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Old 06-26-2013, 01:39 PM
 
2,890 posts, read 5,749,060 times
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I say Helen Keller. Her contributions were not based on her gender, but her ability to overcome the immense barriers of isolation.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:10 PM
 
778 posts, read 921,378 times
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Pffft not a single one of those mentionned thus far had her own reality TV show
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:30 PM
 
4,885 posts, read 5,228,778 times
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Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Alice Paul who made it possible for women to vote.
Helen Keller and her teacher, Ann Sullivan.
Eleanor Roosevelt for her dedication and work for human rights.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:06 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,631 posts, read 13,089,753 times
Reputation: 15770
Default Okay, my turn ...

I have enjoyed reading your responses. Thank you.

Here is my choice.

Queen Cleopatra VII Thea Philopater - better known as simply Cleopatra. I would argue that she is the most famous woman of all classical antiquity. Few women in human history has inspired more controversy, books, plays, movies, operas, works of art, poetry as this great lady.

Cleopatra was the Hellenistic queen who was last of the Ptolemaic Dynasty to rule Alexandria and it's Egyptian and Middle Eastern kingdom. She was born into a decayed and corrupt kingdom that was bankrupt and diminishing in stature for a century. We know she was a brilliantly intelligent, ruthless, determined and savvy political stateswoman in just a few short years restored vast territories to build a powerful empire that caused great concern to the superpower of that age: Rome.

2,050 years after her death people all over the world are still reading about her, going to museum exhibits about her, watching dramas about her, debating whether she was beautiful or not, or whether she was black or white.

She was an intellectual. She spoke at least 9 languages fluently, and some have reported 12 languages. She astonished foreign kings and ambassadors by conversing with them in their native languages such as Persian (Parthian), Ethiopian or Hebrew. Her own native tongue was Greek. She was the first Ptolemy to actually learn Egyptian! She authored at least 2 books: one on the standardization of weights and measures, and another one on cosmetology. She introduced Caesar to her tutor Sosigenes of Alexandria who invented the "Julian" Calender. She built palaces and temples and shrines. Rich and powerful kings from the region courted her, but it was her two great affairs - with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony - that was the stuff of legends.

Physically beautiful ... we will never know. Some historians say yes (Cassius Dio, a Roman historian) some say no (Plutarch said she was merely above average). She did capture Caesar's and Antony's hearts ... and they could have had any woman. All agreed she possessed a bewitching charm and an elegantly regal demeanor that gave her true charisma. They say her voice was so beautiful that it was like listening to a multi-stringed musical instrument. Standards of beauty change over the years and generations anyway.

The life of Cleopatra is a panorama of legends and spectacles:

  • her ingenious first meeting with Caesar wrapped in a carpet (or bed linens) and smuggled into the palace of Alexandria during the civil war with her younger brother the king ...
  • her triumphant entrance into Rome, which was supposedly one of the greatest entrances in world history ...
  • her lifestyle of stupendous wealth and luxury; sumptuous banquets which were served on plates and platters of pure gold, inviting guests to take them home as 'souvenirs' and even dissolving costly pearls and drinking them in her wine ...
  • sailing in a gorgeous barge covered in silver and gold and with purple sails to meet Antony ...
  • finally, a dramatic end of suicide by snake bite after her military defeat by Octavian. She chose death over submission.
As William Shakespeare said in his play about her:



Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies.



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Old 06-26-2013, 03:13 PM
 
Location: PNW, Aspen, NY: CPS & Meadow Lane
3,316 posts, read 4,524,092 times
Reputation: 12422
Alva K. Vanderbilt gets my vote. She was a girl from Mobile, Alabama, who married a Vanderbilt, and helped transform the world. It is possible the Suffragette movement would have withered, if not for her money and power.

Alva is remembered mostly for building Marble House in Newport. http://www.jssgallery.org/other_arti...d_ballroom.jpg But her 'manie de batir' resulted in several other fortune-devouring mansions, including a romantic beachside castle on Long Island, which was used as a Suffragette headquarters. http://www.goldcoastmansions.com/ima...acontowers.jpg

Once she'd put a huge dent in the Vanderbilt fortune, she divorced William, and married an illegitimate Rothschild (the son of Caroline Perry and the mysterious 'financier', August Belmont). They moved into the rather luxe stables Belcourt Castle on Belmont's newport estate, and lived happily ever after, or at least until he died... probably from worrying about money....

Alva's social-climbing, prior to her Suffragette days, is also legendary. When Mrs. Astor, the reigning queen of New York's grotesquely vulgar "high society", snubbed Alva Vanderbilt, Mrs. V simply built the most fabulous mansion in New York http://newyorksocialdiary.com/i/part...15_13/131b.jpg , with a bigger ballroom than Mrs. Astor's little 'picture gallery'. Then, she neglected to invite the Astors to her first ball. That did the trick, and the Vanderbilts were "in". (Why they wanted "in", considering Alva and William had more money, and better bloodlines, than most of the rest of New York's despicable "high society" is beyond me)

And then, there's Alva's FORCED marriage of her daughter, Consuela, to the consummately vile old Duke of Marlborough. http://www.royanddarla.com/AscotAust...%20Charles.jpg The Duke hated her. But the rest of England's nobility adored her, recognized her grace and erudition, and welcomed her into their fold without reservation. So, I suppose, there was a happy ending.

But the Vanderbilt fortune's shoring-up of the Marlborough fortune may have resulted in a member of that family's becoming Prime Minister (Winston Churchill), just in time for his leadership to save England from Nazi Germany. Considering that England's elites have proceeded to disarm the populace, make self-defense all-but-illegal, and then to give away their nation to the scum of the earth, it is debatable whether Germany's conquering of England could have possibly have been as bad as what is now happening to The English People. A great many of the generation who struggled valiantly in the war against Germany are now saying that considering how things are turning out, they regret having bothered. http://l.yimg.com/ao/i/hp/news/2011/...630_110809.jpg

And considering that we women, having gained the vote, have voted with our hearts and not our heads, it is questionable whether Alva's championing of Women's Suffrage has resulted in a net gain for Western Civilization. My Grandmothers' generation elected the Kennedys (He had such nice hair. Jackie had such nice clothes...), who threw open our nation's borders. And we won't mention what my idiotic 'sisters' have done at the polls, in the last five or six years. Our sentimental, 'noble', voting habits, in all the Western Democracies, may well result in the end of Western Civilization.

Anyway, you could teach a college course in Alva Vanderbilt, with material to spare.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Montreal, Quebec
15,085 posts, read 12,694,148 times
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Catherine the Great. She was a force to be reckoned with.
You have to give kudos to a lusty woman who killed her feeble-minded husband and told the world he died from hemorrhoids.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
34,425 posts, read 63,696,291 times
Reputation: 57248
My vote goes to the Virgin Mary. I don't know how fascinating she is, but I'd love to meet the real woman behind the legend.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:28 PM
 
757 posts, read 561,717 times
Reputation: 1562
During the height of the Ottoman empire the title of Valide Sultan was held by the Kings mother and carried with it a large amount of influence in the internal workings of the Sultans court.
The most powerful of the Valides was a woman named Kosem, who ruled when her son was too young.


Women of History: Valide Sultans of the Ottoman Empire


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%B6sem_Sultan
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,786 posts, read 15,221,208 times
Reputation: 7960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
I have enjoyed reading your responses. Thank you.

Here is my choice.

Queen Cleopatra VII Thea Philopater - better known as simply Cleopatra. I would argue that she is the most famous woman of all classical antiquity. Few women in human history has inspired more controversy, books, plays, movies, operas, works of art, poetry as this great lady.

Cleopatra was the Hellenistic queen who was last of the Ptolemaic Dynasty to rule Alexandria and it's Egyptian and Middle Eastern kingdom. She was born into a decayed and corrupt kingdom that was bankrupt and diminishing in stature for a century. We know she was a brilliantly intelligent, ruthless, determined and savvy political stateswoman in just a few short years restored vast territories to build a powerful empire that caused great concern to the superpower of that age: Rome.

2,050 years after her death people all over the world are still reading about her, going to museum exhibits about her, watching dramas about her, debating whether she was beautiful or not, or whether she was black or white.

She was an intellectual. She spoke at least 9 languages fluently, and some have reported 12 languages. She astonished foreign kings and ambassadors by conversing with them in their native languages such as Persian (Parthian), Ethiopian or Hebrew. Her own native tongue was Greek. She was the first Ptolemy to actually learn Egyptian! She authored at least 2 books: one on the standardization of weights and measures, and another one on cosmetology. She introduced Caesar to her tutor Sosigenes of Alexandria who invented the "Julian" Calender. She built palaces and temples and shrines. Rich and powerful kings from the region courted her, but it was her two great affairs - with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony - that was the stuff of legends.

Physically beautiful ... we will never know. Some historians say yes (Cassius Dio, a Roman historian) some say no (Plutarch said she was merely above average). She did capture Caesar's and Antony's hearts ... and they could have had any woman. All agreed she possessed a bewitching charm and an elegantly regal demeanor that gave her true charisma. They say her voice was so beautiful that it was like listening to a multi-stringed musical instrument. Standards of beauty change over the years and generations anyway.

The life of Cleopatra is a panorama of legends and spectacles:

  • her ingenious first meeting with Caesar wrapped in a carpet (or bed linens) and smuggled into the palace of Alexandria during the civil war with her younger brother the king ...
  • her triumphant entrance into Rome, which was supposedly one of the greatest entrances in world history ...
  • her lifestyle of stupendous wealth and luxury; sumptuous banquets which were served on plates and platters of pure gold, inviting guests to take them home as 'souvenirs' and even dissolving costly pearls and drinking them in her wine ...
  • sailing in a gorgeous barge covered in silver and gold and with purple sails to meet Antony ...
  • finally, a dramatic end of suicide by snake bite after her military defeat by Octavian. She chose death over submission.
As William Shakespeare said in his play about her:



Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies.


great post, but in reality the importance of women varies inversely with historical distance. Plus history from 2000 years ago is inherently unreliable. Regarding Shakespeare, we have zero extant writings of his. There are still debates about who really authored his works, and that was only 400 years ago.

'Fascinating' is entirely subjective, but my vote would be for someone in the last 200 years. Maybe Maggie Thatcher, maybe even Oprah Winfrey.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:51 PM
Status: "Tell your loved ones you love them." (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Wonderland
54,573 posts, read 42,749,731 times
Reputation: 76121
Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
Now there is a big surprise.

Yes Katharine was one serious woman and Queen Consorts but her mark on history was more of about the events following her removal from power than what she did when she held it. It would be her divorce that would cause a seismic shift in the direction of Europe and the world. And of course without the divorce there would have been no Elizabeth Regina.


So getting back to Elizabeth R, as a young teenager Elizabeth had the wit and wisdom to avoid the fate of her mother on two separate occasions, first her association with Edward Seymour and then under the reign of her sister whose Catholic followers tried their best to rid England of the Protestant bastard child of Henry.
I admire her honor and integrity more than her mark on history.
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