Most influential person in history is quite a title, I think most people would agree that Jesus Christ would be the main person behind the next 2000 years after his death but its disputable whether or not he was actually real, so… a few guys I think up for debate:
Alexander the Great – conquered most of the middle east during his time and influenced Western history so much he has his own period named after his time on Earth – the Hellenistic period.
Julius Caesar – I think if anyone’s names get remembered 2000 years after they die and they stay famous for that long of a time, safe to say they are pretty darn influential
Confucius and Buddha – a HUGE influence among basically all of modern Asia
Genghis Khan – for much the same reason as Alexander/Caesar, a conqueror who shaped a lot of modern Asia and middle east
Sir Isaac Newton – probably along with Einstein the most famous scientist in history though without Newton there wouldn’t be Einstein so…
Christopher Columbus – yes its debatable whether or not he ‘discovered’ America but hey he is still the name brought up the most so…
William Shakespeare – if we’re talking effect on the English language he has to be #1
Nicolaus Copernicus – kickstarted the Scientific Revolution in the West that would last until Newton
Socrates/Plato – Again these guys were the backbone of Western civilization for over 2000 years so.. they got to be up there. And no one really knows whether Socrates actually existed so thats why I combined them.
Aristotle – the guy who would shape science for almost 2000 years. Until Newton, this guy was the pre-eminent scientific source for everything
Martin Luther – responsible for creation of Protestantism and all the history/wars that brought….
Muhammed – the founder of Islam, the second most popular religion on Earth
Note: I don’t put Jesus on here because his existence depends on whether you are Christian or not 🙂
Beyond 1700s I really don’t want to say anyone because too little time has elapsed for them to be considered most influential in human history although I want to put George Washington, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx and Adolf Hitler here…