20 Of The Wealthiest Individuals Throughout History
20 Of The Wealthiest Individuals Throughout History

20 Of The Wealthiest Individuals Throughout History

Steve - April 12, 2019

20 Of The Wealthiest Individuals Throughout History
“The Judgement of Solomon”, by Peter Paul Rubens (c. 1617). Wikimedia Commons.

1. Potentially the wealthiest man in history and the first trillionaire, according to biblical sources, King Solomon amassed a gigantic fortune during his 39-year reign as King of Israel.

Solomon, also known as Jedidiah, is a biblical King of Israel believed to have reigned between 970 and 931 BCE. The son of King David, and the third king of the United Monarchy, Solomon, per his father’s instructions, initiated his reign at the age of fifteen with a political purge to consolidate his position. Expanding his military strength, Solomon is credited with the creation of favorable trade relations with neighboring nations, in particular, the Phoenicians. Following his death, the United Monarchy quickly dissipated, with the Israelites splitting between the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah.

Regarded as the wealthiest of the Israelite kings that appear in the Bible, multiple stories make reference to the vast fortune of Solomon. Using this wealth to build the First Temple, treasure hunters have spent centuries attempting to relocate his horde, believed to have been lost during the Babylonian capture of Jerusalem in the 6th century BCE. According to the Book of Kings, Solomon received as much as twenty-five tons of gold in tribute in each of his thirty-nine years in power, in addition to general taxation. Using modern projections, historians have calculated that, if such claims are indeed true, Solomon would have enjoyed an equivalent net worth of $2,200,000,000,000.

 

Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“Fortune’s Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt”, Arthur T. Vanderbilt II, William Morrow Publishing (1991)

“Finance and Enterprise in Early America: A Study of Stephen Girard’s Bank, 1812-1831”, Donald Adams, University of Pennsylvania Press (1978)

“John of Gaunt: The Exercise of Princely Power in Fourteenth-Century Europe”, Anthony Goodman, Longman Publishing (1992)

“The Lancastrian Affinity, 1361-1399”, Simon Walker, Clarendon Press, 1990

“The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain, Vol 1 1660-1649”, N.A.M. Rodger, Harper Collins (1998)

“The Rise of Modern China”, Hsu Immanuel, Oxford University Press (1990)

“John Jacob Aster: America’s First Multimillionaire”, Axel Madsen, Wiley Publishing (2001)

“John Jacob Astor and the First Great American Fortune”, Alexander Emmerich, McFarland Publishing (2013)

“William the Conqueror”, David C. Douglas, University of California Press (1964)

“The Domesday Book: England’s Heritage Then and Now”, Thomas Hinde, Coombe Books (1997)

“A Byzantine Journey”, John Ash, Tauris and Company (1995)

“William Rufus”, Frank Barlow, Yale University Press (2000)

“The History of Richmond, in the County of York”, Christopher Clarkson, Nabu Press (2011)

“The Ford Motor Company and the Third Reich”, Simon Reich, Dimensions (1999)

“Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company, and a Century of Progress, Douglas G. Brinkley, Viking Adult (2003)

“Commodore: The Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt”, Edward J. Renehan Jr., Basic Books (2007)

“The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt”, T.J. Stiles, Alfred A. Knopf Publishing (2009)

“William the Conqueror: The Norman Impact Upon England”, David C. Douglas, University of California Press (1964)

“William the Conqueror”, David Bates, Tempus Publishing (2004)

“The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger”, Greg Steinmetz, Simon and Schuster (2015)

“The Court of the Last Czar: Pomp and Pageantry in the Reign of Nicholas II”, Greg King, John Wiley and Sons (2006)

“John D. Rockefeller Was the Richest Person To Ever Live. Period”, Kat Eschner, Smithsonian Magazine, January 10, 2017

“He’s African! How The Richest Man Ever Earned And Lost His Huge Fortune”, By Mirror, The Saturday Standard

“Nicholas II: Emperor of All the Russians”, Dominic Lieven, Pimlico Publishing (1993)

“Andrew Carnegie: An Economic Biography”, Samuel Bostaph, Lexington Books (2015)

“Andrew Carnegie”, Joseph Frazier Wall, University of Pittsburgh Press (1989)

“The History of Standard Oil Company”, Ida Minerva Tarbell, Ayer Company (1904)

“Timbuktu: Sahara’s Fabled City of Gold”, Marq de Villiers and Shelia Hirtle, Walker and Company (2007)

“David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible’s Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition”, Neil Asher Silberman, Free Press (2006)

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