8 Of The Most Deadly Female Warriors And Rulers Throughout History
History is full of brave and powerful women who took it upon themselves to defend their nation.
But even amongst these there are 8 warriors and leaders of state whose legacies have long outlived them. Go ahead, ask them if it’s “that time of the month”, we dare you.
#1 Tomoe Gozen, Japan
Even though modern media makes the Samurai out to be a bit of a sausage fest, there were ladies involved as well. Known as onna-bugeisha or “female samurai”, the most famous of these ladies is Tomoe.
She was a prominent fighter in the Genpei War which lasted from 1180 to 1185. She was known to be terrifying on horseback with a deep love for lopping off people’s heads.
Eventually, she retired after her mentor died and married a man who we presume was one of the most diligent husbands in history.
#2 Queen Boudicca, Britain
Boudicca was the wife of Prasutagus, the leader of a Celtic tribe. And then her husband died and left his kingdom to his daughters and his Roman allies. Way to be vague on that, genius.
The Romans, however, did not believe in a woman’s right to inherit, so they did the one thing they could and decided to invade Boudicca’s land. They reportedly harassed her people and raped her daughters in a brutal show of power.
Boudicca did not retreat though. Calling on all the neighbouring tribes, she formed an army and rode out with them to fight. With an army of around 100,000, they slaughtered a whole bunch of Romans till the emperor almost considered ditching Britain altogether.
She was eventually defeated by a Roman legion though, and her fate from then is unknown.
#3 Trieu Thi Trinh, Vietnam
Born in the Trieu Son district of Nothern Vietnam, TTT didn’t exactly have it easy. Her entire region was occupied by the Eastern Wu Kingdom of China. Raised by her brother and his wife as a slave, she eventually escaped to the forests.
And then like the world’s most violent Disney princess recruited the woodland creatures to form a deadly army.
By woodland creatures, we mean disgruntled men who were tired of the Chinese. She then casually liberated an area of Vietnam and claimed it for herself. And then went on to defeat multiple advances of the Wu kingdom.
Legend has it she fabulously rode out to battle on the back of an Elephant in glittering golden armour.
#4 Jhalkari Bai, India
Rani Laxmibai is one of India’s best-remembered warriors, gender notwithstanding. But her lieutenant Jhalkari Bai was a warrior worthy of equal respect.
A Dalit woman, she was the leader of a female Dalit fighting group called the Durga Dal. The wife of a soldier, she was said to be skilled in archery and sword fighting as well. She even used her resemblance to the Queen to trick British forces, who thought they had captured Rani Laxmibai only to discover it was Jhalkari.
#5 Ahhotep I, Egypt
Egypt was the kind of place where female rulers wore fake beards to show their domination. So kudos to Ahhotep because we’re sure that wasn’t comfortable.
Leading Egypt into the eighteenth century, Ahhotep took over after the death of her father and was instrumental in driving the Hyskos invaders out of Egypt. She was famous for motivating Upper Egypt to drive out invaders and for getting fugitives and deserters to regroup under her banner.
And if that wasn’t enough, her tomb was decorated with depictions of her killing of Hyskos soldiers with a battle axe. Must have been that time of the month.
#6 Tamar, Georgia
Known as Tamar The Great, she ruled over what has come to be known as “The Golden Age” in Georgia.
The first woman to rule Georgia, she was awarded the title mepe or “King”. Her ascension was not an easy one, but she used her elite military and aggressive foreign policy to cement her power. She was married twice because she got her first husband expelled after he tried multiple times to take over her throne.
As the leader of her military, she quelled the neighbouring Muslim states and took over the Armenian capitals of Ani and Dvin and founded her own empire near the Black Sea.
#7 Artemesia Of Caria, Greece
The ruler of Ionia, Artemesia was a counsellor to the Persian king, Xerxes.
She is best remembered for her role in the ironically named Battle of Salamis. She famously told the King not to fight the Greeks in open water, but he went ahead with it anyway, so she was given command of five ships during the battle.
During the battle, her ships were cornered, so she attacked one Persian ship, making the Greeks think she was on their side and because Xerxes wasn’t paying extra close attention, he thought she defeated a Greek ship. He then famously proclaimed, “My men have turned into women and my women into men!”
#8 Zenobia, Syria
Septima Zenobia was known for leading her army on horseback in full armour and under her leadership, they pushed back a majority of Roman Emperor Claudius’ army from the region. Armenia, Persia and Arabia were allied with her when she declared herself the Queen of Egypt.
Claudius passed the throne on to Aurelius who sent legion after legion to conquer her keep, and after four long years, her capital of Palmyra fell. She along with other rulers of her allied provinces were paraded through the streets of Rome in chains.
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