This ranking of the richest people of all time is based on hours of interviews with academic economists and historians.

10. Genghis Khan (Lots of land)

An example of how wealth cannot be limited to monetary value, the Mongolian leader comes in at the bottom of the exclusive list. His claim to glory? It happens to be the vast amounts of land he owned from his rule over what would become the world’s largest contiguous empire. An admirable quality about the formidable ruler was that he built no palace, temple or tomb, unlike other wealthy rulers of his time.

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9. Bill Gates ($78.9 Billion)

We could not even imagine a list of the world’s richest without the Microsoft founder but he almost didn’t make it. Unlike the others, his position on the list and amassed wealth was relatively easy to determine so he is the only sure thing here. Gates may be the wealthiest man alive but he certainly has a long way to go if he wishes to top this list and it doesn’t look like he does.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates (L) looks on during a news conference at company headquarters in Redmond, Washington June 15, 2006. Microsoft announced that effective July 2008 Gates will transition out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. After July 2008, Gates will continue to serve as the companyÕs chairman and an advisor on key development projects. Robert Sorbo/Microsoft/Handout

8. Alan Rufus a.k.a Alan the Red ($194 Billion)

The nephew of William the Conqueror, Alan the Red joined his uncle in the Norman Conquest. Upon his death, he is believed to have had a mere £11,000 to his name; however, this amounted to nearly 7% of England’s GDP. On balance, in today’s terms, Alan the Red can be legitimately be considered one or the richest of all time.

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7. John D. Rockefeller ($341 Billion)

He first built his wealth in 1863 by investing in the petroleum industry at the age of 27. Two decades later, his company was in control of 90% of America’s oil production. By 1918, he was estimated to be worth nearly 2% of U.S GDP. His wealth also includes the iconic Rockefeller Centre in the heart of New York City.

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See also: Top 5 most expensive engagement rings

6. Andrew Carnegie ($372 Billion)

Originally a Scottish immigrant, the steel magnate sold his company to J.P Morgan for $480 Million (2.1% of U.S GDP). In terms of 2014, this makes Carnegie richer than Rockefeller by a little bit over $31 billion, though they are on a level playing field in terms of iconic buildings bearing their name. Carnegie Hall anyone?

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5. Catherine the Great ($1.5 Trillion)

She assumed power after her husband’s assassination in 1762 and from then the Russian ruler amassed not only considerable wealth and land but also political power. With an empire valued at nearly 5% of the global GDP, the longest-reigning female Russian monarch certainly deserves a place among the elite.

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4. Joseph Stalin ($7.5 Trillion)

Time stated that it was difficult to differentiate between the wealth of the dictator and that of the Soviet Union. This is simply because his control of the USSR was so complete that he was able to leverage the country’s economic might for any reason he saw fit. Three years before his death, USSR made up nearly 9.5% of the global GDP, making it one of the richest nations in the world.

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See also: Largest rough diamond worth more than 70 million

3. Emperor Shenzong (25 – 30% global GDP)

Clearly we are stepping into the big league here with our top three. Our third in line to the crown of richest people of all time is Chinese Emperor Shenzong. As the leader of China’s economically powerful Song Dynasty, Emperor Shenzong held considerable control over the economy. A main source of its wealth came from technological innovations and tax collection that were ahead of its time.

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2. Augustus Caesar ($4.6 trillion)

To put the Roman Emperor’s wealth into perspective, imagine being in-charge of an empire that produced 25 – 30 % of the world’s economic output. Now imagine having one-fifth of that amount as your personal wealth. As if that wasn’t enough, Stanford professor Ian Morris concludes that he personally owned all of Egypt, for a while.

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1. Mansa Musa (Richer than anyone could describe)

The top of our list is none other than Mansa Musa. You know you’ve made it when no one can describe how rich you are. The King of Timbuktu presided over what was the largest producer of gold in the world, when gold was in high demand. The best description that has been given is in the form of pictures that depict him holding a sceptre of gold, on a throne of gold, holding a cup of gold with a golden crown.

Richest People of All Time

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