Plutarch of Chaeronea (c.46-120 AD) was an influential Greek philosopher and writer known for his biographies of other famous figures, such as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Pericles. He studied at the Academy in Athens where he learned about Plato, but he was also interested in Aristotle's work, and that of other philosophers. He came from a wealthy background, allowing him to travel to Rome several times, as well as to Alexandria in Egypt. When he was older, he settled in his home town of Chaeronea in Boeotia to write, producing hundreds of books on a variety of subjects.
Adolphe Thiers (1797-1877) was the Prime Minister of France in King Louis-Napoleon in 1836. He first came to prominence in the 1820s, when he wrote his ten-volume history of the French Revolution. Thomas Carlyle famously said of this history that it was "as far as possible from meriting its high reputation", an opinion many have found justified by Theirs' disregard for the facts and his extremely prejudiced retelling of the events of the Revolution and the Napoleonic Era.
The reasons for the Bogucharovo peasants' decision to rebel against their orders to flee from Napoleon are left deliberately vague by Tolstoy. In reality, a significant number of Russian peasants rebelled as Napoleon approached as they believed that he would free them from serfdom. Tolstoy left out this motivation in his final draft of War and Peace as he did not want Napoleon to be associated with freedom in his readers' minds.