Theodora (c.497-548) was born in Constantinople – modern day Istanbul. In her remarkable life she became probably the most powerful woman in Byzantine history. Little is known about her early years, and it is hard to sort fact from fiction in such a colourful story.
The daughter of a bear keeper at Constantinople’s hippodrome, Theodora was put to work there herself at an early age as an actress, dancer, mime artist and comedian. Performing for hundreds of spectators, by the age of 15 she was a successful performer. She was also (as most actresses of the time were) prostituted, and gave birth to her first child aged just 14. Continue reading Empress Theodora
From Queen to King: The Story of King Hatshepsut
In Ancient Egypt, a young girl did something unprecedented: she declared herself Pharaoh, King of Egypt. This young girl is King Hatshepsut. Her architectural and economic achievements are prolific, but were nearly lost in the annals of history.
Hatshepsut was born circa 1508 BCE; she was the daughter of King Thutmose I and his Great Royal Wife, Queen Ahmose. Hatshepsut grew up in a world of privilege and held great power and influence. She held the religious title of God’s Wife, which meant she was a link between the people and Amen-Re, the chief god in Egyptian theology.
Continue reading Hatshepsut – The Shero King