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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.
This undefeated warrior princess refused to marry unless her suitor could defeat her in wrestling - if he lost, he owed her 100 horses. In the end, she had 10,000 horses and no husband.
When her husband became deathly ill, this pregnant teen took the reins to become America's first female boat commander - all while fighting off a mutiny and keeping her husband alive.
An Inuit woman so strong nobody could even beat her lice in arm-wrestling, her story just gets stranger the closer you look.
Ida B. Wells
One of the first anti-lynching advocates, she risked her life for decades to report on the truth when nobody would believe her.
This single mom developed the field of Mexican archaeology, while fiercely protecting it from the sleazy and opportunistic.
United Hawaii under one rule, abolished ancient taboos, and led negotiations with the fledgling United States.
Born without arms or legs, this artist learned to write, sew, and paint with her mouth - and came to work for kings and queens.
Instigated a massive "women's war" against British taxation, the effect of which was one part protest movement, one part comedy roast, and one part block party.
When a government magistrate unjustly killed her son, this unassuming middle-aged wife spent years raising an army to topple that same government.