The Role of Individuals in History

Historians often grapple with whether history is shaped by individuals, or whether individuals are a product of their age and are shaped by history. Would the history of ancient Mesopotamia have been
different if Hammurabi had not lived? Did Imhotep change the direction of Egyptian history? Below is a list of major figures from Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt and Ancient Israel. Select any TWO. For each, identify his or her role in society, major accomplishments, sphere of greatest impact (eg. Art, ideas,
religion, politics, architecture, etc), and why you believe he or she shaped or was shaped by history.

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Assurnasirpal II
Ramses II

Report Structure:

Individual #1

First paragraph – Identify his or her role in society
Second paragraph – Major accomplishments
Third paragraph – Sphere of greatest impact (Art, ideas, religion, politics, architecture, etc)
Fourth paragraph – Why you believe that they shaped history or was shaped by history

Individual #2

First paragraph – Identify his or her role in society
Second paragraph – Major accomplishments
Third paragraph – Sphere of greatest impact (Art, ideas, religion, politics, architecture, etc)
Fourth paragraph – Why you believe that they shaped history or was shaped by history

The American Psychological Association (APA) style is the preferred style in the social sciences. Please use APA when inputting your references/in-text citations. A minimum of FIVE academic sources is necessary, so please use 5 or more. Use to complete your works cited


Sample Answer


The Role of Individuals in History


Menes was a king of Ancient Egypt who lived in the period circa 3150 BCE (Mark, 2016). He is considered the first ruler of unified Egypt. Menes reigned over Ancient Egypt as Pharaoh for around 62 years.

The first major accomplishment of Menes was the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt into one kingdom. Menes achieved this feat through military conquest and administrative measures. After the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, Menes ascended to the throne as the first king of Ancient Egypt and established the First Dynasty (Boddy-Evans, 2020). Unified Egypt became one of the most influential civilizations in human history regarding its cultural, political, and historical impact. Secondly, Menes is credited with the establishment of the city of Memphis. He founded the city after diverting the flow of the River Nile. The city of Memphis rose in status to become the capital of Ancient Egypt (Atef, 2018). The third major accomplishment of Menes was the institution of religious worship across Egypt. Menes is considered to have initiated the practice of worshipping gods and making sacrifices.

For Menes, the sphere of greatest impact is politics. Menes influenced politics through the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. In this way, Menes managed to create a large and powerful political entity that significantly impacted the course of human history. The impact of Menes in politics also manifests in his creation of a centralized government to facilitate the administration of Egypt (Mark, 2016). Moreover, as the first Pharaoh of unified Egypt, Menes influenced the development of the political institutions of the Egyptian civilization.

I believe that Menes shaped history. Menes shaped history because he managed to unify two antagonistic territories in Egypt to create one of the most important civilizations in human history. Without the initiative of Menes, it is highly unlikely that Egypt would have developed into the great civilization that it was.


Moses was a Hebrew leader and prophet. Moses was born in Ancient Egypt to a family of enslaved Israelites. Moses was abandoned by his mother then later rescued from the River Nile by the Pharaoh’s daughter (Bernock, 2019). He grew up in the royal court. Moses escaped from Egypt but returned to lead the Israelites’ Exodus out of Egypt.

The first major accomplishment of Moses is that he led the successful Exodus of the enslaved Israelites from Egypt. After escaping Egypt, Moses returned to Egypt at the command of God and secured the release of the Israelites from slavery (Schmid, 2021). The second major accomplishment of Moses was the parting of the Red Sea. When the Egyptian army pursued the Israelites following their release, Moses managed to part the Red Sea to allow the Israelites to cross the sea into the Sinai Peninsula and evade recapture. The next major accomplishment of Moses is that he led the Israelites across a challenging route for 40 years (Friedman & Fischer, 2021). Moses ensured that the Israelites could fend for themselves and repel attacks from hostile tribes. Finally, Moses received the 10 Commandments from God at Mount Sinai.

The sphere of most significant impact for Moses is in religion. Moses is regarded as one of the most important religious figures in the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Zalan, 2013). Moses delivered the 10 Commandments, a cornerstone of Jewish and Christian religious practice. Moses also contributed to religion through his authorship of the first five books of the Bible, referred to as the Torah.

I believe that Moses was shaped by history. I make this assertion because most of the actions undertaken by Moses, such as returning to Egypt to free Israelites or delivering the 10 Commandments, were direct instructions from God rather than his initiatives.




Atef, R. (2018). Top facts about man who unified Egypt. Egypt Today.

Bernock, D. (2019). Who was Moses in the Bible? Christianity.

Boddy-Evans, A. (2020). The Story of Menes, the First Pharaoh of Egypt. ThoughtCo.

Friedman, H., & Fischer, D. (2021). What Biblical Leaders Teach Us about Leadership in a Global Society. Analysis and Metaphysics20, 7-30.

Mark, J. (2016). Menes. World History Encyclopedia.

Schmid, K. (2021). Genesis and the Moses Story. Penn State University Press.

Zalan, K. (2013). Moses is revered by three faiths. US News.

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