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Sex worker who became empress of the Byzantine Empire, and used her political power to safeguard her interests, and her…
One of the greatest pharaohs to ever live, she built up Egypt so much that a generations-long sustained effort to erase her from history couldn't do the trick.
Widowed young queen who led a fearsome rebellion against the British with her child tied to her back.
Born without arms or legs, this artist learned to write, sew, and paint with her mouth - and came to work for kings and queens.
Olympias of Macedon
The much-maligned woman fought tooth and nail to position her son, Alexander, to become "the Great" - and herself in the process.
Black, Muslim warrior queen of a tribe of griffin-riding Amazons - and the honest-to-god namesake of California.
3rd century Rome had a major woman problem. Her name was Zenobia, and she took over a huge chunk of their empire in her brief and tumultuous career as rebel queen.
Escaped slave turned slave rescuer turned plantation-torching Union spymaster, she was part Moses, part Joan of Arc, part Spider-Man.
Fannie Lou Hamer
This uneducated, impoverished activist suffered unbelievable abuse in her journey to be able to vote -- but that did not stop her.
Picked to be an impotent figurehead, this savvy intellectual quickly learned how to play politics and modernized the nation to ward off invasion.