Cleopatra is not the only one.. the stories of 4 other women who ruled Egypt

Despite her fame, Cleopatra was only one of several women who ruled Egypt, and they have stories that may rival the details, intrigues and dramatic events of this ruler’s life story.

Queen Cleopatra was famous for her beauty and intelligence, and was the last ruler of Egypt from the Macedonian Ptolemaic dynasty, where she ruled between 51 and 30 BC. She was a descendant of Ptolemy I, a Macedonian Greek who seized the eastern part of Alexander the Great’s empire, which included large parts of Egypt, the eastern coast of the Mediterranean and southern Anatolia.

But despite her permanent fame, Cleopatra was only one of several women who ruled Egypt, and they have stories that may compete in their details, intrigues and dramatic events, the life story of this ruler, which ended with suicide by the poison of a snake, as confirmed by one of the accounts of her death.

Among these women, the “Middle East Eye” website reviewed (Middle East Eye) The British stories 4 of them:

Shajarat al-Durr forces managed to capture one of the main Crusaders, the French King Louis IX (communication sites)

Elder tree

Under the rule of Shajarat al-Durr, Egypt moved from the rule of the Ayyubids, whose origins go back to the Islamic leader Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi, to the Mamluks, an elite of slave warriors who hailed from the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Little is known about the early years of Shajarat al-Durr’s life, but accounts say that she was probably of Circassian, Greek or even Bedouin origin, and was most likely born in Armenia around 1220 to a family of Turkish nomads (Kipchaks).

Although its origins are not known with certainty, what is known about Shajarat al-Durr is that it ended up as a nation within the Ayyubid court, and it is said that its name was given to it to express its breathtaking beauty.

Shajarat al-Durr became a slave of Sultan al-Salih Najm al-Din Ayoub, and it is said that she was so close to him that he took her with him during his military trips. Shajarat al-Durr gave birth to a son named Khalil, but he died at an early age.

As her husband’s constant companion, Shajarat al-Durr developed a strong understanding of military strategy and politics, a knowledge she used when the Sultan died of illness during the Crusader attack on Egypt.

European forces had hoped to overthrow the Sultan’s dynasty and use Egypt as a springboard to enter Jerusalem, but Shajarat al-Durr – who ruled Egypt alone for 80 days – took charge of the Ayyubid military forces and succeeded in repelling the invasion, so that its forces were able to capture one of the main Crusaders leaders, the king French Louis IX.

Sitt al-Mulk, ruler of the Fatimid dynastySett al-Malik, ruler of the Fatimid state, her father used to consult with her and take her opinion on political matters (communication sites)

set the king

Sett al-Mulk was born in Tunisia to Nizar al-Aziz Billah, the fifth Fatimid Caliph, to a Christian mother of Byzantine origin, and moved to Cairo when the Fatimids moved their capital to Medina in 973 AD.

Sett al-Malik was her father’s favorite girl, and some sources indicate that he consulted her and took her opinion on political matters. When she was 26, her father died and her 10-year-old half-brother Al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah took the throne.

The two brothers are said to have had a strained relationship with differing views on how to treat non-Muslims and women. When the ruler disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and was later declared dead in 1021 AD, his 16-year-old son, al-Zahir Billah, installed a new caliph, and Set al-Malik was regent to the throne, a position she held for two years until her death. She was known for her financially disciplined management of the Fatimid Empire, as well as her liberal and tolerant policies toward non-Muslims.

HatshepsutHatshepsut worked as a pharaoh to build monuments and encouraged arts (communication sites)


Hatshepsut ruled Egypt for more than two decades in the 15th century BC, and was a member of the 18th Pharaonic dynasty. She was the daughter of the third Pharaoh Thutmose I, who married her brother Thutmose II when she was almost 12 years old. After his death, she became guardian of her husband’s son, Thutmose III, who was the son of Thutmose II from another woman.

As a pharaoh, Hatshepsut built monuments and encouraged the arts. She appears in many sculptures, and is sometimes presented as a man with muscles and a beard.

While leading military campaigns in Nubia at the beginning of her rule, Hatshepsut’s foreign policy focused largely on trade rather than war. Under its rule, Egypt also imported trees from the land of Punt (currently Somalia), and they were used in the production of myrrh, a resin produced from tree sap used in medicine and perfumes and as a preservative in Egyptian burial rituals.

Hatshepsut stepped down as regent after Tuthmosis III assumed full power, and the new ruler proceeded to acknowledge her achievements and try to delete her name from the historical record. The former Egyptian queen was buried in the Deir el-Bahari temple in Western Thebes.

Zenobia, queen of PalmyraZenobia, the queen of Palmyra, after the death of her husband, took control of Egypt, Syria and parts of Anatolia (communication sites)


Zenobia was queen of Palmyra, a city in the Syrian desert famous for its temple ruins, and lived in the 3rd century AD during Roman domination of the Near East. She was famous for her beauty, strength and intelligence, and she spoke Latin, Greek, Syriac and Coptic Egyptian.

Zenobia married Odenathus, ruler of Palmyra, when she was 14 years old, and when he died in 267 or 268, she became regent for their son, Phapalathos.

Within a few years of her husband’s death, she took control of Egypt, Syria, and parts of Anatolia (Turkey), and declared independence from Rome.

Losing Egypt as a major grain supplier to the empire was unbearable for Rome, and Emperor Aurelian soon sent an army to the east in order to end the rebellion and defeat Zenobia’s army of tens of thousands of soldiers.

At its height, Zenobia’s territory stretched from modern Ankara in the north to southern Egypt in the south, and from the borders of Libya in the west to northern Iraq in the east.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.