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What is religion? Mark Twain said, "Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain of." St. Augustine evaded giving an answer at all. Perhaps for the true believer it is the relation of human beings to God or the gods or to something they feel is sacred but which provides a context for life. From the Pharaoh Akhenaten in c.1320BC, religion has been a way to control the masses by making them believe in a future reward. Napoleon realised that all religions are man-made and have the benefit of keeping the poor from murdering the rich. Hitler and Stalin both used the Church cynically for their own personal benefit, sure that science would eventually destroy all religions. This book looks at the powerful men without any religious conviction themselves who had the greatest influence. It includes such figures as Alexander the Great and Cyrus of Persia, both Messiahs to the Jews, Constantine, the father of Christianity who remained a pagan until his deathbed and Mohammed who forgot his Jewish connexions and beliefs.