Who Was the Most Powerful Woman in Ancient History?
As the #MeToo movement takes center stage, we asked historians to look to the past for lessons from powerful women.
From politics to the Oscars, the #MeToo movement is spotlighting the nature of women’s relationship to power. Why are traditional positions of power still closed to so many? How do women work within those systems (or against them) to achieve their own agency?
It’s no challenge to find inspiring women doing powerful work in today’s world. But it’s also worth remembering that those living here and now aren’t the only names to draw from.
Though the records that reach us aren’t necessarily an accurate picture of what life was like thousands of years ago—in a narrative dominated by men writing about men, women often only appear when they’re being vilified—history is replete with powerful women. [How much do