Inspiringly Powerful Ancient Queens Of The World From Various Kingdoms, Cultures And Civilizations.
Queen Makeda Of Sheba.
The queen is first mentioned in I Kings 10:1-13 and in II Chronicles 9:1-12 in the Bible, then in the later Aramaic Targum Sheni, then the Quran, and finally the Ethiopian work known as the Kebra Negast; later writings featuring the queen, all religious in nature, come basically from the story as first told in the Bible.
There is no archaeological evidence, inscription, or statuary supporting her existence outside of these texts.
In the biblical tale, the queen brings Solomon lavish gifts and praises his wisdom and kingdom before returning to her country.
Precisely where she returned to, however, is still debated as the historian Flavius Josephus (37-100 CE) famously identified her as a queen of Ethiopia and Egypt but the probable (and most commonly accepted) dates for Solomon argue in favor of a monarch from southern Arabia; even though no such monarch is listed as reigning at that time.” Ancient
Queen Hatshepsut Of Egypt.
“Hatshepsut was a female pharaoh of Egypt. She reigned between 1473 and 1458 B.C. Her name means “foremost of noblewomen.”
Her rule was relatively peaceful and she was able to launch a building program that would see the construction of a great temple at Deir el-Bahari at Luxor.
She also launched a successful sea voyage to the land of Punt, a place located somewhere on the northeast coast of Africa, where they traded with the inhabitants, bringing back “marvels.” Live Science
Queen Cleopatra VII Of Egypt.
“Cleopatra VII ruled ancient Egypt as co-regent (first with her two younger brothers and then with her son) for almost three decades.
She became the last in a dynasty of Macedonian rulers founded by Ptolemy, who served as general under Alexander the Great during his conquest of Egypt in 332 B.C.
Well-educated and clever, Cleopatra could speak various languages and served as the dominant ruler in all three of her co-regencies.
Her romantic liaisons and military alliances with the Roman leaders Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, as well as her supposed exotic beauty and powers of seduction, earned her an enduring place in history and popular myth.” History
Queen Amina Of Zazzau.
Zazzau refers to the Zaria emirate which is a traditional state with headquarters in the city of Zaria in Kaduna state in Nigeria. Zazzau was one of the seven Hausa city-states which dominated the subsaharan trade after the collapse of the Songhai Empire at the end of the 16th century.
Its wealth was due to the commerce of leather, textile, horses, salt, kola, cloth, and metals imported from the East.
As a toddler, Amina was already attending state business on her grandfather, the king’s laps.
At the age of 16, Amina was seen as a potential contender to her mother’s throne (Magajiya), the queen Bakwa of Turunku. Amina started to learn the responsibilities of a queen from her mother: taking part in daily assemblies with high dignitaries of the kingdom.
Even though her mother’s reign had been one of peace and prosperity, Amina chose to learn military skills from the warriors.” AfroLegends
Queen Merneith Of Egypt.
“Merneith was a consort and a regent of Ancient Egypt during the First Dynasty. She may have been a ruler of Egypt in her own right, based on several official records. If this was the case, she may have been the first female pharaoh and the earliest queen regnant in recorded history.” Wikipedia
Her relationship with the latter is clear, as some sources grant her the title of “King’s Mother”, one of the oldest known attestations of this title. She is assumed to have been a wife of Djet, who may also have been her brother or half-brother if both were children of Djer.
She is the only queen buried in a tomb indistinguishable from the king’s tombs at Umm el-Qa’ab. The impression of a seal dated to the reign of Den or his immediate successor, Anedjib, which lists the kings buried at this site, includes Merneith, along with her title “King’s Mother” just after Horus Den.
Queen Ranavalona I Of Madagascar.
“Ranavalona I, Queen of Madagascar (c. 1788–1861) ruled that large Indian Ocean island with dictatorial ruthlessness from 1828 until her death.
Yet she is noted as one of the few African leaders who succeeded in keeping foreign powers at bay during a period when colonial expansion put much of Africa under European rule.
The true story of Ranavalona’s reign has been difficult to establish. She was illiterate, and accounts of her activities have been told throughout history from people who either mistrusted her or were her outright enemies—Christian missionaries whom she persecuted and exiled, the few Europeans whom she allowed to remain on the island as she consolidated her power, and travelers and traders who viewed her as bloodthirsty and at various times plotted to destabilize her regime.
Yet there is general agreement that she was responsible for the deaths of thousands of people whom she suspected of opposing her, and her level of paranoia increased as she grew older.
Little is known of Ranavalona’s origins; she is thought to have been born on Madagascar in 1788, and may have been named Ramavo.
Her ancestry, like that of many other members of the island’s dominant Merina ethnic group, was probably mostly Indonesian; Madagascar’s language and culture, denoted by the adjective Malagasy, are more closely connected to Southeast Asia, from whence prehistoric colonizers had come, than to the African mainland. She was a commoner, not part of any hereditary noble family by birth. Notable Biographies
Queen Nitocris Of Egypt.
“Queen Nitocris (Neterkare or Nitiqrty – “The Soul of Re is Divine”) left no archaeological record. She is known to us only from Manetho and Herodotus and she may be the shaddowy “nitiqirty” (or “neterkare”) listed the Turin Canon.
The Queen took her revenge on the murderers and then took her own life. Nitocris was the beautiful and virtuous wife and sister of King Metesouphis II (Merenre II), an Old Kingdom monarch who had ascended to the throne at the end of the Sixth Dynasty but who had been savagely murdered by his subjects soon afterwards.
Nitocris then became the sole ruler of Ancient Egypt and determined to avenge the death of her beloved husband-brother.” Ancient Egypt Online
Queen Nandi Of The Zulu.
She was one of the greatest single parents who ever lived. Nandi kaBhebhe eLangeni was the warrior mother of Shaka Zulu., the famed leader of the Zulu in South AfManthatisirica.
She battled slave traders as well and trained her son to be a warrior. When he became King he established an all-female regiment which often fought in the front lines of his army.
When confronted by animosity, rejection, insults, and humiliation, she nevertheless raised her son (Shaka) the best way she could — never to give up on life —to have strength of will, and to believe in his destiny. She raised him to believe in the power of unity, and in the concept of “We are the same”.
Nandi devoted her life to her son and his siblings, protecting them the best she knew how, seeking refuge, and later finding him the best mentors in Dingiswayo and Ngomane, amongst others.” Sola Rey
Queen Nefertari Of Egypt.
The first chief queen of Ramesses the Great, her stunning tomb is a testament to the high regard in which her husband held her.
Like his predecessors, Ramesses II had an entire harem, but at any one time, just one wife was given the rank of chief queen. His very long reign saw one consort die after another and Ramesses would ultimately take eight principal wives.
The first and most beloved of these was Queen Nefertari. Thought to be an Egyptian noblewoman, Ramesses married Nefertari in 1312 BC and she soon gave him his first son, Amenhirwenemef – the first of 11 children.
Although Ramesses was primarily in love with himself, he was also devoted to Nefertari and wrote at length of his love and her beauty. He demonstrated this by building her a magnificent tomb, the finest in the Valley of the Queens. PBS.ORG
Queen Amanishakheto Of Nubia.
Amanishaketo(also written Amanishaket, or Amanikasheto or Mniskhtein meroitic hieroglyphs) who reigned from around 10 BC to 1 AD. Candace Amanishaket was an extremely wealthy and powerful queen.
She succeeded to Candace Amanirenas who was also a great warrior queen (and will be the subject of another post). She built considerable pyramids and temples at Wad Ban Naqa, where she was buried with great treasures. Her residence and several temples were based there.
Her palace is one of the largest treasures identified at Wad ban Naqa. It was 61 m long, and covered an area of 3700 m2 with the ground floor made up of over 60 rooms.
The palace originally had a second floor as indicated by the remains of columns found on the ground floor, and may have contained an atrium or other structure.
Inside Amanishakheto’s grave, the Italian treasure hunter Ferlini discovered an amazing quantity of golden artifacts such as armlets, necklaces.
The treasure found (or what has been recovered) contained ten bracelets, nine shield rings, sixty seven signet rings, two armbands, and an extraordinary number of loose amulets and necklaces, especially made for queen Amanishakheto created by Nubian artists from her kingdom.
Amanishakheto defeated a Roman Army sent by the first emperor of the Roman empire, Augustus, (who broke a peace treaty) to conquer Nubia. She was a strong, and powerful woman, and a great pyramid builder.
Her tomb at Meroë was one of the largest ever built. She is often depicted on pyramid murals as a massive, powerful woman, covered with jewels, elaborate fringed, tasseled robes, and carrying weapons in one hand, preparing to lead her army against others. Afro Legends
Quuen Ahhotep I Of Egypt.
“A few surviving records show that Ahhotep was a woman who was stronger, braver, and a more powerful ruler than the average man. Her thrilling story starts in the Egyptian Middle Kingdom and ends in the storage rooms of the famous Cairo museum.
The Second Intermediate Period is one of the most underrated times of ancient Egypt. There are countless forgotten stories of women and men whose mummies found a safe harbor in the tomb DB320.
The story of Ahhotep is full of gaps, but the bits and pieces that can be ascertained show a woman who knew no limits when she lived millennia ago.”
Ahhotep was a daughter of Pharaoh Senakhtenre Ahmose and Queen Tetisheri. She grew up in a court where people were very aware of the royals’ power.
Her mother was a strong political player and an influential queen, and Ahhotep wanted to follow in her footsteps. With time, she gained an important role amongst the princesses and became her brother Sequenenre Taa II’s wife.
He was also one of Tetisheri’s sons and the husband of two of their sisters: Inhapy and Sitdjehuty. However, Ahhotep wasn’t made to be just one of many. She bore four children to the pharaoh and gained more power than her sisters.
Her political decisions and actions made in the court seemed to be an homage to her father and the continuation of his vision. Even her two daughters were named in his memory – Ahmose-Nefertari and Ahmose-Nebta. Ancient Origins.
Queen Anna Nzinga Of The Angola.
Queen Anna Nzinga, known also as Ana de Sousa Nzinga Mbande, was a queen of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms (occupying what is today the country of Angola in the southern part of Africa) who lived during the 16 th and 17 th centuries AD.
Queen Nzinga is best remembered for her resistance against the Portuguese, and setting her people free from slavery.
Queen Nzinga is believed to have been born during the first half of the 1580s. Nzinga’s father, Ngola Kiluanji Kia Samba, was a ruler of the Ndongo people.
In the same year that Nzinga was born, the king began to lead his people against the Portuguese colonialists. These Europeans are said to have been raiding the territory of the Ndongo for slaves, due to the increasing demands of slave labor in their New World colonies, such as Brazil.
Additionally, the Portuguese were attempting to conquer areas where they believed contained silver mines.
According to one source, Ngola Kiluanji was deposed by his son, Mbandi, who was also Nzinga’s brother. The queen’s child is also said to have been murdered by the new king. Perhaps fearing for their lives, Nzinga and her husband fled to Matamba. Ancient Origins
Queen Arsinoe II Of Egypt.
“As queen of Thrace, then as wife to her brother, Ptolemy II, Arsinoe II gained great influence and power, and was honored with deification, her own throne name and her image on coinage.
Due to the fact that Alexander failed to name a successor, after his death, his kingdom was divided among his generals. Arsinoe II’s father, Ptolemy, received Egypt and Libya, and the family settled in Alexandria, the great city that Alexander had founded.
In Alexandria, Arsinoe II “probably received a finishing-school education,” historian Rebecca Bartholomew reports. When she was just 16 years old, she married Lysimachus, the 45-year-old leader of Thrace, a Greek province.
Lysimachus renamed Ephesus after Arsinoe II, and gave her cities on the Black Sea and Cassandreia, a city in northern Greece. The couple eventually had three sons: Ptolemy, Philip and Lysimachus Jr.” Finding Dulcinea
Queen Khentkaus I Of Egypt.
“Khentkaus I, also referred to as Khentkawes, was a queen of ancient Egypt during the 4th dynasty. She may have been a daughter of pharaoh Menkaure, wife of both kings Shepseskaf and Userkaf and mother of Sahure.
Her Mastaba at Giza – tomb LG100 – is located very close to Menkaure’s pyramid complex. This close connection may point to a family relationship, but it is not quite clear exactly what that relationship is.” Wikipedia
Queen Khentkaus II Of Egypt.
Khentkaus II was the wife of Neferirkare Kakai. Her pyramid complex was started during the reign of her husband, when her title was still that of king’s wife (hmt nswt).
The construction of her tomb was halted, possibly when her husband died, and was later resumed during the reign of her son. After the building was resumed her title was king’s mother (mwt nswt). Khentkaues is shown on a block with her husband Neferirkare and a son named Ranefer (B).[
A limestone fragment was found in the pyramid complex mentioning a king’s daughter Reputnebty, who is followed by a king’s son Khentykauhor. From context, Reputnebty was a daughter of Nyuserre and hence a granddaughter of Khentkaus. A further king’s son Irenre Junior (nedjes) is mentioned.” Wikipedia
Queen Twosret Of Egypt.
Twosret (Tawosret, Tausret, d. 1189 BC conventional chronology) was the last known ruler and the final Pharaohof the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She is recorded in Manetho‘s Epitome as a certain Thuoris, who in Homer is called Polybus, husband of Alcandra, and in whose time Troy was taken.
She was said to have ruled Egypt for seven years, but this figure included the nearly six-year reign of Siptah, her predecessor. Twosret simply assumed Siptah’s regnal years as her own.
While her sole independent reign would have lasted for perhaps one to one-and a half full years from 1191 to 1189 BC, this number now appears more likely to be two full years instead, possibly longer.
Excavation work by the University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition on her memorial temple (“temple of millions of years”) at Gournah strongly suggests that it was completed and functional during her reign and that Twosret started a regnal year 9, which means that she had two and possibly three independent years of rule, once one deducts the nearly six-year reign of Siptah.
Queen Arsinoe IV Of Egypt.
“Arsinoe was born to Ptolemy XII somewhere around 68/67 BC. The death of her father left her older sister Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy XIII rulers of Egypt, but Cleopatra was removed from power by her brother.
She went to Alexandria where she met Julius Caesar in 48 BC, who would aid her in her quest to regain power. Arsinoe, along with her mentor Ganymedes, declared herself pharaoh after aligning herself with the Egyptian army.
While Arsinoe at first was able to hold her ground against the Romans, she was ultimately defeated after Roman reinforcements were sent in.
After her defeat, Arsinoe was spared the traditional murder of prisoners of triumphs and was given sanctuary at the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus. Arsinoe and Cleopatra kept a wary eye on one another; the latter considered her sister a threat to her power, of which Arsinoe was very much aware.
Cleopatra ended this pseudo truce: In 41 BC, Arsinoe was murdered on the steps of the temple on the orders of Mark Antony (who acted at the behest of Cleopatra).” Anthropology
Queen Cleopatra III Of Egypt.
QName variations: Cleopatra III Euergetis. Born around 155 bce in Egypt; died in 101 bce; daughter of Ptolemy VI Philometor and Cleopatra II (c. 183–116 bce); married her uncle-stepfather Ptolemy VIII Euergetes; children: two sons, Ptolemy IX Philometor Soter II and Ptolemy X Alexander I; three daughters, Cleopatra Selene, Cleopatra IV, and Cleopatra Tryphaena (d. after 112 bce).
Cleopatra III was the daughter of Ptolemy VI Philometor and Cleopatra II of Egypt, who were brother and sister as well as husband and wife.
Cleopatra III’s political life began when she was very young, for as an infant she was betrothed (but not sent) to her uncle Ptolemy VIII Euergetes (the younger sibling of her parents), then established on Cyprus.
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