The last fluent speaker of her language, she's spent years preserving and teaching it to others.
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The Valiant Ladies of Potosi
Eustaquia de Souza and Ana Lezama de Urinza, two sword-and-gun-toting lesbian teen vigilantes - 17th century Bolivia's answer to Batman.
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Widowed young queen who led a fearsome rebellion against the British with her child tied to her back.
One half of the odd couple of Crimean nursing - the jolly black businesswoman who swore by folk remedies, in stark contrast to Florence Nightingale's by-the-book Victorian approach to medicine.
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.
The illegitimate daughter of a minor noble, after losing her husband, she became one of the most powerful and fierce women in Italy - commanding troops, insulting Machiavelli, and fighting Cesare Borgia with unmatched ferocity.
Sonya Golden Hand
Russia's greatest female thief was so slippery that even once she was re-captured after escaping from a Siberian prison, nobody was totally sure it was her.