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 92.96, Moses is the most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. His biography has been translated into 143 different languages on wikipedia.
Moses was a Hebrew teacher and leader considered the most important prophet in Judaism and one of the most important prophets in Christianity, Islam, the Druze Faith, the Baháʼí Faith, Samaritanism, and Rastafariansim. According to both the Bible and the Quran, Moses was the leader of the Israelites and lawgiver to whom the prophetic authorship 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' Hebrew mother, Jochebed, secretly hid him when Pharaoh ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be killed in order to reduce the population of the Israelites. Through Pharaoh's daughter, the child was adopted as a foundling from the Nile 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 Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. After 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses died on Mount Nebo at the age of 120, within sight of the Promised Land.Generally, the majority of scholars see the biblical Moses as a legendary figure, while retaining the possibility that Moses or a Moses-like figure existed in the 13th century BC. Rabbinical Judaism calculated a lifespan of Moses corresponding to 1391–1271 BC; Jerome suggested 1592 BC, and James Ussher suggested 1571 BC as his birth year.The Egyptian name "Moses" is mentioned in ancient Egyptian literature. In the writing of Jewish historian Josephus, ancient Egyptian historian Manetho is quoted writing of a treasonous ancient Egyptian priest, Osarseph, who renamed himself Moses and led a successful coup against the presiding pharaoh, subsequently ruling Egypt for years until the pharaoh regained power and expelled Osarseph and his supporters.
With an HPI of 80.46, Catherine of Alexandria is the 2nd most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. Her biography has been translated into 60 different languages.
Catherine of Alexandria, also spelled Katherine (Greek: Αίκατερίνη) is, according to tradition, a Christian saint and virgin, who was martyred in the early fourth 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 eighteen. 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 the reversed role of a Christian and Neo-Platonist in the case of the latter. On the other hand, the Catholic Encyclopedia states that "Although contemporary hagiographers look upon the authenticity of the various texts containing the legend of St. Catherine as more than doubtful, it is not therefore meant to cast even the shadow of a doubt around the existence of the saint".
With an HPI of 80.40, Joshua is the 3rd most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. His biography has been translated into 57 different languages.
Joshua (), also known as Yehoshua (Hebrew: יְהוֹשֻׁעַ Yəhōšuaʿ, Tiberian: Yŏhōšuaʿ, lit. 'Yahweh is salvation') or Josue, functioned as Moses' assistant in the books of Exodus and Numbers, and later succeeded Moses as leader of the Israelite tribes in the Book of Joshua of the Hebrew Bible. His name was Hoshea (הוֹשֵׁעַ Hōšēaʿ, lit. 'Save') 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, who also see him as the leader of the faithful following the death of Moses. In Islam, it is also believed that Yusha bin Nun (Joshua) was 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 79.25, Anthony the Great is the 4th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. His biography has been translated into 65 different languages.
Anthony 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: 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 Eastern 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 depiction of his temptations in visual 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 Saint Anthony's fire.
With an HPI of 76.52, Hagar is the 5th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. Her biography has been translated into 51 different languages.
According to the Book of Genesis, Hagar was an Egyptian slave, a handmaiden of Sarah (then known as Sarai), whom Sarah gave to her own husband Abram (later renamed Abraham) as a wife to bear him 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 considers her Abraham's second wife.
With an HPI of 74.86, Miriam is the 6th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. Her biography has been translated into 43 different languages.
Miriam (Hebrew: מִרְיָם Mīryām, lit. 'Rebellion') is 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 70.95, Moses in Islam is the 7th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.
Mūsā ibn ʿImrān (Arabic: موسى بن عمران, lit. 'Moses, son of Amram') is a prominent prophet and messenger of God 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. He is one of the most important prophets and messengers of Islam. According to the Quran, Musa was born to an Israelite family. In his childhood, he is put in a basket which flows towards Nile, and eventually Musa is discovered by Pharaoh's (Fir'awn) wife (not named in the Quran but called Asiya in Islamic tradition), who takes Musa as her adopted son. After reaching adulthood, Musa then resides in Midian, before departing for Egypt again to threaten the Pharaoh. During his prophethood, Musa is said to have performed many miracles, and is also reported to have personally talked to God, who bestows the title 'Speaker of God' (Kalīm Allāh) upon Musa. The prophet's most popular miracle is him dividing the Red sea, with a miraculous staff provided by God. Apart from the Quran, Musa is also described and praised in the Hadith literature as well. After Pharaoh's death, Musa and his followers travel towards Jerusalem, where the prophet eventually dies. Afterwards, he is reported to have met Muhammad in the seven heavens following the latter's ascension from Jerusalem during the Night Journey (’Isrā’ Miʿrāj). During the journey, Musa is said by Muslims to have repeatedly sent Muhammad back, and request a reduction in the number of required daily prayers, originally believed to be fifty, until only the five obligatory prayers remained.Musa is viewed as a very important figure in Islam. According to Islamic theology, all Muslims must have faith in every prophet and messenger of God, which includes Musa and his brother Harun. The life 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. His 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. 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. Generally, Moses is seen as a legendary figure by biblical scholars, some of whom consider it possible that Moses or a Moses-like figure existed in the 13th century BCE.
With an HPI of 69.28, Saint Apollonia is the 8th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. Her biography has been translated into 28 different languages.
Saint Apollonia (Greek: 'Αγία Απολλωνία, 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 68.41, Paul of Thebes is the 9th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.
Paul of Thebes (Coptic: Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲉ; Koinē Greek: Παῦλος ὁ Θηβαῖος, Paûlos ho Thēbaîos; Latin: Paulus Eremita; c. 227 – c. 341), commonly known as Paul the First Hermit or Paul the Anchorite, was an Egyptian saint regarded as the first Christian hermit and grazer, who was claimed to have lived alone in the desert of Thebes, Roman Egypt from the age of sixteen to the age of one hundred and thirteen years old. He was canonized in 491 by Pope Gelasius I, and is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and Oriental Orthodox Churches.
With an HPI of 68.20, Saint Maurice is the 10th most famous Egyptian Religious Figure. His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.
Maurice (also Moritz, Morris, or Mauritius; Coptic: Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲙⲱⲣⲓⲥ) was an Egyptian military leader who headed the legendary Theban Legion of Rome in the 3rd century, and is one of the favourite and most widely venerated saints of that martyred group. He is the patron saint of several professions, locales, and kingdoms.
Pantheon has 62 people classified as religious figures born between 1800 BC and 1955. Of these 62, 3 (4.84%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living religious figures include Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, Ali Gomaa, and Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak. The most famous deceased religious figures include Moses, Catherine of Alexandria, and Joshua. As of April 2022, 12 new religious figures have been added to Pantheon including Anatolius of Laodicea, Pope Maximus of Alexandria, and Pope Achillas of Alexandria.
1393 BC - 1273 BC
287 - 305
1355 BC - 1245 BC
251 - 356
1800 BC - 2000 BC
1400 BC - 1274 BC
1392 BC - 1272 BC
110 - 249
227 - 342
250 - 287
292 - 348
285 - 309
201 - 283
250 - 282
300 - 313
1754 - 1822
450 - 567
1952 - Present
1915 - 1956
100 - 121
1908 - 2001
100 - 154
100 - 167
Which Religious Figures were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 9 most globally memorable Religious Figures since 1700.