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Trung Trac and Trung Nhi
Sisters who led an army on elephant-back to overthrow oppressive Chinese rule and establish a short-lived Vietnamese kingdom.
The first Japanese woman to go to college didn't have a choice. But the experience changed her - and she changed Japan in return.
A phenomenally successful archaeologist who became a fashion icon for wearing men's clothing.
When a firebreathing shapeshifting hippo menaced her people, this shaman faced it down in a magic battle - and then hurled it into space.
Catalina de Erauso
After escaping from a convent, this swashbuckler had the strength to chase her dreams: which were apparently to drink, fight, and womanize.
The actual hero of the Ali Baba myth, this slave girl saves the titular character by singlehandedly dispatching the forty thieves - without him even knowing.
After disguising herself as a man to be the physician women needed, she was put on trial - and won.
When her brother was killed, this pharaoh took her time cooking up revenge.
The first naval admiral of modern times, she protected her country from foreign invaders with aplomb.
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.