Women have always had important roles in history, no matter the era or geographical location in the world. They have held important positions in society in various demographics and cultures. Many times, history remembers the men who have been elemental in warfare and battle. It would seem that only men have been at the forefront of the important wars and conquests that have altered the course of history. But in all actuality, there are very many women who have played important parts in some of the most pivotal battles and wars in our world’s history. These women fought with courage, and led their armies with integrity and tactical skill. Their strategy and sharp wit led their villages, communities, countries and their people into battle, some times victorious, some times defeated, but always with honor and valor for their culture and country. These women were those who broke tradition and rebelled against the societies that attempted to confined them to the home during their eras. They struggled but successfully broke free of the traditional roles they were assigned to, and served as great warriors, leaders and fighters for their countries. If you are ready to learn about these inspiring women, here are the top 10 fierce women warriors of the ancient world.
Fu Hao (d. C. 1200 BC)
One of 60 wives of the Empire Wu Ding of the Shang Dynasty of China, Fu Hao served as a military general and high priestess. She led 13,000 soldiers and is honored as one of the most fierce military leaders of her era.
Tomyris (f. 530 BC)
Tomyris was the Queen of the confederation of nomadic tribes called the Massagetae, which was located near the Caspian Sea. She is well known for her battle against Cyrus the Great of Persia.
Artemisia I of Caria (fl. 480 BC)
Artemisia was a Greek Queen of Halicarnassus. She was an ally to and helped fight with Xerxes I, King of Persia. She personally commanded 5 ships in the Battle of Salamis.
Cynane (c. 358 – 323 BC)
Daughter of King Philip II of Macedonia and Illyrian Princess Audata, and sister of Alexander the Great, Cynane was very highly trained in the art of war and was well known throughout the region as a skilled warrior.
Olympias and Eurydice (317 BC)
Olympias was the mother of Alexander the Great, and she is said to have stopped at nothing to ensure that her son would secure the throne. She was a Queen who was known to be cut throat and have a dicey kingdom full of debauchery. She went toe to toe with another strong queen, Adea Eurydice. These two battled it out in 317 BC, and it was the first time in Greek history that two opposing enemies faced each other in battle, with armies led by women.
Queen Teuta (fl. 229 BC)
Queen Teuta was the Queeen of the Ardiaei tribe located in Illyria. She was not one to tolerate disrespect and started what would become the First Illyrian War with Rome, all because a Roman diplomat disrespected her and she had him killed.
Boudicca ( d. 60 and 61 AD)
Boudicca was the Queen of the British Celitic tribe called Iceni, and led an army against the Roman Empire in Britain. She did this because the Romans dismissed her husband’s will, which was to descend rule of his kingdom to his daughters along with the Roman empire.
Trieu Thi Trinh (ca. 222 – 248 AD)
Known as Lady Trieu, this fierce woman was a warrior of Vietnam, which has a larger than life persona. It is said that she was over 9 feet tall and would ride an elephant while in battle.
Zenobia (240 – c. 275 AD)
Zenobia was the Queen of the Palmyrene Empire called Syria. Within only 2 years of her reign, she secured Egypt from the Roman Empire.