The first one is Boudicca (or Boadicea). She was the queen of the Iceni tribe in Britain and led open rebellions against invading Roman forces. Her husband, Prausutagas died in 600 CE. He had been an ally of the Roman Empire. In his will, he left his entire kingdom to be split jointly between his two daughters and the Roman emperor Nero, in the hopes that this would keep his family and the Iceni safe. Instead, the plan spectacularly backfired. Roman centurions moved into Iceni territory, near present-day Norfolk, and terrorized the Iceni. Boudicca was publicly flogged and her two daughters were, molested. But neither of these horrific events severed to deter Boudicca from her mission. Under Boudicca's leadership, the Iceni rose up in rebellion, joining forces with several neighboring tribes. "Boudicca's forces burned Roman settlements of Camulodunum (Colchester), Verulamium, now St. Albans, and Londonium, which is modern London. Her army massacred 70,000 supporters of Rome in the process." As in most wars, it didn't end especially well for our heroine. "Eventually, she was defeated by Suetonius, and rather than surrender took her own life by drinking poison."
Second, on our short list, is Zenobia. She lived in the third century CE wand was married to King Odaenathus of Palmyra (now called Syria). "When the king and his eldest son were assassinated, Queen Zenobia stepped in as Regent to her 10-year-old son, Vaballathus. Despite her late husband's allegiance to the Roman Empire, Zenobia decided that Palmyra needed to be an independent state." In 270, Zenobia organized her armies and began conquering the rest of Syria before moving on to invade Egypt and parts of Asia. Finally, she announced that Palmyra was seceding from Rome, and declared herself Empress. Once again, it didn't end well for our lady warrior. "The Roman Emperor Aurelian marched east with his army to take back formerly Roman provinces from Zenobia, and she fled for Persia. However, she was captured by Aurelian's men before she could escape." Historians are certain what her fate was after that, but it's a likely possibility that she didn't live to tell about it. Still, she is considered to be one of the greatest and bravest of female warriors and queens.
Lastly, we'll take a look at is Queen Tomyris of the Massagetae. Like the others, Queen Tomyris was the widow of a dead king. Cyrus the Great, King of Persia, decided he wanted to marry Tomyris by force, in order to get his hands on her land—and that worked out for him, at first. "Cyrus got the Massagetae drunk at a huge banquet, and then attacked, and his forces saw a sweeping victory." Like all heroines, Queen Tomyris wasn't going to take this treachery lying down and challenged him to a second battle. "This time, the Persians were slaughtered by the thousands, and Cyrus the Great was among the casualties." I won't go into the gruesome details of what historians believe Tomyris did with the slain King Cyrus, but suffice it say, she sent a strong warning message back to Persia!
There were many other queens and women warriors throughout history. Mavia of Arabia, Rani Lakshmibai, Aethelflaed of Mercia, and Queen Elizabeth I, to name just a few, and just in case you want to learn more.
I'm rather excited about tomorrow's blog. I'll be looking at a few fascinating facts about pirates. Aye, aye matey! I know you won't want to miss that! Until then, I wish you