Shakespeare - not surprising as I'm an actress, but his words just make me salivate: you can taste them. ("If Shakespeare be the food of love, play on!")
Shakespeare's characters ("What a piece of work is a man") speak to people from his time on and he really knew how to use old material and pep it up for the masses. Provided a lot of material for others to keep pepping / peppering too. ;)
Thanks for the interesting question (after all, "nothing can come of nothing") - as you say, it's a very broad one, with plenty of possible answers. Definitely worth coming back to check up on.