• Amina of Zaria

    Amina of Zaria

    Amina (ca. 1533-1610) was a brilliant warrior queen of the northern Nigerian Hausa state of Zaria. She is remembered in song as "a woman as capable as a man," which is rather understating the ...

  • Boudicca

    Boudicca

    Boudicca (first century; died around 61 CE) was one tough lady. This British queen fought a war of resistance against the Romans, and though she lost, her heroism has echoed down through the ages. ...

  • Carlota of Mexico

    Carlota of Mexico

    Empress Carlota (1840-1927) is one of the most intriguing and tragic figures in Mexican history. Born Charlotte of Belgium, she married Archduke Maximilian of Austria when she was only seventeen ...

  • Catherine the Great

    Catherine the Great

    Catherine the Great (1729-1796) was probably the best tsar Russia ever had. She arrived in the country as a teenaged German bride, and eventually took the throne in a coup that deposed her idiot ...

  • Christina of Sweden

    Christina of Sweden

    If you're unfamiliar with Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689), you might wonder why there are so many pictures of men in our main illustration. It's because Christina liked to dress as a man---not ...

  • Eleanor of Aquitaine

    Eleanor of Aquitaine

    Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204) was the greatest lady of medieval Europe. In her own right she was Duchess of Aquitaine and Countess of Poitiers, ruling over a large chunk of what is now France. By ...

  • Empress Theodora

    Empress Theodora

    How great was Empress Theodora (500-548)? This great: she outlawed wife-killing, banned sex trafficking and sex slavery, expanded women's property rights, gave mothers the right to raise their own ...

  • Esther

    Esther

    The Book of Esther is a subversive feminist tract masquerading as a Bible story. Okay, that probably isn't true, but by golly, it feels true. Esther, the eponymous heroine, is a courageous young ...

  • Fu Hao

    Fu Hao

    Before Mulan, there was Fu Hao (ca. 1200 BCE). This Shang Dynasty queen was a remarkable figure: not only was she King Wu Ding's wife and the mother of his children, but she was also his chief ...

  • Grace O’Malley

    Grace O’Malley

    To the English, she was Grace O'Malley (1530-1603), notorious pirate. To the Irish, she was Gráinne Ní Mháille, Queen of Clew Bay, and her crews were just collecting taxes from the ships that ...

  • Hatshepsut

    Hatshepsut

    Hatshepsut (ca. 1508-1458 BCE) was an extremely successful pharaoh whose reign was full of accomplishments: important trade missions, gorgeous architecture, a booming economy. But the thing she's ...

  • Himiko

    Himiko

    Himiko (3rd century) was the first recorded ruler of Japan. The Chinese chroniclers described her as a great shaman queen who united 30 warring clans, established the imperial throne, sent ...