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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Lincolnmont2_4790.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[-Seven score and fourteen years ago[[note]][[Administrivia/ExamplesAreNotRecent as of the writing of this caption]][[/note]], America's forefathers elected UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln. Writers then used him in [[WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers wildly]] [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries varying]] [[WesternAnimation/CloneHigh contexts]]. Clearly, the man got around.-] ]]

Simply put, it's taking a well-known person from RealLife history and using this person as a character in a work. This does mean any work of that kind, whether it's HistoricalFiction, a HollywoodHistory story, or a [[ShownTheirWork well researched and accurate]] {{biopic}} of events. Or maybe [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy classical composers were secretly sleeper agents for extraterrestrials]]. Whatever works.

Naturally this covers a lot of works (save for non-fiction), but given how often people can disagree about real history and our present, it would be hard to draw a line between which fictional works would fit and which fictional works wouldn't. Thus all are included.

Note that despite "Historical" in the name, present people are included.

Compare PublicDomainCharacter, AnonymousRinger, RomanAClef, RealPersonFic, CharacterizationTropes.

A SuperTrope to:
[[index]]
* AllohistoricalAllusion
* ArchivedArmy
* BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy
* HistoricalBadassUpgrade
* HistoricalBeautyUpdate
* HistoricalHeroUpgrade
* HistoricalInJoke
* HistoricalPersonPunchline
* HistoricalVillainDowngrade
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade
* InThePastEveryoneWillBeFamous
* YoungFutureFamousPeople
* YouWillBeBeethoven
----

[[folder: Specific People (alphabetically by last name, if applicable)]]
* UsefulNotes/AkechiMitsuhide
* UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat
* UsefulNotes/AlfredTheGreat
* {{Aethelflaed}}: ''[[TheMagnificent Lady of the Mercians]]''
* AttilaTheHun
* RalphBagnold
* UsefulNotes/FlaviusBelisarius
* ThomasBecket
* HernanCortez
* LudwigVanBeethoven
* DavidBenGurion
* GotzVonBerlichingen
* UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck
* UsefulNotes/SimonBolivar
* NapoleonBonaparte
* AnneBonny
* RobertTheBruce
* Creator/LordByron
* Creator/GaiusJuliusCaesar
* UsefulNotes/AlCapone
* CatherineTheGreat
* John Chapman a.k.a. JohnnyAppleseed
* Creator/GeoffreyChaucer
* UsefulNotes/ChiangKaiShek
* JackChurchill
* UsefulNotes/HenryClay
* UsefulNotes/CleopatraVII
* UsefulNotes/ChristopherColumbus
* IsabelITheCatholic
* DavyCrockett
* OliverCromwell
* Creator/AleisterCrowley
* UsefulNotes/CyrusTheGreat
* UsefulNotes/CharlesDarwin
* UsefulNotes/DateMasamune
* UsefulNotes/BlackDouglas
* AmeliaEarhart
* ThomasEdison
* UsefulNotes/AlbertEinstein
* {{Faust}}
* MarquisDeLaFayette
* RichardFeynman
* Creator/BenjaminFranklin
* HughGlass
* FrederickTheGreat
* UsefulNotes/FuumaKotaro
* UsefulNotes/MuammarGaddafi
* UsefulNotes/YuriGagarin
* MahatmaGandhi
* JohannesGutenberg
* SimoHayha
* UsefulNotes/IshikawaGoemon (surname first, personal name last)
* GenghisKhan
* UsefulNotes/CheGuevara
* UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton
* UsefulNotes/HattoriHanzo
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HelenOfTroy Helen of Troy]]
* UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler
* UsefulNotes/HondaTadakatsu
* RobinHood
* HarryHoudini
* SaddamHussein
* UsefulNotes/IshidaMitsunari
* JackTheRipper
* GrandVizierJafar
* {{Janosik}}
* JesseJames
* {{Jesus}}
* JoanOfArc
* NedKelly
* UsefulNotes/VladimirLenin
* Creator/LeonardoDaVinci
* LouisXIV
* LouisXV
* Creator/HPLovecraft
* LuBu
* KingLudwigII
* DouglasMacArthur
* Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli
* FitzroyMaclean
* LeoMajor
* GustavMannerheim
* UsefulNotes/CharlesManson
* BernardLawMontgomery
* UsefulNotes/ThomasMore
* UsefulNotes/MaoZedong
* MariaTheresa
* MarieAntoinette
* Creator/ChristopherMarlowe
* Music/WolfgangAmadeusMozart
* TheProphetMuhammad
* Creator/MarilynMonroe
* {{Muramasa}}
* Creator/AudieMurphy
* UsefulNotes/MiyamotoMusashi
* UsefulNotes/BenitoMussolini
* IsaacNewton
* Nicholas Flamel
* Creator/FriedrichNietzsche
* UsefulNotes/OdaNobunaga
* RobinOlds
* [[Literature/TheDiaryOfSamuelPepys Samuel Pepys]]
* UsefulNotes/EvaPeron
* PeterTheGreat
* Creator/PabloPicasso
* UsefulNotes/AugustoPinochet
* Creator/EdgarAllanPoe
* [[Literature/TheTravelsOfMarcoPolo Marco Polo]]
* UsefulNotes/PompeyTheGreat
* QinShiHuangdi
* RasputinTheMadMonk
* MaximilienRobespierre
* ErwinRommel
* Creator/MarquisDeSade
* The Count of Saint-Germain
* Saitō Hajime
* UsefulNotes/SanadaYukimura
* UsefulNotes/SasakiKojiro
* UsefulNotes/SarutobiSasuke
* [[Literature/TheArtOfWar Sun Tzu]]
* UsefulNotes/AbdulAzizIbnSaud
* [[ShakespeareInFiction William Shakespeare]]
* UsefulNotes/JosefStalin
* UsefulNotes/TakedaShingen
* UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla
* UsefulNotes/JosipBrozTito
* UsefulNotes/TokugawaIeyasu
* UsefulNotes/HidekiTojo
* UsefulNotes/ToyotomiHideyoshi
* LeonTrotsky
* Creator/MarkTwain
* UsefulNotes/UesugiKenshin
* UsefulNotes/UngernSternberg
* [[{{Dracula}} Vlad the Impaler]]
* WilliamWallace
* RaoulWallenberg
* UsefulNotes/MalcolmX
* UsefulNotes/WongFeiHung
* YagyuJubei
* IsorokuYamamoto
* AdmiralYiSunshin
* KingSejongTheGreat (Prince name Yi Do)
* ShakaZulu
[[/folder]]
[[/index]]

[[folder:General Groups of People]]
* The47Ronin
* [[ThePope The Popes]]
* [[Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms Figures from the Three Kingdoms Period]]
* The Crusading Orders:
** TheKnightsHospitallers
** TheKnightsTemplar
** UsefulNotes/TheTeutonicKnights
* TheHashshashin
* The British Monarchy
** TheHouseOfNormandy
** TheHouseOfPlantagenet
*** [[HenryTheSecond Henry II]]
*** RichardTheLionHeart
*** BadKingJohn
*** [[HenryTheThird Henry III]]
*** [[EdwardTheFirst Edward I]]
*** [[RichardTheSecond Richard II]]
*** [[RichardOfGloucester Richard III]]
** TheHouseOfTudor
*** HenryVIII
*** [[MaryTudor Mary I]]
*** [[TheVirginQueen Elizabeth I]]
** TheHouseOfStuart
*** [[MaryOfScotland Mary, Queen of Scots]]
*** [[JamesTheFirst James I]]
*** [[CharlesTheFirst Charles I]]
*** CharlesII
*** [[JamesTheSecond James II]]
** TheHouseOfHanover
*** QueenVicky
** TheHouseOfWindsor
*** UsefulNotes/HMTheQueen
*** BritishRoyalFamily
* UsefulNotes/OtherRoyalFamilies
* UsefulNotes/TheMenOfDowningStreet
** Creator/BenjaminDisraeli
** UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill
** MargaretThatcher
*** MargaretThatcherInFiction
* TheIlluminati
* ThePresidents
** UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington
** UsefulNotes/AndrewJackson
** UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln
** UsefulNotes/UlyssesSGrant
** UsefulNotes/TheodoreRoosevelt
** UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt
** UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy
** UsefulNotes/RichardNixon
** UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan
** UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush
* [[TheFrenchRevolution The French Revolutionaries]]
* [[TheWildWest Wild West Outlaws and Lawmen]]
* UsefulNotes/TheChancellorsOfGermany and UsefulNotes/ThePresidentsOfGermany
* [[UsefulNotes/PrimeMinistersOfIreland The Prime Ministers of Ireland]]
* [[UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire The Roman Emperors]]
** EmperorAugustus
** Main/EmperorCaligula
* UsefulNotes/NationalReorganizationProcess (Argentine Junta)
* NorthKoreanDictators (Kim Family)
* UsefulNotes/PrussianKings
* TheShinsengumi
[[/folder]]

----
!!Works That Use This Trope:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* In UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates, every February, President's Day is celebrated. UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington and UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln's birth-dates are within a week of each other (though 77 years apart), so President's Day was introduced to turn the two holidays into one. While the purpose it to remember them, watching the TV that month would make you think our forefathers wanted nothing more than to sell you discount cars and mattresses.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''{{Berserk}}'', there are some examples:
** Guts: GotzVonBerlichingen (1480–1562), a German knight, was the leader of a band of mercenary soldiers and attained the reputation as a Robin Hood figure. In 1504, his right arm was struck by enemy cannon fire and a prosthetic iron arm was developed to replace it. Guts' iron arm, in his original character concept, is very similar to Götz's iron arm kept in the Nüremberg Museum. However, [[WordOfGod Miura stated in an interview]] that he created Guts independently and that he did not find out about von Berlichingen until after several volumes of the manga had been published, so this appears to be a coincidence.
** Emperor Gaiseric: The Emperor Gaiseric alluded to in volume 10 was based on the actual King Genseric who ruled the Vandals' kingdom in Europe in the 5th century. He was famed as a brilliant general who was seen as a threat even to the Roman Empire. In the manga, Gaiseric is said to have created a vast empire, similar to the Romans, that was destroyed by God's wrath. He banded together his small tribe and brought them great fame as a kingdom that exercised its authority in the Mediterranean region.
*** [[spoiler:It is hinted that Emperor Gaiseric survived his fallen empire in the form of the Skull Knight, a recurring character who aids Guts and stands in opposition to the God Hand]].
** Emperor Ganishka: The Emperor Ganishka, working as Griffith's enemy in Berserk, was based on King Kanishka, who ruled over the actual Kushan Empire, a vast empire in India and Central Asia during the 2nd century. He was also a profound Buddhist and adorned his empire with its respective figures and promoted it vigorously. Like his real-life counterpart, Ganishka also decorates his palace with famous Buddhist and Hindu figures, but has demonized them to suit his nature.
** Mozgus appears to be based on Ivan the Terrible, due to his daily routine of slamming his face into the ground during prayer and his biblical methods of execution.
* Creator/AleisterCrowley appears as a character in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex''. Of course, the real Aleister Crowley wasn't nearly so... [[DudeLooksLikeALady pretty]].
** Aiwass also makes an appearance as an otherworldly being who is also Crowley's mentor. "Aiwass" was the name of the voice that the real Crowley claimed to have heard in dreams that dictated the Book of the Law to him.
* Most of the cast of ''RoseOfVersailles''.
* Most of the cast of ''LeChevalierDEon''.
* ''Anime/ReadOrDie'' has several characters who are actually clones of historical ones, such as Beethoven and Mata Hari.
* ''VisionOfEscaflowne'' has [[spoiler:Isaac Newton as the BigBad]].
* ''AxisPowersHetalia'' has several brief appearances of historical characters, often as the bosses of the nations.
** A subset of this is {{shipping}} said historical characters with the nations they rule over. America/Barack Obama, Prussia/[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_II_of_Prussia Frederick the Great]], France/Joan of Arc and England/Queen Elizabeth I are... ''quite'' popular among fanworkers.
*** Similarly, there are having them simply interact with the nation-tans. There's even one where Creator/BenjaminFranklin figures out America's true identity.
* The Franchise/{{Gundam}} saga uses [[{{Expy}} expies]] of historical characters instead: e.g. Char Aznable (AKA: "The Red Comet") is an expy of Manfred von Richthofen (AKA: The RedBaron), Andrew Waltfeld is an expy of Erwin Rommel (the original MagnificentBastard), etc. Things get complicated when later series start featuring expies of expies of historical people...
* Many of the Characters in ''Manga/VinlandSaga'' are actually historic people, among them Canute and Sweyn, and possibly even the Jomsvikings. There was also an actuall ''Thorkell the Tall'' who fought for the English and joined Canute, but it's not known if he was really a 3 meter giant who could kill a hundred men with his bare hands.
* VisualNovel/SteinsGate uses a rather strange example in the form of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Titor John Titor]], a forum poster back in 2000 and 2001 who claimed to be a time traveler - Only this time, Okarin's discovery of time travel changed the arrival date to 2010, [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy the claims (though slightly different this time around) are true]], and [[spoiler:her real name is [[SamusIsAGirl Suzuha Amane]]]].
* While not the only anime set in the Bakumetsu period (and thus all characters are HistoricalDomainCharacter), Gintama is one of the few that completely reinvent/exagerate character traits (ie Saigo Takamori is a transvestite, Hijikata Toshizo is crazed abotu Mayonnaise, and Kondō Isami is a stalking gorilla0. Also mixed in people that are far more legendary, such as Kintaro and Hyubei, and you have a crack manga.
* In ''Manga/{{Nobunagun}}'' the main character is a reincarnation of OdaNobunaga. Other characters include such colorful personalities as JackTheRipper, Galileo Galilei, and IsaacNewton.
* In ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', both Hajime Saitou, and the Shinsengumi are characters that become important to the plot.
* In the 1970s, Toei made ''Ikkyuu-san'', an anime based on the (possibly fictionalized) earlier Zen Buddhist monk (according to ThatOtherWiki) Ikkyuu.[[note]]which ran until 1982[[/note]].
** They also made an anime based on the earlier life of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Comicbook/TheLifeAndTimesOfScroogeMcDuck'', by Creator/DonRosa, sets its main character in various decades from the 1870s to the 1940s, featuring such characters as Murdo Mac Kenzie, Wyatt Earp, and Theodore Roosevelt.
* Jonatan Hickman's ''ComicBook/{{SHIELD}}''. Every single scientific genius since Imhotep was a member of the AncientTradition of The Shield. And, as of the 1950s, Creator/LeonardoDaVinci, IsaacNewton and Nostradamus ''still are''.
* In the {{Elseworld}} ''Dark Masterpiece'', Creator/LeonardoDaVinci inspired a Renaissance Franchise/{{Batman}}. In the Elseworld ''Scar of the Bat'' Eliot Ness ''becomes'' a 1920s Batman!
** Another Elseworld, ''[[ComicBook/BatmanDetectiveNo27 Detective #27]]'', features Theodore Roosevelt, Allan Pinkerton and Kate Warne as founders of "The Secret Society of Detectives". Later, the story includes Babe Ruth (leading to an inevitable pun on "bat-man" and a subtler one on [[ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica All-Star #3]]), Sigmund Freud, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
* Creator/GaiusJuliusCaesar frequently appears in ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}''. Less frequent, but still recurring, are UsefulNotes/{{Cleopatra|VII}} and Brutus. UsefulNotes/{{Pompey|The Great}}'s the main villain of one story, and Vercingetorix is only shown a couple of times [[TheFaceless from behind]] but is extremely significant in the backstory. More obscure figures occasionally show up, like Cassivellaunus.
* ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'' has met many historical figures of {{the Wild West}}: such encounters are one of the main drivers of the series and whole albums are devoted to his confrontation with Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Calamity Jane and many others. In an early album, he opposes the Dalton gang, whose fictional cousins Joe, Jack, William and Averell later become his collective nemesis.
* Various historic storylines worked into ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', especially the "Distant Mirrors" arc, which features EmperorAugustus ("August"); MaximilienRobespierre ("Thermidor") EmperorNorton ("Four Septembers and a January") and HarunAlRashid ("Ramadan"). Creator/WilliamShakespeare also appears, cameoing with Creator/ChristopherMarlowe in "Men of Good Fortune" and then getting two stories of his own - "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "The Tempest", the latter being the series epilogue and featuring a cameo by Creator/BenJonson.
* ''Comicbook/{{Marvel 1602}}'' has [[TheVirginQueen Elizabeth I]], [[JamesTheFirst James VI and I]], and Ananias and Virginia Dare. ''1602: Fantastick Four'' features Creator/WilliamShakespeare.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Egyptologist Howard Carter and Queen Victoria both appear in ''TroperWorks/ThePrivateDiaryOfElizabethQuatermain'' as supporting characters. President William [=McKinley=] is not seen, but does get mentioned as meeting with TomSawyer in one part.
* In the ''[[WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland Total Drama]]'' story, ''Fanfic/CourtneyAndTheViolinOfDespair'', Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy (1714 – 90) and composer [[Music/JosephHaydn Franz Joseph Haydn]] (1732 – 1809) appear in the prologue.
* ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfTime'' possesses a rich abundance of real people (all deceased by the year 2000) in its first season alone, thanks to the use of [[Series/DoctorWho the TARDIS]].
** It starts with [[ShakespeareInFiction Will Shakespeare]], as per Series/DoctorWho's "The Shakespeare Code". For added fun, he ends up deducing that [[Literature/SherlockHolmes Holmes and Watson]] are from a totally different time period.
** Major General Leslie Groves, the real-life C.O. at the Manhattan Project, makes a cameo in "The Manhattan Conspiracy".
** UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla and real-life friend, employer, and fellow inventor George Westinghouse both undergo a HistoricalHeroUpgrade in "The Icarus Experiment" [[spoiler:as well as being vitally important in the season finale. Oh, and Tesla ends up a powerful telepath.]]
** Creator/BramStoker also undergoes something of a HistoricalHeroUpgrade doing... what else? Vampire-hunting in Paris!
** Creator/JeremyBrett gets an episode that kind of revolves around him, and his BFF Edward Hardwicke plays a supporting role. It's actually really melancholy because Brett ends up a DistressedDude and the audience knows that he has only a few years of life left.
** Tom Johnstone was a real British smuggler who may or may not have looked like Creator/BenedictCumberbatch. He's something of a OneSceneWonder in the season finale and is something of a ChaoticNeutral, along the lines of Han Solo in the first Franchise/StarWars film.
** Whether or not OliverCromwell was a real historical villain, he gets a HistoricalVillainUpgrade in the season finale [[spoiler:as the new Sheriff of Nottingham, killing Robin Locksley, his men, and his pregnant wife. He's promptly dispatched by a higher power.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* Again, ''{{Anastasia}}'', which also throws in (an already dead) Grigori Rasputin.
* ''ThePiratesInAnAdventureWithScientists'' includes (heavily fictionalized versions of) UsefulNotes/CharlesDarwin and QueenVicky.
* Most of the characters in ''{{Pocahontas}}'', albeit fictionalised.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film -- Live Action]]
* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean: On Stranger Tides'' features Blackbeard, with smaller appearances by King George II of England and some of his ministers, and a brief cameo by King Ferdinand VI of Spain.
* William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe and Queen Elizabeth I, as well as the rest of the theatre company, in ''ShakespeareInLove''.
* Grand Duchess Anastasia and her grandmother from the 1950s film ''Anastasia'' and its [[{{Anastasia}} animated remake]].
* The 1939 film of ''Film/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' features King Louis XI of France.
* The ''MST3K''-bait film ''QuestOfTheDeltaKnights'' has a young Leonardo Da Vinci as a central character - then proceeds to posit that all his great ideas were just ripped off from Archimedes.
* Nikola Tesla appears in ''Film/ThePrestige''.
* ''ShanghaiKnights'' includes as a supporting character a young Creator/ArthurConanDoyle.
** ''ShanghaiNoon'' reveals at the end that major character Roy O'Bannon is actually [[spoiler: Wyatt Earp]].
* Franchise/SherlockHolmes meets Dr. Sigmund Freud in ''Literature/TheSevenPercentSolution''.
** And Thubten Gyatso in ''Sherlock Holmes: The Missing Years''. (This is referred to in "Empty House", but the pastiche is worth noting because the author is one of the more warlike proponents of a free Tibet, so the thirteenth Dalai Lama is [[WriterOnBoard right up his alley.]])
* The Cinderella adaptation''Film/EverAfter'' has Leonardo da Vinci as the eventual fairy godmother figure.
* ''BillAndTedsExcellentAdventure'' has loads in order to pass a history exam.
* Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron) appears in several UsefulNotes/WW1 movies, amongst which ''Wings'', ''HellsAngels'' and ''Film/TheBlueMax'', and has a rather large role in several movies named after him.
* Eliot Ness, Al Capone, and Frank Nitti in ''Film/TheUntouchables''.
* The Swedish comedy ''Film/TheAdventuresOfPicasso'' does this with Pablo Picasso and many of his contemporaries.
* Aberline from ''Film/TheWolfman2010'' is a fictionalized version of the real life [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Abberline Inspector Frederick Abberline]].
* President UsefulNotes/RichardNixon in ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast''. As one of the most famous leaders in the 1970s.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Of course, many AlternateHistory stories feature real historical figures, both major and minor.
** The ''{{Temeraire}}'' series has a whole [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Temeraire_characters#Historical_Figures list]] of them in various supporting roles.
** Creator/HarryTurtledove's Literature/{{Worldwar}} series features Molotov among the major characters, as well as more minor historical personages as Walter Dornberger and Mordechai Anielewicz. Some big figures (such as Einstein and Mao) get cameos.
** Turtledove's {{Timeline-191}} also uses a number of real-life historical figures in roles both major and minor, including [[Creator/MarkTwain Samuel Clemens]], UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln, George Armstrong Custer, James Longstreet, James G. Blaine, UsefulNotes/TheodoreRoosevelt, Clarence Darrow, UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt, Upton Sinclair, UsefulNotes/CalvinCoolidge, UsefulNotes/HerbertHoover, LouisArmstrong, UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill, RonaldReagan and even an unnamed ([[WordofGod identity confirmed by the author, though]]) cameo by AdolfHitler.
* Creator/ThomasMalory appears in Literature/{{Phenomena}}, where he is [[spoiler: aparently King Veha, the king of a country called Aldra, in the planet Erda. He is also a prophet of sorts and a vizard. He also is a huge {{Fanboy}} of modern version of his books. Supposedly based [[Literature/LeMorteDarthur Le Morte D'Arthur]] on Phenomena]]. And apparently it's even [[http://norwegianfantasia.tumblr.com/post/75184426430/phenomena-1-29kr-edition-special-authors-foreword true]].
* There is a very odd tendency lately to turn historical people into detectives. This includes [[TheVirginQueen Elizabeth I]], Abigail Adams, and Creator/JaneAusten of all people.
** The TropeMaker for this sub genre may be Theodore Mathieson, 1950s author of "Captain Cook: Detective", "Creator/LeonardoDaVinci: Detective", "Florence Nightingale: Detective" ''etc., etc.'''
** The still-more recent tendency to turn historical people into monsters and/or monster hunters is even odder.
* Spanish novelist and war journalist Arturo Pérez-Reverte noticed that his 12-year-old daughter's History book had only a paragraph for the 17th century, the Spanish Golden Century. Wanting to solve the situation, he wrote a series of adventure books starring a fictional sword-for-hire, ''Captain Literature/{{Alatriste}}'', who gets involved in state conspiracies and meets kings and important figure and fights in important battles. Spanish writer Francisco De Quevedo is a recurrent character as Alatriste's personal friend. [[TheFilmOfTheBook They made a movie of the series.]]
* Philippa Ballantine's novel ''Literature/ChasingTheBard'' is about [[ZerothLaw Will Shakespeare]] saving not one but two worlds from an Eldritch Abomination type being.
* Most of the characters in ''{{Conqueror}}''. The {{protagonist}} is Genghis Khan.
* Low-key example in TheEnglishPatient: Almasy and the Cliftons. Real people, with minor historical significance.
* "Literature/TheNightsDawnTrilogy," by Peter F Hamilton, brings back 2 characters from the past as souls possessing bodies of the living: Fletcher Christian and... wait for it... Al Capone.
* Stephen Baxter's and Creator/ArthurCClarke's novel, ''Time's Eye'', has a large host of characters from various time periods: Alexander the Great, Genghis the Khan, and Thomas Edison, to name several.
* The ''Literature/DivineComedy'' is full of these. Granted, the most famous ones are all {{Take That}}s. And no-one has heard of most of Dante's historical figures, except for his saints and one or two guys in Limbo. Farinata degli Uberti? Arnaut Daniel? Charles Martel of Anjou (not even the ''famous'' Charles Martel)? Who remembers them for anything but being in the ''[[DivineComedy Commedia]]''?
* Creator/GeorgeEliot's ''{{Romola}}'', set in fifteenth-century Florence, features Savonarola in a prominent role. It also includes walk-ons by figures like a very young Niccolo Machiavelli.
* The entire cast of Hilary Mantel's ''Wolf Hall,'' which stars Thomas Cromwell (a ThirdPersonPerson) and features, among others, Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and so on, and so on. Includes an extensive TakeThat against Thomas More.
** Similarly, the entire cast of Hilary Mantel's ''APlaceOfGreaterSafety,'' which stars Robespierre, Camille Desmoulins, Danton, and many others.
* Robespierre, Danton, and Marat appear in Victor Hugo's ''Literature/{{Ninety-Three}}''.
* Teddy Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and Franz Boas appear in TheAlienist.
* As the titles suggest, Creator/WilliamShakespeare appears in ''Discworld/TheScienceOfDiscworld II: The Globe'' and CharlesDarwin appears in ''Discworld/TheScienceOfDiscworld III: Darwin's Watch''.
* In Scott Westerfeld's Literature/{{Leviathan}}, CharlesDarwin not only creates the theory of evolution by means of natural selection, but also the 'Life threads' or DNA and how to [[LegoGenetics genetically enhance]] and [[MixAndMatchCritters manipulate/combine elements of animals]]. Also, Nora Barlow, [[spoiler: his granddaughter]], is a major character. Though they have yet to appear, Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph, then first lord of the admiralty Winston Churchill, and several other major political leaders have had a bearing on the plot.
* TheGrimnoirChronicles has John Joseph Pershing and John Moses Browning as major characters, and Sullivan has some unpleasant dealings with J. Edgar Hoover near the beginning.
* The ''Literature/SanoIchiro'' series, which takes place in [[JidaiGeki Edo-period Japan]] and uses at least two real-life figures from that period in every book: Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, who employs Sano as his ''[[TheExoticDetective sosakan]]'', and [[EvilChancellor Chamberlain]] Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, who has received a HistoricalVillainUpgrade and serves as Sano's main antagonist for many of the books. The Shogun's real-life mother, Keisho-in, also makes several appearances throughout the series.
* Several appear in the novels of JTEdson. Calamity Jane got her own series, and Belle Starr plays a major role in several novels. Outlaw John Wesley Hardin and CattleBaron Charles Goodnight play significant roles in individual novels.
* With the exception of [[DirtyCoward Flashman]], his [[ObfuscatingStupidity wife]] and his [[TheScrooge father-in-law]], nearly every major and minor character in the Literature/{{Flashman}} series is one of these. Well, perhaps not - Flashman's father, his nemesis, John Charity Spring, and (as far as I know) Rudi Von Starnberg were all creations of Fraser. And there appear to be plenty of, erm, "love" interests that are not based on real people.
* Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, plays a role in the GaslampFantasy ''Literature/SorceryAndCecelia.''.
* Hiob von Luzern and Alexander the Great appear in ''Literature/DirgeForPresterJohn''.
* Some real life Hollywood people would show up at the parties described in ''Literature/BrideOfTheRatGod''.
* Almost all humans in ''TheSecretsOfTheImmortalNicholasFlamel'' except the two main characters Sophie and Josh.
* The ''Shardlake'' books, by C.J. Sansom, are set during the reign of HenryVIII and feature real people and events mixed in with the ficticious ones - with a handy postscript by the author to assist the reader in distinguishing the one from the other, and explaining any anachronisms the author has knowingly committed. Sansom was a historian before becoming a writer, and likes to show his work.
* Most of Creator/TimPowers works rely heavily on this trope or its subtropes.
** ''Literature/TheDrawingOfTheDark'' has John Zapolya, the soon-to-be King of Hungary, show up at the Zimmermann in disguise for a not-so-friendly chat with Duffy.
** ''Literature/OnStrangerTides'' has Blackbeard, AnneBonny, and other historical pirates.
** ''Literature/TheStressOfHerRegard'' has numerous romantic poets, including Creator/LordByron, Creator/JohnKeats and Creator/MaryShelley.
** ''Literature/{{Declare}}'' has Kim Philby and his father, St. John Philby.
* ''Literature/TheTomeOfBill'' has a number of these. It's implied that all of the First Coven are this. There's Alexander [[spoiler: as in, Alexander the Great]] and The Khan (actually [[spoiler: Ogedei Khan, Genghis' son]]). "Joshua" is all but directly stated to actually be [[spoiler: Jesus]]. James wasn't anyone famous in particular, but he mentions having sailed with MarcoPolo.
* ''Literature/HoratioHornblower'' uses many historical figures, mostly officers from the real Royal Navy with some kings and czars thrown in. You can find a full list [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatio_Hornblower#Historical_figures_in_the_novels here]].
* In Literature/DangerousSpirits, Nicholas II makes several appearances in flashbacks to Konstantine's life.
* ''Literature/GentlemanRanker'': Trent joins General Braddock's expedition to Virginia, meets George Washington's brother and engages in a fistfight and later a target shooting match with Daniel Boone, among many others with more minor roles.
* There are many of them throughout the {{Literature/Kydd}} series, most of them in supporting or background roles. Some of the more famous ones include Lord Nelson, and even some of the lesser-known figures make an appearance, such as Zephaniah Job in ''The Admiral's Daughter''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* {{HBO}} has had several dramas in historical settings that make use of this trope. ''{{Series/Deadwood}}'', ''Series/{{Rome}}'', and ''BoardwalkEmpire'' are period dramas with many such characters. {{Showtime}} has also mined this territory with ''TheTudors'' and ''Series/TheBorgias''.
* Frequently done (with various degrees of historical fidelity) in series involving TimeTravel, such as ''Series/DoctorWho'', ''Series/TheTimeTunnel'' and later seasons of ''Series/QuantumLeap''.
** Nu-Who, in particular, has the "Historic Celebrity Episode" every season. Series 1 had Creator/CharlesDickens, series 2 QueenVicky and Madame de Pompadour, series 3 Creator/WilliamShakespeare and [[TheVirginQueen Elizabeth I]], series 4 Creator/AgathaChristie, series 5 UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill and Creator/VincentVanGogh and series 6 RichardNixon, {{Pirate}} Captain Avery, AdolfHitler and alternate universe versions of Dickens and Churchill (though the last three weren't the focus of the story). Series 7 gave us an encounter with the WorldsMostBeautifulWoman, Queen Nefertiti of AncientEgypt.
** The classic ''Doctor Who'' series had a few scattered around as well, particularly in the First Doctor's era-Creator/MarcoPolo, KublaiKhan, MaximilienRobespierre and NapoleonBonaparte, Nero and RichardTheLionheart, AbrahamLincoln, Catherine de Medici, Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, just to name a few. The Fourth Doctor nearly had a run-in with Creator/LeonardoDaVinci. The Fifth Doctor (kind of) had a run in with King John. The Sixth Doctor also ran into George Stephenson and H.G. Wells, while the Seventh Doctor had to deal with the Rani kidnapping AlbertEinstein and Louis Pasteur. References to other famous figures of history were constantly dropped by each incarnation of the Doctor.
** The official headcount of historic characters, as of the 50th anniversary, is 51.
* ''Series/JackOfAllTrades'', which portrayed NapoleonBonaparte as... ah... a crazy little person foaming at the mouth.
* Eliot Ness and Al Capone of ''Series/TheUntouchables''.
* Practically every important historical figure who lived in the early 20th century (1908-1920) appeared as a major or minor character in almost every episode of ''TheYoungIndianaJonesChronicles''.
* The SyFy channel original series ''{{Sanctuary}}'' has Nikola Tesla and Jack the Ripper among its regular cast.
* ''DeadliestWarrior'' does this with ''WilliamWallace vs. Shaka Zulu'', ''Jesse James Gang vs. Al Capone Crew'', ''AttilaTheHun vs. AlexanderTheGreat'', and ''[[{{Dracula}} Vlad the Impaler]] vs. SunTzu''. Hannibal Barca (Hannibal of Carthage) is also confirmed to be in Season Three.
* ''Series/MurdochMysteries'' has featured Creator/ArthurConanDoyle, UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla, Buffallo Bill and Annie Oakley, Creator/HGWells, Inspector Marcel Guillaume of the Surete (the RealLife inspiration for ''Maigret'') and Canadian Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier.
* ''Series/MadMen'' went the obscure route. Despite being a period drama, they only had one semi-major historical character was the season 3 client [[spoiler:Conrad "Connie" Hilton (of the hotel chain)]].
* ''Series/TheWildWildWest'' features appearances by President UsefulNotes/UlyssesSGrant of the U. S. and President Juarez of Mexico.
* Comes up in ''Series/{{Highlander}}: The Series'' when Creator/LordByron (yes, ''that'' Lord Byron) turns out to be an Immortal and acquaintance of [=MacLeod=]'s. MaryShelley appears in the same episode, where it's revealed she was inspired to write ''Literature/{{Frankenstein}}'' after witnessing Lord Byron return to life following a Quickening[[note]]Byron took his opponent's head, but was mortally wounded during the fight.[[/note]]
** As Duncan has been kicking around since the 16th Century, a number of historical figures, including [[Film/{{Valkyrie}} Klaus von Stauffenberg]], AdolfHitler, Bonnie Prince Charlie, UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill, and Nefertiri, among many, ''many'' others appear.
* Used frequently in ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln famously appeared alongside GenghisKhan in the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "The Savage Curtain."
** Perhaps even more famously, StephenHawking appeared as himself on the Holodeck in an episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', playing poker with SirIsaacNewton, AlbertEinstein and Lt. Cmdr. Data. Hawking is apparently quite the cardsharp. Other historical figures to appear in this series were MarkTwain and Dr. UsefulNotes/SigmundFreud.
** Creator/LeonardoDaVinci was a recurring role in ''StarTrekVoyager''. Much of Janeway's downtime was spent working as his assistant in a Holodeck recreation of his apartments. One episode also revealed that AmeliaEarhart and her navigator Fred Noonan were alive and well and living in the Delta Quadrant.
* ''AmericanHorrorStory'' gleefully uses this trope with appearances by (but not limited to):
** [[Series/AmericanHorrorStoryMurderHouse Murder House]], Elizabeth Short, aka [[StockUnsolvedMysteries The Black Dahlia]].
** [[Series/AmericanHorrorStoryAsylum Asylum]], an alive Anne Frank in the 1960s, [[spoiler: though subverted, as she was actually a housewife who developed postpartum psychosis and an obsession with Anne Frank.]]
** [[Series/AmericanHorrorStoryCoven Coven]] uses this trope the most with famous New Orleans residents Marie Laveau the Voodoo Queen, [[SerialKiller Delphine LaLaurie and The Axe-Man]] all members of the cast.
* ''{{Series/Salem}}'': Most of the main cast. Cotton Mather, a very influential Puritan minister who is shown taking a direct role in hunting witches by the show (whereas in RealLife he did not attend any of the trials although witnessing two hangings, while his writings have been alleged to be the groundwork behind the witch panic). His father Increase Mather also gets portrayed as a directly involved witch hunter, while in actuality he merely attended one of the trials. Tituba, a slave woman who was among those accused of witchcraft, gets portrayed as a [[HistoricalVillainUpgrade ''real'' witch]]. In reality there's speculation that she may have inadvertently helped instigate the affair by dabbling in occult rituals at the insistence of her master's daughter, who panicked along with her friends when they were caught, accusing people left and right. John Alden and Giles Corey were also real people that have been fictionalized in the show. The real Alden did none of the things he's portrayed as doing, and he was [[AgeLift in his sixties by then]]. In fact, Alden was among those accused, but fled town, returning when the witch trials had ended, at which point he was cleared by acclamation.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* {{Evita}} is a RockOpera [[TheMusical musical]] about the life of Eva Perón, First Lady of Argentina from 1946 to 1952. Other historical domain characters include Juan Perón, her husband and President of Argentina, Agustín Magaldi, a tango singer, and Che Guevara as the story's InteractiveNarrator.
* In ''Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors'', Clare Booth Luce puts in an appearance, though she's referred to simply as "Mrs. Luce".
* The German musical ''{{Elisabeth}}'' is about Elisabeth (Sisi), the wife of Habsburg Emperor Franz Josef II, and focuses on an ongoing romance she has with Death himself.
* In DorothyLSayers's ''Theatre/TheEmperorConstantine'', most of the characters.
* The characters in Swedish and Finnish {{Spex}}es tends to be almost exclusively historical domain characters, often mixed up with little regard for historical correctness and even anachronistically mixing characters from from widely different eras and places in order to create comedy.
* The minimalist {{opera}} ''Theatre/NixonInChina'' by John C. Adams focuses on the historic visit of RichardNixon to China and his meeting with UsefulNotes/MaoZedong. All major characters save Mao were still alive when the opera premiered in 1987.
** ''Theatre/DrAtomic'', also by Adams, is about the Manhattan Project--specifically, the day of the Trinity test--with most of the major characters (J. Robert Oppenheimer, his wife Kitty Oppenheimer, project military director Gen. Leslie Graves, and the physicists Edward Teller and Robert R. Wilson) being historical figures.
* ''Theatre/SeventeenSeventySix'' does take some liberties with the characterization of the Founding Fathers (to start with, that they [[TheMusical sang and danced]] their way through the writing of the Declaration), but every named character--from UsefulNotes/JohnAdams down to [=MacNair=] the Congressional custodian--was a historically-documented person. A good deal of the dialogue and lyrics are taken from the actual writings of the people involved.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Lincoln, Washington and Einstein are the three only specific, real life people (excluding the developers that can be summoned in ''{{Scribblenauts}}''.
* Leonardo da Vinci as a {{Bishonen}}, and Lisa del Giocondo as his love interest, in ''EliteBeatAgents''. The real Lisa was already married, but this is [[BellisariosMaxim not the kind of game where that matters]]. And it's not like he ever courted someone to the music of Queen, anyways.
** In a similar vein, the first ''{{Ouendan}}'' has a fat Cleopatra who decided to have her slaves build a pyramid... to lose weight and impress Mark Antony.
* Chopin, in ''EternalSonata''.
* Practically the entire cast of ''JeanneDarc''.
* ''VideoGame/LionheartLegacyOfTheCrusader'' managed to incorporate Leonardo, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Cortez, Joan of Arc, Torquemada, and Queen Elizabeth I all into a single narrative, and even managed to HandWave most of them living within a few blocks of each other in 1588 Barcelona.
* The indisputable master of this trope has to be ''Martian Dreams'', a ''Worlds of Franchise/{{Ultima}}'' game. It features a plethora of 19th century big names in an adventure on Mars, including Sigmund Freud, Theodore Roosevelt, Wyatt Earp, Marie Curie, and [[BigBad Rasputin]].
* Everyone from ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara''
* Used pretty regularly in ''SamuraiShodown''. Hanzo, Amakusa, AndrewJackson...
* The ''ShadowHearts'' series contains numerous examples, both well known and obscure, as heroes, villains, and cameo characters. Notably includes Edward Plunkett, Roger Bacon, Margaretha Zelle, Anastasia Romanov, Grigori Rasputin, Yoshiko and Naniwa Kawashima, T.E. Lawrence, Al Capone, and Elliot Ness. Many of these include some form of Historical Upgrade.
* Although he only appears in flashbacks, Leonardo da Vinci is (as the title suggests) heavily involved with the plot of ''SecretsOfDaVinciTheForbiddenManuscript''. One of the French kings is also a character in the game.
* In the Sierra city-building game ''{{Pharaoh}}'', you play your way through all of the ruling dynasties of ancient Egypt; this includes the final ruling house, the Ptolemies, if you add the expansion pack ''Cleopatra: Queen of Kings.''
* Every title in ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' features historical characters, ranging from the famous RichardTheLionheart, Creator/LeonardoDaVinci, UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington, and Blackbeard to the more obscure Garnier de Naplouse, Jacopo de Pazzi, Thomas Hickey, and Benjamin Hornigold.
* It's the findings of famous people that drive the plots of the ''{{Uncharted}}'' games. The first game had Sir Francis Drake (who Nate claims to be a descendant of), the second game had Marco Polo and the third game will have LawrenceOfArabia.
* ''VideoGame/{{Hakuouki}}'' is focused on the {{Shinsengumi}}, and thus is full of historical figures both in and outside of that organization.
* ''Videogame/TeslaTheWeatherMan'' features UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla and Creator/MarkTwain as the heroes and ThomasEdison as the villain.
* ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings II'' has a lot of these, including the majority of characters that can be selected as your start character. Many even have Wikipedia links (or, in mods with fictional settings, links to [[TheWikiRule the appropriate wiki]]) in their character pages. As gameplay diverges from history (generally after the first generation or two of your dynasty, there will be none left).
* ''VideoGame/GenpeiToumaDen'' has the player controlling Taira no Kagekiyo, and actual historical figure from the Japan's Genpei War[[note]]Famously told in both The Tale of the Genji and The Tale of the Heike.[[/note]]Here, he's been resurrected (after having died at the end of the Battle of Dan-no-ura) in order to take down his arch enemy Minamoto no Yoritomo.
* ''VideoGame/DongDongNeverDie'' features [[RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms Zhuge Liang]] as one of the fighters. [[ShowSomeLeg His intro has him showing off one of his legs.]]
* ''VideoGame/WolfensteinTheNewOrder'' has a mysterious African-American soldier named J. A talented rock guitarist who plays his guitar in his left hand, and brews his own acid. The more astute may catch on to [[Music/JimiHendrix his identity]].
* In ''VideoGame/TinStarChoiceOfGames'', you can personally correspond with [[UsefulNotes/AndrewJohnson President Andrew Johnson]] at one point. Other historical figures are mentioned in the narrative, but don't appear personally.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''TheThrillingAdventuresOfLovelaceAndBabbage''. With occasional cameos from characters like Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Queen Victoria, and Charles Darwin.
* ''WebComic/{{Amazoness}}!'' features Creator/{{Sappho}} as a recurring character.
* ''Webcomic/DawnOfTime'' has Gideon Mantell and Richard Owen.
* ''[[http://www.thedreamercomic.com The Dreamer]]'' has many historical figures in it, including Nathan Hale.
* ''DresdenCodak'' features several historical figures in cameo roles, but a recurring character is Tiny Carl Jung.
* Pretty much the main premise of ''Webcomic/HarkAVagrant''.
* ''The New Adventures of Queen Victoria'', of course, has several.
* ''KevinAndKell'' has Dorothy's paramour Douglas [[spoiler: who turns out to be the legendary hijacker D.B. Cooper.]] Fun fact: in this universe, he's a squirrel.
* {{Balderduck}} is full of historical characters. Some of them include [[http://www.balderduck.com/2010/12/13/single-panel-7/ Julius Ceasar]] with bad parenting skills, [[http://www.balderduck.com/2010/11/18/single-panel-4/ Sir Francis Drake]] working at [=McDonald's=] and [[http://www.balderduck.com/2010/11/14/single-panel-2-2/ Van Gogh]] watching Reservoir Dogs.
* ''LovecraftIsMissing'' is all about . . . Creator/HPLovecraft going missing.
* ''MayonakaDensha'' being a time travel murder mystery involving JackTheRipper includes not only the man himself but cameos from various other figures involved with the case such as Inspector Abberline, Mary Kelly and various other Ripper victims (Including speculated and unconfirmed ones).
* Albert Speer is one of the central characters in ''Webcomic/MisguidedLight''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* This is much of the point of ''WebVideo/EpicRapBattlesOfHistory'', where figures such as Genghis Khan, Bruce Lee, Nikola Tesla or even Justin Bieber can wind up as part of the latest battle. That said, fictional characters have also been a part of the mix since Episode 2, which featured Darth Vader vs. Adolf Hitler.
* Many unpublished AlternateHistory stories, such as those on AlternateHistory.com, also include appearances by historical figures. For example, ''AWorldOfLaughterAWorldOfTears'' has its point of divergence from actual history with WaltDisney becoming President of the United States.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Many bit part and recurring characters in ''LibertysKids''.
* Several minor characters in WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}, though mostly as only as heads in jars. The most commonly recurring character, with roles in the plot, is RichardNixon.
* ''WesternAnimation/PrincessSissi'' is about Elizabeth of Bavaria.
* ''WesternAnimation/TimeSquad'' is about a small police unit traveling through time making sure famous people do what they're historically famous for -- if Copernicus ever forgets the Sun existed or George Washington Carver manifests an EvilTwin, the Time Squad will be there to fix it.on
* [[Creator/{{Filmation}}]]'s ''The New Adventures of TheLoneRanger'' incorporated a bit more historical old west characters in order to give it a slightly educational context.
* The entire premise of ''WesternAnimation/CloneHigh'' was this. Take as many historical characters as possible, clone them, put the clones in a high school setting, and HilarityEnsues.
[[/folder]]

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