The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Egyptian Religious Figures of all time. This list of famous Egyptian Religious Figures is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Egyptian Religious Figures.
With an HPI of 94.11, Moses is the most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. His biography has been translated into 137 different languages on wikipedia.
Moses (), also known as Moshe Rabbenu (Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ lit. "Moshe our Teacher"), is considered the most important prophet in Judaism, and an important prophet in Christianity, Islam, the Baháʼí Faith, and a number of other Abrahamic religions. In the biblical and quranic narrative, he was the leader of the Israelites and lawgiver to whom the authorship, or "acquisition from heaven", of the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) is attributed. According to the Book of Exodus, Moses was born in a time when his people, the Israelites, an enslaved minority, were increasing in population and, as a result, the Egyptian Pharaoh worried that they might ally themselves with Egypt's enemies. Moses's Hebrew mother, Jochebed, secretly hid him when the Pharaoh ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be killed in order to reduce the population of the Israelites. Through the Pharaoh's daughter (identified as Queen Bithia in the Midrash), the child was adopted as a foundling from the Nile river and grew up with the Egyptian royal family. After killing an Egyptian slave-master who was beating a Hebrew, Moses fled across the Red Sea to Midian, where he encountered the Angel of the Lord, speaking to him from within a burning bush on Mount Horeb, which he regarded as the Mountain of God. God sent Moses back to Egypt to demand the release of the Israelites from slavery. Moses said that he could not speak eloquently, so God allowed Aaron, his elder brother, to become his spokesperson. After the Ten Plagues, Moses led the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, after which they based themselves at biblical Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. After 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses died within sight of the Promised Land on Mount Nebo. Generally Moses is seen as a legendary figure, whilst retaining the possibility that Moses or a Moses-like figure existed in the 13th century BCE. Rabbinical Judaism calculated a lifespan of Moses corresponding to 1391–1271 BCE; Jerome suggested 1592 BCE, and James Ussher suggested 1571 BCE as his birth year.
With an HPI of 84.53, Joshua is the 2nd most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.
Joshua () or Yehoshua (Hebrew: יְהוֹשֻׁעַ Yəhōšūaʿ) functioned as Moses' assistant in the books of Exodus and Numbers, and later succeeded Moses as leader of the Israelite tribes in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Joshua. His name was Hoshea (הוֹשֵׁעַ Hōšēaʿ) the son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim, but Moses called him "Yehoshua" (translated as "Joshua" in English), the name by which he is commonly known in English. According to the Bible he was born in Egypt prior to the Exodus.The Hebrew Bible identifies Joshua as one of the twelve spies of Israel sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan. In Numbers 13:1, and after the death of Moses, he led the Israelite tribes in the conquest of Canaan, and allocated lands to the tribes. According to biblical chronology, Joshua lived some time in the Bronze Age. According to Joshua 24:29, Joshua died at the age of 110. Joshua holds a position of respect among Muslims. Muslims also see Joshua as the leader of the faithful following the death of Moses. Some Muslims also believe Joshua to be the "attendant" of Moses mentioned in the Quran before Moses meets Khidr. Joshua plays a role in Islamic literature, with significant narration in the hadith.
With an HPI of 83.18, Anthony the Great is the 3rd most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. His biography has been translated into 65 different languages.
Anthony or Antony the Great (Greek: Ἀντώνιος Antṓnios; Arabic: القديس أنطونيوس الكبير; Latin: Antonius; Coptic: Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲁⲛⲧⲱⲛⲓ; c. 12 January 251 – 17 January 356), was a Christian monk from Egypt, revered since his death as a saint. He is distinguished from other saints named Anthony such as Anthony of Padua, by various epithets of his own: Saint Anthony, Anthony of Egypt, Anthony the Abbot, Anthony of the Desert, Anthony the Anchorite, Anthony the Hermit, and Anthony of Thebes. For his importance among the Desert Fathers and to all later Christian monasticism, he is also known as the Father of All Monks. His feast day is celebrated on 17 January among the Orthodox and Catholic churches and on Tobi 22 in the Coptic calendar. The biography of Anthony's life by Athanasius of Alexandria helped to spread the concept of Christian monasticism, particularly in Western Europe via its Latin translations. He is often erroneously considered the first Christian monk, but as his biography and other sources make clear, there were many ascetics before him. Anthony was, however, among the first known to go into the wilderness (about AD 270), which seems to have contributed to his renown. Accounts of Anthony enduring supernatural temptation during his sojourn in the Eastern Desert of Egypt inspired the often-repeated subject of the temptation of St. Anthony in Western art and literature. Anthony is appealed to against infectious diseases, particularly skin diseases. In the past, many such afflictions, including ergotism, erysipelas, and shingles, were referred to as St. Anthony's fire.
With an HPI of 82.62, Catherine of Alexandria is the 4th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. Her biography has been translated into 57 different languages.
Catherine of Alexandria, or Katherine of Alexandria, also known as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Saint Catherine of the Wheel and The Great Martyr Saint Catherine (Coptic: Ϯⲁⲅⲓⲁ Ⲕⲁⲧⲧⲣⲓⲛ; Greek: ἡ Ἁγία Αἰκατερίνη ἡ Μεγαλομάρτυς "Holy Catherine the Great Martyr"; Arabic: سانت كاترين; Latin: Catharina Alexandrina), is, according to tradition, a Christian saint and virgin, who was martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the emperor Maxentius. According to her hagiography, she was both a princess and a noted scholar who became a Christian around the age of 14, converted hundreds of people to Christianity and was martyred around the age of 18. More than 1,100 years after Catherine's martyrdom, Joan of Arc identified her as one of the saints who appeared to and counselled her.The Eastern Orthodox Church venerates her as a Great Martyr and celebrates her feast day on 24 or 25 November, depending on the regional tradition. In Catholicism, Catherine is traditionally revered as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and she is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on 25 November. Her feast was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969, but restored in 2002 as an optional memorial. Some modern scholars consider that the legend of Catherine was probably based on the life and murder of the virgin Saint Dorothea of Alexandria and the Greek philosopher Hypatia, with reversed role of a Christian and Neo-Platonist in the case of the latter.
With an HPI of 80.82, Miriam is the 5th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. Her biography has been translated into 44 different languages.
Miriam (Hebrew: מִרְיָם Mīrəyām) was described in the Hebrew Bible as the daughter of Amram and Jochebed, and the older sister of Moses and Aaron. She was a prophetess and first appears in the Book of Exodus. The Torah refers to her as "Miriam the Prophetess" and the Talmud names her as one of the seven major female prophets of Israel. Scripture describes her alongside of Moses and Aaron as delivering the Jews from exile in Egypt: "For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam". According to the Midrash, just as Moses led the men out of Egypt and taught them Torah, so too Miriam led the women and taught them Torah.
With an HPI of 79.75, Hagar is the 6th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. Her biography has been translated into 52 different languages.
Hagar (Hebrew: הָגָר, Hāgār, of uncertain origin; Arabic: هَاجَر Hājar; Greek: Ἁγάρ, Hagár; Latin: Agar) is a biblical figure. According to the Book of Genesis, she was purchased in Egypt as a slave for Sarah, who gave her to Abraham to bear a child. Abraham's firstborn son through Hagar, Ishmael, became the progenitor of the Ishmaelites, generally taken to be the Arabs. Various commentators have connected her to the Hagrites (sons of Agar), perhaps claiming her as their eponymous ancestor. Hagar is alluded to, although not named, in the Quran, and Islam also acknowledges her as Abraham's second wife.
With an HPI of 77.37, Moses in Islam is the 7th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.
In Islam, Mūsā ibn ʿImrān (Arabic: موسی ابن عمران, lit. 'Moses, son of Amram'), is an important prophet and messenger of God (Allah) and is the most frequently mentioned individual in the Quran, with his name being mentioned 136 times and his life being narrated and recounted more than that of any other prophet. According to Islamic theology, all Muslims must have faith in every prophet and messenger of God, which includes Musa and his brother Harun. The tale of Musa is generally seen as a spiritual parallel to the life of Muhammad, and Muslims consider many aspects of the two individuals' lives to be shared. Islamic literature also describes a parallel relation between their people and the incidents that occurred in their lifetimes; the exodus of the Israelites from ancient Egypt is considered to be similar in nature to the migration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina as both events unfolded in the face of persecution—of the Israelites by the ancient Egyptians, and of the early Muslims by the Meccans, respectively.Musa is also viewed as a very important figure in Islam due to his reception of revelations such as the Ten Commandments, which form part of the contents of the Torah and are central to the Abrahamic religions of Judaism and Christianity. Consequently, Jews and Christians are designated as "People of the Book" for Muslims and are to be recognized with this special status wherever Islamic law is applied. Moreover, according to Islamic tradition, Musa is one of the many prophets that meets Muhammad in the seven heavens following the latter's ascension from Jerusalem during the Miʿraj. During the journey, Musa is said to have repeatedly sent Muhammad back to meet God and request a reduction in the number of required daily prayers—originally 50—until only the five obligatory prayers remained. Musa is further revered in Islamic literature, which expands upon the incidents of his life and the miracles attributed to him in the Quran and hadith, such as his direct conversations with God.
With an HPI of 75.97, Saint Apollonia is the 8th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. Her biography has been translated into 24 different languages.
Saint Apollonia (Coptic: Ϯⲁⲅⲓⲁ Ⲁⲡⲟⲗⲗⲟⲛⲓⲁ) was one of a group of virgin martyrs who suffered in Alexandria during a local uprising against the Christians prior to the persecution of Decius. According to church tradition, her torture included having all of her teeth violently pulled out or shattered. For this reason, she is popularly regarded as the patroness of dentistry and those suffering from toothache or other dental problems. French court painter Jehan Fouquet painted the scene of St. Apollonia's torture in The Martyrdom of St. Apollonia.
With an HPI of 75.90, Pachomius the Great is the 9th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
Pachomius (; Greek: Παχώμιος Pakhomios; Coptic: Ⲡⲁϧⲱⲙ; c. 292 – 9 May 348 AD), also known as Saint Pachomius the Great, is generally recognized as the founder of Christian cenobitic monasticism. Coptic churches celebrate his feast day on 9 May, and Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches mark his feast on 15 May or 28 May. In the Lutheran Church, he is remembered as a renewer of the church, along with his contemporary (and fellow desert saint), Anthony of Egypt on January 17.
With an HPI of 75.18, Saint Sarah is the 10th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. Her biography has been translated into 20 different languages.
Saint Sarah, also known as Sara la Kali ("Sara the Black", Romani: Sara e Kali), is the patron saint of the Romani people. The center of her veneration is Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, a place of pilgrimage for Roma in the Camargue, in Southern France. Legend identifies her as the servant of one of the Three Marys, with whom she is supposed to have arrived in the Camargue.
Pantheon has 50 people classified as religious figures born between 1800 BC and 1955. Of these 50, 4 (8.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living religious figures include Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, and Antonios Naguib. The most famous deceased religious figures include Moses, Joshua, and Anthony the Great. As of October 2020, 8 new religious figures have been added to Pantheon including Shenoute, Barsanuphius, and Macarius of Alexandria.
1393 BC - 1273 BC
1355 BC - 1245 BC
251 - 356
287 - 305
1400 BC - 1274 BC
1800 BC - Present
1392 BC - 1272 BC
110 - 249
292 - 348
100 - 100
250 - 287
227 - 342
348 - 466
401 - 540
297 - 395
500 - 490
300 - 300
100 - 131
100 - 106
100 - 143
Which Religious Figures were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 4 most globally memorable Religious Figures since 1700.