There have been numerous women throughout history who have done incredible and courageous things. Many times, we overlook the contribution of these amazing women of antiquity. If women are going to appreciate our history and where we come from, we should be willing to appreciate the women who helped to shape the world. From the Britain to Japan, there have been women who have stood along their male counter parts to influence, lead, and defend their land and people.
Known as the warrior queen, Boudicca was a Celtic queen who lived in Britain during the time of the Roman invasion and died in 60 A.D. Her husband was the King of the Iceni people at the time of the invasion. The Romans allowed him to maintain his power and rule but, upon his death they took his land and all his power. In response to the confiscation of the throne and their lands, Boudicca led a successful uprising destroying many Roman strongholds in Britain and led her people into battle in defense of their lives. Though she was later defeated she drove the Roman's out of her land for some time. Why don't young girls know about her?
Nefertiti was a queen of Egypt and queen to Akhenaten. She lived circa 1370-1336 B.C.E. during this time the religious establishment of Egypt was changing. Ancient Egypt was one of the few civilizations who gave women an equal place in society allowing them to do great things. Her role in the kingdom was a Secretary of State type of role, while her King focused on the religious overhaul. She handled foreign affairs and helped stabilize the government in a time of turmoil and change in ancient Egypt. How awesome was she?
3. Lady of Cao
She was a high powerful priestess and queen who ruled over the Moche people of Peru. She conducted violent rituals and ruled her city state alongside other high priests and priestesses of neighboring states. Even the ancient people of Peru understood the importance of equality.
4. Nakano Takeko
She is one of the only documented female samurais of Japan. She was well studied in martial arts and literature. She led a unit of fellow female patriots into battle during the Boshin War (1868-1869) even though the army would not formally recognize the women as part of the army. After the battle, her unit was recognized and referred to as the "Women's Army". That took guts.
It is time to give the women of antiquity a little bit of respect.
5. Joan of Arc
She was just a peasant in medieval France living during difficult times. She believed that one day God spoke to her and told her that she was to be the one to lead her people into battle against their English rival. Because of her courage she eventually gained approval from the Prince and heir to the crown. She found victory against the English and saw the Prince crowned King. Shortly thereafter, she was captured and burned and the stake by the enemy for witchcraft and heresy.
Across different cultures and through different times, all these women exemplified a fighting spirit and an enduring female inspiration that will live on forever in history. If I can teach one young girl about the incredible women of antiquity then this was well worth writing.