We may know the entire life story, minus some minute details, about iconic historical figures. Nevertheless, what’s interesting is that we don’t necessarily know what many of them even looked like. Sure, we may have some paintings, statues, or drawings to go off of, but they aren’t always reliable. This is because they could have been commissioned by the person to make themselves look good, and no work of art actually captures the essence of a person. However, we have never been closer to seeing what these famous historical figures looked like with the help of modern computer-generated-imagery. Take a look for yourself!
Nefertiti May Have Ruled Over Egypt For A Time
A Queen of the 18th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, Nefertiti, along with her husband, Pharaoh Akhenaten, is considered to be one of the wealthiest rulers in Ancient Egyptian history. It is believed that after her husband’s death, she ruled as Neferneferuaten before Tutankhamun ascended to the throne.
The famous bust of the queen can be found in Berlin’s Neuses Museum and is one of the most copied works from the time of Ancient Egypt. It is believed that it was created by the sculptor Thutmose, as it was found in his workshop.
The Mummy Known As The “Younger Lady”
In 1898, a badly damaged mummy was discovered that is believed to have been Nefertiti, a Queen of Egypt and biological mother to Tutankhamun. The mummy was given the name of the “Younger Lady” and is estimated to be around 3,400 years old.
Paleonartis Elisabeth Daynes spent 500 hours reconstructing the face of the woman, whom Travel Channel host Josh Gates is confident is Queen Nefertiti. However, surprisingly, not all experts are sold, claiming that the 3D image is “whitewashed” even though a large number has little doubt.
Robert The Bruce Was A Thorn In England’s Side
Robert The Bruce was the King of Scots between 1306 until his death in 1329. During his time as Earl of Carrick, Robert the Bruce was a supporter of William Wallace during his revolt against Edward I of England. That is until Robert submitted to Edward in 1302, eventually inheriting the Scottish throne upon the death of his father.
Robert would later lead Scotland as a warrior king during the First War of Scottish Independence against England. He was successful in freeing Scotland from under English rule, establishing him as a national hero.
His Body Was Discovered In The Early 1800s
In 1818, while breaking ground to build a new church on the site of Dunfermline Abbey, workers discovered a vault at the former abbey high altar. Inside the vault were the decaying remains of an oak coffin. Inside was a body encased in the lead with a crown sitting on the head. The stones found, including marble and alabaster, were the same as Robert’s recorded purchases of a tomb made of the same material.
A plaster cast was then taken of the skull, and the bones were measured and drawn. Since then, there have been several reconstructions of Robert’s face from the University of Manchester, University of Glasgow, and the Face Lab at Liverpool John Moores University.
Dante Alighieri Is One Of The Middle Age’s Great Poets
Born in 1265 AD, Dante Alighieri was an Italian poet who introduced the idea of using the common vernacular when most poetry was written in Latin, and therefore only readable by a select few.
By far, his best-known work is his Divine Comedy, which helped to create the depictions of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, which were also the depiction of many iconic pieces of Western art. Also known as the “father” of the Italian language, he has been cited as an inspiration by many of his predecessors.
His Death Mask Has Been Of Great Help
Although Dante was eventually exiled from Florence, the city soon realized they made a mistake and made numerous requests to have his body returned to the city. However, those in charge of his body in Ravenna refused. A copy of Dante’s death mask has been on display in the Palazzo Vecchio since 1911, although it is not believed to be a true death mask and was most likely carved in 1483.
In 2007, Dante’s facial reconstruction project took place as a collaboration between artists from Pisa University and engineers at the University of Bologna at Forli. Their findings claim that most artwork done of him isn’t exactly what he may have looked like.
St. Nicholas Is Believed To Have Been The Inspiration For Santa Clause
St. Nicholas is also referred to as Nicholas of Bari, a Christian bishop of Greek descent during the Holy Roman Empire’s heyday. He is known for a series of miracles that he performed over the years, which also earned him the title of Nicholas the Wonderworker.
He is considered to be the patron saint of numerous different groups of people, as well as cities and countries. He is also known for his tradition of secret gift-giving, which is believed to have been the inspiration for modern-day Santa Claus.
His Bones Were Relatively Preserved
Incredibly, most of Saint Nicholas’ bones remain preserved in one location, which is his grave crypt in Bari. In the 1950s, the bones were removed to restore the tomb, and taken to be studied at the University of Bari by a professor of human anatomy. After extensive analysis, findings showed that Nicholas died around seventy years old. He had been of average height, slender, and had chronic arthritis.
At the University of Manchester in 2004, researchers reconstructed the saint’s face based on the bones’ examination, which showed that he had a semi-healed broken nose. The final product was shown on the BBC2 program, The Real Face of Santa.
Nicolaus Copernicus Changed The Way People Viewed The Universe
Nicolaus was a mathematician, astronomer, and Catholic clergyman during the Renaissance-era. A highly gifted intellectual, he is known for creating a universe model that placed the Sun in the center rather than the Earth, which was considered heresy at the time.
However, although the Ancient Greek astronomer Aristarchus of Samos had a similar idea eighteen centuries earlier, Copernicus’ model is of his own thought. His release of On the Origins of the Celestial Spheres before his death in 1543 was a huge deal and is credited with sparking the Copernican Revolution and paving the way for the Scientific Revolution.
His Remains Matched Features In His Portraits
In 2004, Jerzy Gąssowski, the head of archaeology and anthropology institute in Pultusk, led a team to find Copernicus’ remains based on the writings of historian Jerzy Sikorski. Finally, in 2005, they believed they found Copernicus, and upon further research, Gąssowski announced that he was 100 percent sure it was Copernicus.
Then, Captain Dariusz Zajdel of the Polish Police Central Forensic Laboratory made a reconstruction of his face from the skull found closely resembled portraits that showed a broken nose and a scar above the right eye.
Johann Sebastian Bach Was An Impressive Musician From A Young Age
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician during the Baroque Period in Europe. He came from a line of other composers, and although he was orphaned at the age of 10, he continued to practice music with many people around him, understanding that he was a prodigy.
His most famous works include instrumental compositions such as Brandenburg Concertos and Goldberg Variations and for vocal music St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B Minor. Since the 1800s, he is widely considered one of the greatest composers to have ever lived.
His Burial Site Was Unmarked
Initially, Bach was buried at Old St. John’s Church Cemetery in Leipzig. However, his grave went unmarked for almost 150 years. His remains were finally located in 1894 and then moved into a vault in St. John’s Church. but then the building was destroyed during the Allied Bombings during World War II. Afterward, his remains were moved to where they currently are located in a grave at St. Thomas Church.
Nevertheless, some doubt that the remains are actually Bach’s. A project to reconstruct Bach’s face was commissioned by The Bach House in Eisenach and was headed by Scottish forensic anthropologist Caroline Wilkins. The project showed he had rounded cheeks and expressive eyebrows, not too far off from his portraits.
King Henry IV Did Not Have An Easy Reign
King of England from 1399 to 1413, Henry IV was the first English King to learn English before French since the Norman Conquest. As King of England, Henry suffered from a series of rebellions and poor health in the later period of his reign.
In his later years, his eldest son, Henry of Monmouth, took over the country in 1410. Henry IV died in 1413 and was succeeded by his son Henry V, who would go on to do great things.
He Wasn’t Buried Alongside Most Kings Of England
Interestingly, Henry IV wasn’t buried at Westminster Abby, which was common at the time, but he and his wife were instead buried at Canterbury Cathedral. In their tomb, atop the tomb chest are alabaster pictures of Henry and his wife Joan who are crowned and in their ceremonial robes.
During an exhumation in 1832, it was discovered that Henry’s body was embalmed, which allowed historians to confirm that the effigies in the tomb were realistic portraiture of Henry IV. Using these findings, researchers were able to create a close portrait of what he might have looked like.
Jesus Christ Changed The Direction Of History
Historically, Jesus, otherwise known as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. Prophesized in the Old Testament and the key individual in the New Testament of the Bible, he is regarded as the central figure of Christianity, the world’s largest religion.
In the faith of Christianity, he is considered to be the Son of God. However, historians believe that he existed historically, although the man he was in real life versus how he is portrayed in the Bible has been heavily debated for ages.
His Appearance Is Relatively Unknown
Unsurprisingly, the New Testament provides no physical description of Jesus before his death. However, this isn’t unusual, as few people are given any. It’s believed that Jesus would have been rather unnoteworthy in his appearance and most likely would have looked like a typical member of the Jewish faith at the time, although possibly with an aged look considering his lifestyle.
Nevertheless, most scholars agree that Jesus most likely looked far different from how he has been depicted in Western culture. Today, some researchers have used their best judgment to recreate what he might have actually looked like. Here’s what they came up with.
Emperor Nero Had A Few Screws Loose
The fifth Roman emperor, Nero ruled from 54 to 68 AD, with his reign being marked by tyranny, debauchery, greed, and worse. He was adopted as heir by emperor Claudius, his great-uncle, and stepfather. Before he was 17, Nero succeeded Claudius, although his mother attempted to control his decision making, resulting in him having her killed five years later.
At first, Nero seemed to be a promising ruler, although as time passed, he slowly slipped into madness. Eventually, he was labeled as a public enemy and fled Rome, becoming the first Roman emperor to take their own life.
He Had Quite A Dramatic Death
After being made an enemy of the state, Nero fled Rome where he found refuge in a villa. As the soldiers of Rome came closer to his destination, Nero prepared himself for suicide, although he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Constantly muttering “What an artist dies in me,” he finally had his private secretary Epaphroditus perform the task.
He died on June 9, 68 AD, and his body was was buried in the Mausoleum of the Momitii Ahenobarbi. Although there are numerous statues and painting of the ruler, what did he really look like? In 2019, Spanish artists created a rendering of Nero based on the busts and other artwork available.
Maximilien Robespierre Is Credited With Sparking The Reign Of Terror In France
Widely considered to be one of the most influential figures of the French Revolution, Maximilien Robespierre was a French lawyer and statesman that argued for universal manhood suffrage including the abolition of celibacy for the clergy and slavery.
A member of the Committee of Public Safety, he signed 542 arrests in the spring and summer of 1794, and his enactment of law 22 resulted in the execution of a number of individuals during the height of the Reign of Terror. Eventually, his actions and supposed goals led to suspicion among his own followers.
He Got Ahead Of Himself
During the French Revolution, it seemed that Robespierre became obsessive over his ideals, making him a bit of a liability for the cause. This resulted in both members of the Convention and the French public against him. Robespierre and his allies were then arrested, with Robespierre having his jaw broken in the process.
In the following days, around 90 people were executed, including Robespierre, thus marking the end of the Reign of Terror. A facial reconstruction project took place in 2013 under pathologist Philippe Charlier and Philippe Froesch, who used Robespierre’s death mask that was created from his severed head by Madame Tussaud.
Cleopatra Was The Queen Of The Nile
A member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, Cleopatra VII Philopator was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt. She was a descendant of Alexander the Great and the first of all the Ptolemaic rulers to learn the Egyptian language, among many others.
Eventually, Cleopatra and Marc Antony became involved in the Final War of the Roman Republic against Octavian. Their fleet was destroyed at the Battle of Actium, leading Octavian to invade Egypt. This led to both Cleopatra and Antony taking their own lives.
She’s A Cultural Icon
Today, Cleopatra’s legacy continues, as she is the subject of countless works of art throughout history, including statues, poetry, paintings, and Medieval and Renaissance literature. She has also been the subject of operas and theatrical plays over the centuries. Even today, she is the key figure in Hollywood films and advertisements for commercial products.
Because of her reputation throughout history, it’s only appropriate that a 3D artist would use the evidence they have to recreate what Cleopatra may have looked like. Although she is typically portrayed as the essence of beauty, it’s believed that she had stronger features than most people initially thought.
George Washington, The Father Of The United States
The first President of the United States, George Washington is a Founding Father of the country, a statesman, and an incredibly successful military leader. Before his time as president, Washington was a key leader in the United States’ War for Independence, winning numerous decisive victories against the British.
He also presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which established the United States Constitution as well as a federal government. Following his death, he was eulogized as “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”
His Death Is Still Debated
What caused Washington’s death has been the subject of debate for years. Some claim that his death had been the result of medical malpractice and that he may have bled to death.
Other medical experts believe that he may have died from a severe case of epiglottitis that was further worsened by the treatments that he was given and from blood loss most likely caused by hypovolemic shock. Washington was buried in the family vault on Mount Vernon, and his remains, along with portraits, were used to create a realistic rendition of what he may have looked like.
Richard III Was The Last King Of House York
Richard III was the king of both England and Ireland between 1483 until his death in 1485. Although this was a short reign, he was the last king of House York and the final of the Plantagenet dynasty.
His army was finally defeated at the decisive Battle of Bosworth Field, in which he lost his own life as well. This was one of the final battles in the War of the Roses and marked the end of the Middle Ages in England, sparking a transition in the country.
His Body Was Lost For A Period Of Time
Although there are several portraits and statues to go off of, historians and experts couldn’t get ahold of his remains because they had been lost after his death at the Battle of Bosworth Field. It wasn’t until 2012 that researchers finally discovered his burial location, which was beneath a parking garage.
After his body was exhumed, members of Dundee University staff helped to bring his image to life. They relied on his bones, portraits, and physical descriptions to come up with their facial rendition.
Queen Elizabeth I
Otherwise referred to as Good Queen Bess, The Virgin Queen, or Gloriana, Elizabeth I was the Queen of England and Ireland from 1558 until she died in 1603. She was the last of the five rulers from House Tudor.
Elizabeth was actually a relatively progressive ruler, considering the types of monarchs that her father and brother had been. Her reign eventually became known as the Elizabethan era, resulting in a new appreciation for the arts, with William Shakespeare and other notable writers making a name.
She May Have Died From A Broken Heart
Unfortunately, in autumn of 1602, Elizabeth’s health began to fail after losing a number of close friends which drove her into a deep depression. As if things couldn’t get any worse, in 1603, she also lost Catherine Carey, Countess of Nottingham, the niece of her cousin Lady Knollys, which was especially hard for her.
By March of that year, she became increasingly ill and died on March 24, 1603, at Richmond Palace. She was interred in Westminster Abbey, and scientists have done their best to recreate what she may have looked like during her reign.
Julius Caesar Helped Establish The Roman Empire
Born in 100 BC, Julius Caesar is regarded as one of the most well-known figures during the Roman era. During his life, he climbed the ranks to become an accomplished general and a statesman, with his direct actions leading to the fall of the Roman Republic and the establishment of the Roman Empire.
After being proclaimed “dictator for life,” he angered many of the elites and general population, which eventually resulted in his demise, regardless of what he had done for Rome.
His Death Is One Of The Most Famous In History
On March 44 BC, also referred to as the Ides of March, Julius Caesar was assassinated by a number of senators including his close friends Brutus and Cassius, who led the revolt. To this day, he is frequently referred to in literary and artworks, with his political philosophy, known as Caesarian, influencing modern politicians.
Being one of the most prominent figures of the ancient world, it’s no surprise that historians have gone to great lengths to create an image of what he might have actually looked like.
Simón Bolívar Is Comparable To Hannibal And Alexander The Great
Simón Bolívar, also known as El Libertador, was a military and political leader from Venezuela. After being sent off at 16 to receive an education in France, the Enlightenment went on to inspire him to overthrow the reigning Spanish in colonial South America.
After defeating the Spanish monarchy, he was involved in the first union of independent nations in Latin America, for which he was president from 1819 to 1830. Bolívar fought in over 100 battles. Throughout his campaign, he rode on horseback 70,000 kilometers which is more than Hannibal, Alexander the Great, and Napoleon.
He Resigned From The Presidency
Simón Bolívar resigned from the presidency on April 27, 1830, with plans to leave the country and start over again in Europe. However, on December 17, 1830, he died of tuberculosis at the age of 47. On his deathbed, he requested that all of his correspondence be destroyed. However, his wish wasn’t granted, which has given historians incredible insight into both his mind and intimate relationships.
Simón Bolívar’s remains were buried in the cathedral of Santa Marta, and in 1842, twelve years later, were moved to the cathedral of Caracas with the remains of his wife and parents. Today, we might have an idea of what he looked like from the evidence found.
Saint Anthony Is Considered The “Doctor Of The Church”
Saint Anthony, otherwise known as Anthony of Lisbon, was a Portuguese Catholic priest that was born in 1195 AD. Born into a wealthy family, he was regarded by his contemporaries for his incredible knowledge of scripture and his devotion to the care of both the poor and the sick, although they go hand in hand.
For his dedication to the faith, he was one of the most quickly canonized saints in the history of the church and was named the Doctor of the Sick on January 16, 1946.
He Died Young
In 1231, Anthony fell ill with ergotism and made his way to the woodland retreat at Camposampiero with two other friars. However, he died on his way back to Padua in June 1231 at the Poor Clare monastery at Arcella at the young age of 35. On his request, he was buried at the small church of Santa Maria Mater Domini.
His body was exhumed just 30 years after his death, and it was discovered that the majority of his remains had turned to dust. However, experts from the University of St. Anthony of Padua’s Anthropology Museum did their best along with the help of a 3D designer to help recreate his image.
Mary Queen Of Scots Was Dealt A Bad Hand Of Cards
Mary, Queen of Scots ruled over Scotland from 1542 to 1567 and was the only surviving child of James V of Scotland. Mary was just six days old when her father died, in which she ascended the throne. During her childhood, she spent the majority of her time in France while Scotland was ruled by her regents. She became the queen consort of France during that time.
When she became of age and after tumultuous reign, she eventually fled to seek protection from her cousin Elizabeth I of England. Elizabeth saw her as a threat to the English crown and had her confined for eighteen and a half years until she had her executed in 1587.
She Was Refused Her Burial Requests
After Mary’s rather violent execution, her request to be buried in France was denied by Elizabeth. Instead, her body was embalmed and left in a lead coffin until her burial in a Protestant funeral at Peterborough Cathedral in July of 1587. In 1612, her body was exhumed and was reinterred in Westminster Abbey across from Elizabeth.
Recently, Professor Wilkinson of Dundee University referred to the queen’s drawings and paintings to create a 3D image of Mary. She also drew from the biographical accounts of the queen to help her in the depiction.
Meritamun Can Be Found All Over Egypt
A name which means “Beloved of Amun”, Meritamun was both a daughter and layer the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Ramses the Great. To this day, Meritamun is known for her limestone statue named the White Queen that was discovered at the Ramesseum, which is the temple complex that her father had constructed.
She is also featured in several other monuments throughout Egypt, which demonstrates the immense impact that she had on the ancient culture.
She Was Buried In A Special Place
Meritamun’s remains were discovered at QV68 in the Valley of Queens. The inscriptions on her tomb show that she was the Queen of Osiris, King’s Daughter, among several other titles. Today, her sarcophagus lid is in Berlin, and analysis shows that not much is known about her actual appearance.
Yet, it was found that she must have had dental issues due to the tooth decay that experts had found in her skull. Nevertheless, artists have still managed to come up with their best vision of the queen.
Tut Is One Of The Most Well Known Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs
Tutankhamun, better known as Tut, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, and the last of his lineage to rule Egypt at the end of the 18th Dynasty. Ascending the throne when he was just nine years old, he ended up marrying his half-sister, although they lost both of their children.
During his reign, he re-established the Ancient Egyptian religion abolished by his father and went to work restoring old monuments from the Amarna period. Today, he is regarded as one of the most well-known pharaohs for the wealth that was discovered within his tomb.
Historians Were Blown Away When They Discovered His Tomb
In 1922, Howard Carter came upon Tutankhamun’s essentially completely intact tomb. The excavation was covered worldwide by the press and had an astonishing 5,000 artifacts inside. This discovery is also credited with reigniting the immense interest in Ancient Egypt that remains today.
Furthermore, upon inspection of Tut’s body, it was revealed that the young pharaoh was physically disabled, which included a deformity in his left foot, bone necrosis, and other issues such as scoliosis and several strains of malaria. So, while the cover of his sarcophagus may be impressive, the 3D rendition of Tut is much more realistic considering how he would have actually looked.
William Shakespeare Changed The Direction Of Literature In History
Considered to be one of the greatest writers in English history, William Shakespeare was a poet, actor, and above all playwright, which most people know him for. In England, he is referred to as “the Bard,” with his prolific writing accumulating to an estimated 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two narrative poems, along with another collection of small works.
His writings have been translated into almost every major language on Earth and have been performed more than any other writer. Although there is controversy surrounding his life, he is regarded as one of the greatest linguists to have ever lived.
His Portraits Were Kind To Him
After analyzing a death mask supposedly of Shakespeare, in 2010, Dr. Carolin Wilkinson of Dundee University came up with a rudimentary basis for what this bard might have looked like. Using the death mask, she was able to reconstruct an image of the writer that is something most people might not have expected.
While there are only a few true portraits of Shakespeare, few people argue that this is what he might have looked like during the time when he was creating some of his most timeless works.
“Hilda” Is Now Called The Ancient Druid
Unfortunately, during the Iron Age, the average lifespan of a woman was approximately just 30 years of age. However, a body now referred to as “Hilda” was discovered on Scot’s Isle of Lewis. She is believed to have lived between 55 BC and 400 AD, dying at around twice the age of her fellow people, in her 60s.
Incredibly, after finding her remains, Karen Fleming from the University of Dundee managed to create a 3D print of her face using what she could from the skull that was found. Through careful measurements of the skull, they believe they have a close idea of what she may have looked like in her older years.
The Mycenean “Griffin Warrior”
In 2015, a tomb was uncovered that is believed to be from the Bronze Age, approximately from 1450 BC. Inside of the tomb were around 14,00 objects, and upon further inspection, archaeologists found the remains of a full skeleton.
As if this finding wasn’t interesting enough, the researchers also noticed an engraving on the tomb that baffled the experts. From their knowledge, the male skeleton belonged to a Mycenean warrior or priest, and today, it is considered one of the most important discoveries by the Greek Ministry of Culture.
The Potential “Griffin Warrior”
From the remains that were discovered in the tomb, it is estimated that this “Griffin Warrior” was around five-foot eight-inches in height, a build that was typical for the time and region. Furthermore, a skull found that physical anthropology Lynne Schepartz and Tobias Houlton from the University of the Witwatersrand went to work on the reconstruction of this mysterious warrior’s face.
They concluded that he had a very pronounced jaw and that his eyes were close to each other. They then paired that with descriptions of people from the same reasons o come up with their finished product.
The Lady Of Cao Is An Incredible Pieve Of South American History
Currently, the title of “The Lady of Cao” belongs to a female Moche mummy that was discovered at the site called El Brujo, which is located in the La Libertad Region of Peru. The mummy was discovered in 2006, by a team of archaeologists under the National Cultural Institute of Peru, with investors involved.
The mummy itself was covered in tattoos and placed with a number of ceremonial items that included weapons and jewelry. There was also another young female body which is believed to be a human sacrifice. The significance of the lady of Cao is that she is assumed to have been a high-ranking priestess or possibly a ruler.
She Was A Young Woman
After her body was discovered, a modern autopsy was performed, which showed that the Lady of Cao was in her mid-twenties and possibly died due to complications during childbirth. Her discovery is considered one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the Moche people.
In 2017, a collection of culture officials and archaeologists revealed a reconstruction of her face using 3D technology and forensics archaeology. They based their creation on the mummy’s skull, which took ten months to finish.
The Lord Of Sipán Was An Incredible Discovery
Discovered in 1987, the Lord of Sipán is the name given to the first of numerous Moche mummies that were found at Huaca Rajada, Peru. Today, the discovery of the Lord of Sipán is considered by many experts to be the most important archeological discovery in South America in the last 30 years.
The tomb was found almost completely intact and hadn’t fallen into the hands of thieves. A museum opened in 2002 that was then built nearby to hold all of the many artifacts found in the fourteen tombs in the area.
He Was A Man Of Great Importance
After careful analysis of the skeleton, it was discovered that the Lord of Sipán was around five-feet and three-inches tall and approximately 35-45 years old. The jewelry that he was adorned with included a headdress, facemask, a pectoral necklace featuring the head of a man, and the body of an octopus, nose rings, earrings, among other impressive artifacts.
Using DNA testing, the archeological research team was able to get a good idea of what the Lord of Sipán looked like, including his skin color, the form of his lips, hair, eyes, and other prominent facial features. From this information, they were able to create a realistic reconstruction.
Giovanni Battista Sidotti
Born in 1668, Giovanni Battista Sidotti was an Italian priest, Apostolic Missionary, and member of the Pontifical Congregation of Propaganda Fide. At one point, during the Edo period, he snuck into Japan illegally disguised as a samurai in hopes of converting some of the Japanese.
However, he was eventually discovered and was arrested. He then spent the rest of his life in confinement until his death. Arai Hakuseki published Seiyō Kibun, which were writings based on the conversations that he had with Sidotti.
Life After Being Arrested
After being arrested, because he could teach religion at the prison he was held in called Kirishitan Yashiki, he was exempt from torture. Furthermore, he wasn’t exactly cared for like a prisoner either. He was given special treatment and more space in the house than anyone else. His guards were an older couple who were former Christians although renounced their faith.
However, when Sidotti attempted to convert them once again, he was moved to an underground cell and was there until he died in 1741 at the age of 46. Sidotti’s remains were discovered in 2014, and Tokyo’s National Museum of Nature and Science was able to reconstruct his face using his skull.