Harvard University, the oldest educational establishment in the most technologically advanced civilization in the history of the world, does not lightly choose topics for the attention of its scholars. Only after a third of a millenium of deliberation does a subject matter such as "Humanities 2. Epic and Drama" receive and official bow and become worthy of Harvard University.
What unfathomable honor, then, is due those 38 human beings who have been themselves declared the subject of a semester's course of study by this great University! These men are: Aristophanes (Greek 105a) Aristotle (Philosophy 105) Bertolt Brecht (German 160) Hieronymus Bosch (Fine Arts 156) Miguel Cervantes (Spanish 124) Geoffrey Chaucer (English 115) Samuel Coleridge (English 257) Dant'e Alighieri (Italian 120) Charles Dickens (English 259a) Fyodor Dostoevsky (Slavic 155) Jonathan Edwards (English 276) T.S. Eliot (English 267) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German 120) Nikolai Gogol (Slavic 154) Henrik Ibsen (Scandinavian 1) Immanuel Kant (Philosophy 130) John Keats (English 256) Lucretius (Latin 107a) Thomas Mann (German 285) Michelangelo Buonarroti (Fine Arts 257) John Milton (English 131) Freidrich Nietzsche (Philosophy 235) Pindar (Philosophy 278b) Plato (Classical Philology 236b, Philosophy 102) Aleksander Pushkin (Slavic 152) H.H. Richardson (Fine Arts 274) Rainer Maria Rilke (German 269) Friedrich Schiller (German 113) William Shakespeare (English 124, English 229) Edmund Spenser (English 222) Jonathan Swift (English 247) Terence (Philosophy 265a) Thucydides (Greek 106a) Tibullus (Classinal Philology 261a) Leo Tolstoy (Slavic 157) Ivan Turgenev (Slavic 158) Virgil (Latin 106a) Ludwing Wittgenstein (Philosophy 137)
It goes without saying that these individuals are the most notable in recorded history. Harvard University has approved them. They alone are studied, rather than studying.
And by carefully analyzing this Olympian grouping, we can deduce many things about humanity. Everyone worth studying is male. Just under a fourth of them wrote in Latin or Greek. Another fourth wrote in English.
Very few (i.e. three) Americans are worth a semester's attention; and of those who are, two went to Harvard.
Included in the company of Harvard's Great Men are only three whose contribution was not literary, the artists Bosch and Michelangelo, and the architect (who built Server Hall) Richardson.
Only one Great Man is presently alive.
Shakespeare is acknowledged studyable by two separate courses; and Plato by two courses in different departments. No other men are twise-honored.
None of the great religious leaders are worthy of being the exclusive subject and title of a course, no statesmen, no scientists