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The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Syrian Religious Figures. The pantheon dataset contains 2,238 Religious Figures, 23 of which were born in Syria. This makes Syria the birth place of the 19th most number of Religious Figures behind Japan and Switzerland.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Syrian Religious Figures of all time. This list of famous Syrian 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 Syrian Religious Figures.

Photo of Pope Anicetus

1. Pope Anicetus (70 - 168)

With an HPI of 70.36, Pope Anicetus is the most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 70 different languages on wikipedia.

Pope Anicetus (Greek: Ανίκητος) was the bishop of Rome from c. 157 to his death in April 168. According to the Annuario Pontificio, the start of his papacy may have been 153. Anicetus actively opposed Gnosticism and Marcionism. He welcomed Polycarp of Smyrna to Rome to discuss the Easter controversy.

Photo of Pope Gregory III

2. Pope Gregory III (700 - 741)

With an HPI of 68.20, Pope Gregory III is the 2nd most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 76 different languages.

Pope Gregory III (Latin: Gregorius III; died 28 November 741) was the bishop of Rome from 11 February 731 to his death. His pontificate, like that of his predecessor, was disturbed by Byzantine iconoclasm and the advance of the Lombards, in which he invoked the intervention of Charles Martel, although ultimately in vain. He was the last Pope to seek the consent of the Byzantine exarch of Ravenna for his election, and of Syrian origin, the last non-European pope until the election of Pope Francis more than 1,271 years later in 2013.

Photo of John Climacus

3. John Climacus (579 - 649)

With an HPI of 67.21, John Climacus is the 3rd most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.

John Climacus (Greek: Ἰωάννης τῆς Κλίμακος; Latin: Ioannes Climacus; Arabic: يوحنا السلمي, romanized: Yuḥana al-Sêlmi), also known as John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus and John Sinaites, was a 6th–7th-century Christian monk at the monastery on Mount Sinai. He is revered as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church.

Photo of Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya

4. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (1292 - 1350)

With an HPI of 65.10, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya is the 4th most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Shams ad-Dīn Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr ibn Ayyūb az-Zurʿī d-Dimashqī l-Ḥanbalī (29 January 1292–15 September 1350 CE / 691 AH–751 AH), commonly known as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya ("The son of the principal of [the school of] Jawziyyah") or Ibn al-Qayyim ("Son of the principal"; ابن القيّم) for short, or reverentially as Imam Ibn al-Qayyim in Sunni tradition, was an important medieval Islamic jurisconsult, theologian, and spiritual writer. Belonging to the Hanbali school of orthodox Sunni jurisprudence, of which he is regarded as "one of the most important thinkers," Ibn al-Qayyim was also the foremost disciple and student of Ibn Taymiyyah, with whom he was imprisoned in 1326 for dissenting against established tradition during Ibn Taymiyyah's famous incarceration in the Citadel of Damascus.Of humble origin, Ibn al-Qayyim's father was the principal (qayyim) of the School of Jawziyya, which also served as a court of law for the Hanbali judge of Damascus during the time period. Ibn al-Qayyim went on to become a prolific scholar, producing a rich corpus of "doctrinal and literary" works. As a result, numerous important Muslim scholars of the Mamluk period were among Ibn al-Qayyim's students or, at least, greatly influenced by him, including, amongst others, the Shafi historian Ibn Kathir (d. 774/1373), the Hanbali hadith scholar Ibn Rajab (d. 795/1397) and Al Dhahabi (d. 1348). In the present day, Ibn al-Qayyim's name has become a controversial one in certain quarters of the Islamic world due to his popularity amongst many adherents of the Sunni movements of Salafism and Wahhabism, who see in his criticisms of such widespread orthodox Sunni practices of the medieval period as the veneration of saints and the veneration of their graves and relics a classical precursor to their own perspective.

Photo of Ananias of Damascus

5. Ananias of Damascus (100 - 100)

With an HPI of 64.86, Ananias of Damascus is the 5th most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Ananias of Damascus ( AN-ə-NY-əs; Ancient Greek: Ἀνανίας; Syriac: ܚܢܢܝܐ, romanized: Ḥananyō; Hebrew: חנניה, from Imperial Aramaic: 𐡇𐡍𐡍𐡉𐡄, romanized: Hananiah: "favoured of the LORD") was a disciple of Jesus at Damascus from Syria, mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible, which describes how he was sent by Jesus to restore the sight of Saul of Tarsus (who later was called Paul the Apostle) and provide him with additional instruction in the way of the Lord.

Photo of Émile Benveniste

6. Émile Benveniste (1902 - 1976)

With an HPI of 63.22, Émile Benveniste is the 6th most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 34 different languages.

Émile Benveniste (French: [emil bɛ̃venist]; 27 May 1902 – 3 October 1976) was a French structural linguist and semiotician. He is best known for his work on Indo-European languages and his critical reformulation of the linguistic paradigm established by Ferdinand de Saussure.

Photo of Romanos the Melodist

7. Romanos the Melodist (490 - 556)

With an HPI of 63.20, Romanos the Melodist is the 7th most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.

Romanos the Melodist (Greek: Ῥωμανὸς ὁ Μελωδός; late 5th-century — after 555) was a Byzantine hymnographer and composer, who is a central early figure in the history of Byzantine music. Called "the Pindar of rhythmic poetry", he flourished during the sixth century, though the earliest manuscripts of his works are dated centuries after this. He was the foremost Kontakion composer of his time.

Photo of Maron

8. Maron (301 - 410)

With an HPI of 61.23, Maron is the 8th most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Maron, also called Maroun or Maro (Syriac: ܡܪܘܢ, Mārūn; Arabic: مَارُون; Latin: Maron; Greek: Μάρων), was a 4th-century Syrian Syriac Christian hermit monk in the Taurus Mountains whose followers, after his death, founded a religious Christian movement that became known as the Maronite Church, in full communion with the Holy See and the Catholic Church. The religious community which grew from this movement are the modern Maronites. Maron, revered as a highly spiritual ascetic monk with a connection to God through his communion with the natural environment, garnered widespread respect within Christian circles. In addition to his emphasis on ascetic spirituality, he played an important role in advancing Christian missions in the region. One of his disciplines, Abraham of Cyrrhus, emerged as a missionary, successfully disseminating the Maronite variant of Christianity in Lebanon, which took root in the region and persisted ever since.Saint Maron is often portrayed in a black monastic habit with a hanging stole, accompanied by a long crosier staffed by a globe surmounted with a cross. His feast day in the Maronite Church is February 9.

Photo of Apollinaris of Laodicea

9. Apollinaris of Laodicea (310 - 390)

With an HPI of 60.55, Apollinaris of Laodicea is the 9th most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Apollinaris the Younger, also known as Apollinaris of Laodicea and Apollinarius (Ancient Greek: Ἀπολλινάριος; died 382), was a bishop of Laodicea in Syria. He is best known as a noted opponent of Arianism. Apollinaris's eagerness to emphasize the deity of Jesus and the unity of his person led him to deny the existence of a rational human soul in Christ's human nature. This view came to be called Apollinarism. It was condemned by the First Council of Constantinople in 381.

Photo of Sophronius of Jerusalem

10. Sophronius of Jerusalem (560 - 638)

With an HPI of 60.31, Sophronius of Jerusalem is the 10th most famous Syrian Religious Figure.  His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

Sophronius (Greek: Σωφρόνιος; Arabic: صفرونيوس; c. 560 – March 11, 638), called Sophronius the Sophist, was the Patriarch of Jerusalem from 634 until his death. He is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches. Before rising to the primacy of the see of Jerusalem, he was a monk and theologian who was the chief protagonist for orthodox teaching in the doctrinal controversy on the essential nature of Jesus and his volitional acts. He is also renowned for negotiation of surrender of Jerusalem to the Muslim caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab.

Pantheon has 23 people classified as religious figures born between 70 and 1977. Of these 23, 5 (21.74%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living religious figures include Gregory III Laham, John X of Antioch, and Ignatius Joseph III Yonan. The most famous deceased religious figures include Pope Anicetus, Pope Gregory III, and John Climacus. As of April 2022, 2 new religious figures have been added to Pantheon including Cosmas of Maiuma and Eulogius of Alexandria.

Living Religious Figures

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Deceased Religious Figures

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Newly Added Religious Figures (2022)

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Which Religious Figures were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 6 most globally memorable Religious Figures since 1700.