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Khawlah bint al-Azwar
When Byzantine forces captured her brother, this warrior poet donned the outfit of a black knight and went on a bloody rescue mission.
When horse-riding Spaniards invaded, she defied her tribe to befriend one of the abandoned horses, using her new bond to fight off the Spanish.
Ludicrously over-accomplished athlete who invented flying ambulances and won the only gold medal ever awarded by the French Academy of Sports for "all sports" - yes, all of them.
Ida Laura Pfeiffer
Starting her travels at 45 years old, this globetrotter became a worldwide sensation for going boldly where no woman had gone before.
This undefeated half-Spaniard fencer was a household name in the 1800s - only to vanish into retirement (and obscurity) when she ran out of people to fight.
Socialite turned sniper turned socialist politician - Ireland's first woman elected to office had quite a life.
Sor Juana Inés de La Cruz
This brilliant poet rose from illegitimacy and poverty to become one of the luminaries of her age - until she flew too close to the sun.
When the Portuguese took the throne from her, this Angolan queen made a new one: out of her own servant. She then fled to the jungle, conquered a tribe of cannibals, and waged war on the Portuguese for so long that they gave up and left.
This revolutionary martyred herself to help rid China of the Qing dynasty.
The first naval admiral of modern times, she protected her country from foreign invaders with aplomb.
Sigrid the Haughty
When some scrubs hit on her, she burnt them alive. When a king slapped her across the face, she obliterated his kingdom. Sigrid the Haughty was not to be messed with.
United Hawaii under one rule, abolished ancient taboos, and led negotiations with the fledgling United States.
This unlikely heroine created her own Woman's Army of 70,000 soldiers through good manners and political savvy - and then used it to overthrow one of China's greatest douchebags.
Olga of Kiev
Brutal princess-turned-Christian saint who burnt down enemy towns using pigeons.
Nanny of the Maroons
Led colony of escaped slaves and protected them from the English using borderline supernatural abilities.