Rodin

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Auguste and Louis Lumière

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Coco Chanel

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jean Monnet

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Charles de Gaulle

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jean-Paul Sartre

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jacques Cousteau

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Edith Piaf

    Votes: 1 11.1%

  • Total voters
    9

Maciamo

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BBC News : French top 100 reveals surprises

BBC said:
The French have been voting to choose their greatest compatriot of all time, prompting a few shocks and surprises.
...
Top 10

Charles de Gaulle
Marie Curie
Louis Pasteur
Coluche
Bourvil
Victor Hugo
Moliere
Edith Piaf
Jacques Cousteau
Abbe Pierre

I don't know why so many French people still regard de Gaulle so highly.

It's difficult to mix politicians, artists and athletes, so here is my ranking per category :

Top monarchs :

Napoleon Bonaparte
Louis XIV
Philip IV
Francis I
Henry IV

Top painters and sculptors:

Louis David
Auguste Rodin
Renoir
Toulouse-Lautrec
Cezanne
Gauguin
Monet
Manet
Matisse

Top architects:

Gustave Eiffel
Viollet-le-Duc
Vauban
Le Corbusier

Top composers:

Bizet
Hector Berlioz
Camille Saint-Saens
Jacques Offenbach
Claude Debussy
Jean Philippe Rameau
Jean-Michel Jarre

Top writers:

Victor Hugo
Jules Verne
Alexandre Dumas
Gustave Flaubert
Emile Zola
Moliere
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Charles Baudelaire
Arthur Rimbaud
Francois Rabelais
Guy de Maupassant
Marcel Proust
Jean de La Fontaine

Top philosophers :

Voltaire
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Paul Sartre
Denis Diderot
Rene Descartes
Albert Camus

Top scientists and intellectuals:

Marie Curie
Louis Pasteur
Auguste and Louis Lumière (inventors of the cinema)
Montgolfier brothers
Jacques Cousteau
Claude Levi-Strauss
Blaise Pascal
Jean-Francois Champollion
Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier

Top actors/actresses & filmmakers:

Jean Reno
Christian Clavier
Luc Besson
Louis de Funese
Jean Gabin
Bourvil
Jean-Paul Belmondo
Catherine Deneuve
Alain Delon
Francois Truffaut
Jean-Luc Godard

Top designers:

Coco Chanel
Christian Dior
Yves Saint-Laurent
Jean-Paul Gaultier
Edouard de Givenchy
Pierre Cardin

Others

Pierre de Coubertin - initiator of the modern Olympic Games
Jean Monnet - one of the founding fathers of the EEC and EU
Jacques Delors - 3x President of the European Commission
 
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i will have to had:
composer:
Maurice Ravel
Jean-Jacques Goldman
writer:
Honore (de) balzac
scientists and intellectuals:
Henri Becquerel
philosophers :
Lacan :p
actors/actresses & filmmakers:
Fernandel
Vincent Cassel
 
Maicamo, I think your list is excellent. Was very happy to see a lot of those names on your lists.
 
What an interesting list. :)

Sorry, but I couldn't help noticing Jean-Michel Jarre ranking along with great classical composers as Debussy, Bizet, Berlioz and Offenbach. Jean-Michel Jarre must be proud!! :)

A note: Pachelbel is not French.

He was born in Nurnberg, and worked in Erfurt and Stuttgart. As far as I know, he didn't have a base in Paris, or have studied at the conservatory in Paris. I think Offenbach studied in Paris, and Debussy, Berlioz and Bizet had bases in Paris.

Pachelbel is one of my favourite classical composers, I especially love his "Kanon Suite," which is of course played at many weddings nowadays.
I am a great classical music lover, but my faves are not from France, sorry. :blush:

I love Smetana (Czech), Sibelius (Finn), Lizst (Hungary/Austria). I also like Bach and Vivaldi.

Anyhow, the people listed in the other categories are truly great, and I can only agree that many painted, wrote and designed according to my taste.. :)
 
Excellent list indeed! :cool:

I would just like to know according to which criteria the list of top monarchs is ranked. Adding Napoleon on top implies that it must be the number of people butchered in wars, countries invaded and the intensity of misery brought over Europe.
 
thomas said:
I would just like to know according to which criteria the list of top monarchs is ranked. Adding Napoleon on top implies that it must be the number of people butchered in wars, countries invaded and the intensity of misery brought over Europe.

Napoleon spread the ideas of the 18th century Enlightenment throughout Europe, reform several of these countries legal and administrative system. He was the most charimastic leader France has ever had (making de Gaulle look like a clown in comparison), the greatest military strategist, the most beloved monarch, and ruled over the most powerful empire France has ever had (the the biggest because of later African colonies though). But Napoleon's reign also marked a sort of French golden age, a bit like Victoria's reign in the UK after that.
 
Maciamo said:
Napoleon spread the ideas of the 18th century Enlightenment throughout Europe, reform several of these countries legal and administrative system. He was the most charimastic leader France has ever had (making de Gaulle look like a clown in comparison), the greatest military strategist, the most beloved monarch, and ruled over the most powerful empire France has ever had (the the biggest because of later African colonies though). But Napoleon's reign also marked a sort of French golden age, a bit like Victoria's reign in the UK after that.
Lolol, you must have missed my sarcastic undertone. I'm aware of the impetus he had on scientific and legal development, and I am absolutely sure that he is still revered in France, but where I come from he is seen as a foreign invader and ego-centric maniac who wrought political havoc on most of Europe.

My favourite episode in his life: the expedition to Egypt in 1798.
 
thomas said:
Lolol, you must have missed my sarcastic undertone. I'm aware of the impetus he had on scientific and legal development, and I am absolutely sure that he is still revered in France, but where I come from he is seen as a foreign invader and ego-centric maniac who wrought political havoc on most of Europe.

I know. I was just mentioning what made him different from a king like Louis XIV or Louis XV, who also wrought havoc most of Europe, not least the War of Spanish Sucession and 7 Years' War. Henry IV's war of religions or (Saint !) Louis IX's crusade were hardly better. But I had to make a list of great monarchs, and the others have less positive aspects in the balance.
 
I don't think I could improve on the list at all ! Even the painters were in about the right order for me ... although, I might have shoved Renoir up a notch or two !

(Of course, you forgot pop-singer Francoise Hardy - I fell in love with her, around 1962 ............. :blush:)

Regards,

?W????
 
One thing is certain, there were great many great french men, what bout Francoisss? he built la defense ;)
 
Another Great French

Good list, and I would like to add under Top scientists and intellectuals:

Ferdinand de Saussure (b.1856-d.1913) laid the founding principles of modern linguistics in his tripartite lectures from 1906 to 1911 at University of Geneva. He published only 600 pgs during his lifetime, and from the lecture notes were compiled Cours de linguistique general published posthumous 1915. He had studied the Proto-Indo-European vocalic system at Leipzig Univ., taught Germanic languages, comparative linguistics, and Sanskrit at Ecole pratique des Hautes Etudes 1881-1891, and Sanskrit at Univ. of Genev until 1907. He also seved as secretary of the Linguistic Society of Paris 1881-1891.

Wade baskin, in his Preface to the English translation, Course in General Linguistics, 1959, said;

"The nineteenth century had a fragmentary approach to reality which prevented scholars from getting around beyond the immediate facts in matters of speech...The atomistic conception of speech, reflected in the historical studies of the comparative philologists, had to give way to the functional and structural conception of language. Saussure was among the first to see that language is a self-contained system whose interdependent parts function and acquire value through their relationship to the whole."
 
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As an American my vote of course goes to Gilbert du Montier, The Marquis de Lafayette. :)

Did you know that he is one of only 6 people to ever be granted honorary American Citizenship? The other ones being Winston Churchill, Mother Theresa, Raul Wallenberg, William Penn and his wife Hannah.

When he died in 1834 there was a national day of mourning and both the House and Senate draped their chambers in black. Soil from the American Bunker Hill monument was buried with him in his casket.

In the House of Represenatives there is a full body portrait of Lafayette - it is directly to the left of the portrait of the founder of our nation, George Washington.

When General John J. Pershing arrived in France with the American Expeditionary Army during World War I, he exclaimed: "Lafayette, we are here."

The United States Flag has flown over his grave since World War I, repeatedly replaced when tattered. When Paris was occupied by the Germans during World War II, the flag over his grave was never disturbed.

Perhaps the most permanent effect that Lafayette has had in this country, beyond his heroism on the battlefield, is the number of places named for him in the United States. The name "Lafayette" or related names like "Fayette" are found almost 400 times in the United States.

So anyway, while there may be greater Frenchmen, I think it should suffice to say that no other child of France is more beloved and respected in the United States than General Lafayette.

:)
 
I have added a poll (names in chronological order). It's a tough one since you have to choose only one person in the list. It was hard for me to choose between Voltaire, Napoleon and Jean Monnet, but I opted for Napoleon for the reasons explained here.
 
I don't think that choices like Jean Reno or Luc Besson should belong to a poll for the greatest French person in history.
However I would perhaps add people like Tocqueville, Joan of Arc or maybe Zinedine Zidane.
 
le_corbusier.jpg

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier (October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965), was a Swiss-born French architect, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930. source

Where do you draw the line for qualification of being French, we could question even Napoleon as he for most of his life saw himself as a foreigner in France? If he hadn't been outcast from Corsica he'd never have been forced to embrace France.
 
le_corbusier.jpg

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier (October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965), was a Swiss-born French architect, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930. source

Where do you draw the line for qualification of being French, we could question even Napoleon as he for most of his life saw himself as a foreigner in France? If he hadn't been outcast from Corsica he'd never have been forced to embrace France.

Sorry for I hate that kind of architecture so bad I think it should be considered a crime against humanity ! :mad: Anything with apparent concrete should be prohibited (otherwise what's the point of have laws in a country; we might as well kill each others with machetes and become cannibals - that would be pretty much in the same line).

How do they have the nerve to call that architecture :

Sainte Marie de La Tourette in Lyon, by Le Corbusier
800px-La_Tourette_72C.jpg
 
I don't think that choices like Jean Reno or Luc Besson should belong to a poll for the greatest French person in history.
However I would perhaps add people like Tocqueville, Joan of Arc or maybe Zinedine Zidane.

Joan of Arc perhaps, but Zidane isn't ethnically French by Algerian Kabyle, and if popularity is any indication for who should be in the poll than Jean Reno and Luc Besson are far more famous than Tocqueville, who didn't even make the top 100 in the national survey in 2005. I just tried to balance the list by category. I would happily have chosen Diderot, Tocqueville, Lavoisier, Berlioz or Viollet-le-Duc instead of Jean Reno or Luc Besson. It's very hard to make such a poll with only 20 entries and make everybody happy.

But after some consideration I have replaced Jean Reno and Luc Besson by Charles de Gaulle et Edith Piaff because they were both elected to the top 10 by the French. It might be safer to get rid of anybody who is still alive (or has been dead for less than a generation) for a ranking of historical people.
 

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