Women Of Ancient Egypt
In the midst of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we felt it was important to recognize the role of women in society – specifically of Ancient Egypt. It is understood that Egypt treated its women better than any of the other major civilizations of the ancient world. Women in ancient Egypt were well ahead of their time. Egyptian women could have their own businesses, own and sell property, serve as witnesses in court cases, or even rule an entire country!
Here are three women rulers of Ancient Egypt that deserve a loud shout-out:
1. Hatshepsut: Queen of Egypt, 15th century B.C.
Hatshepsut was a powerful political person in Egypt even before she assumed the title of Pharaoh. She had a peaceful reign promoting trade and the arts. Her beautiful temple at Deir el-Bahri still stands west of Thebes.
2. Nefertiti: Queen of Egypt, 14th Century B.C.
Nefertiti was the powerful wife of Akhenaton, who worshiped a new religion honoring only one God, Aten. She later rejected this religion, backing her half-brother who re-established the old worship of the sun-god Amon. Her beauty was immortalized in exquisite sculptures made at the time.
3. Cleopatra: Queen of Egypt, 69-30 B.C.
Cleopatra was the ambitious last ruler of the Macedonian Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. In her struggles to win the crown and keep her country free, she sought the support of Julius Caesar, bearing him a son. For a time she lived in Rome. Later, she won the protection of Rome through an affair with Mark Anthony, and had three children with him. Financing his failing military campaigns, both she and Anthony were defeated in a battle against Octavian in 31 B.C. A lesser known fact is that Cleopatra was highly educated and possessed an impressive intellect, being a student of philosophy and international relations.