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Prudence Jones

queen of Egypt, was the last ruler in the Ptolemaic dynasty, which held power in Egypt from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE until the death of Cleopatra in 30 BCE. The Egyptian ruler referred to as Cleopatra was Cleopatra VII, daughter of Ptolemy XII, one of Alexander the Great’s Macedonian generals.

The identity of Cleopatra s mother is not known for certain She may have been the daughter of Ptolemy XII and his first wife Cleopatra V Cleopatra V disappears from the historical record sometime before 68 BCE however and it is unclear whether this disappearance occurred before or after Cleopatra s birth in 69 BCE It is possible that Cleopatra s mother may have been a concubine of Ptolemy XII who himself was the son of Ptolemy IX and a concubine The third option is that Cleopatra was the daughter of Ptolemy XII s second ...


Joyce Tyldesley

consort of Akhenaten (formerly known as Amenhotep IV; r. c. 1352–1336 BCE), the tenth pharaoh of Egypt’s Eighteenth Dynasty. She lived with her husband and six daughters at Amarna, where she played an important role in the worship of the solar deity known as the Aten.

Nefertiti s origins are obscure We know that she had a younger sister Mutnodjmet who appears in contemporary scenes depicting the Amarna court but she had no other known relatives Her name which translates as the Beautiful Woman Has Come hints that she may have been a foreigner maybe a foreign princess who literally arrived in Egypt to marry the king But Nefertiti s name was not extraordinary and as the lady Tiy wife of the courtier Ay claims to have been Nefertiti s nurse it is now generally accepted that Nefertiti was born a member of Egypt s wealthy elite Circumstantial evidence suggests ...


According to the First Book of Kings in the Bible, the Queen of Sheba learned of the wisdom of King Solomon and came to Jerusalem to test him “with hard questions.” She arrived in a vast caravan, “with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones.”

Yemenis and Ethiopians both claim that the Queen of Sheba once ruled in their country. While an ancient kingdom of Saba did flourish in South Arabia (present-day Yemen) some centuries after the reign of Solomon, growing rich from the spice trade, ancient inscriptions reveal that there was also a kingdom in Ethiopia known by the dual name Da’amat and Saba. The incense, or spice, that grew in South Arabia also grew on the other side of the Red Sea.

The Ethiopian claim to the Queen of Sheba is detailed in the famous epic Kebra Nagast The Glory of Kings It ...


Kathleen Sheldon

the last queen of the Merina Empire in Madagascar (r. 1883–1897), was born Princess Razafindrahety, daughter of Andriantzimianatra, and was educated by Protestant missionaries. She first married Ratrimo, a nobleman who died in 1883. Later that year the ruling Queen Ranavalona II died, and Razafindrahety was named queen, taking the name Ranavalona III. She followed the pattern of the previous queens by marrying the prime minister, Rainilaiarivony, who was the actual ruler and a leading convert to Christianity.

Despite her limited ceremonial role, Ranavalona III was involved in the maneuvering that led to the French conquest of Madagascar. She signed a treaty with France in 1885 that gave the French certain rights and concessions and led to the declaration of a French protectorate over the entire island Though she sent gifts to US President Grover Cleveland seeking American help in fending off French interests the United States ...


Hanna Rubinkowska

empress of Ethiopia (r. 1916–1930), was born Askala Maryam on 29 April 1876 in Inewari, the third and youngest child of Emperor Menilek II. Her mother, Abchiw of Wello, was one of Menilek ‘s consorts. Zewditu’s birth caused Menilek’s wife at the time, Bafena, to take military action against her husband.

As a child, Zewditu stayed at her father’s court under the care of Bafena. In 1882 when she was six she married the son of Emperor Yohannes IV Ras Araya Sellase who was about thirteen years old The marriage was arranged for political reasons as it was meant to bind the interests of the then king of Shewa Menilek with those of Yohannes and was related to the taking of Wello Province from Menilek by the emperor who then gave it to Ras Araya These northern domains played a role in the ties linking Zewditu with the ...