2.7 A Girl’s Guide to Seizing Power

This episode is a retrospective look at Cleopatra, Wu Zetian, Elizabeth I of Russia, Catherine the Great, and Ranavalona. I discuss a three-step strategy that all of them used to get to power. Along the way, we hear about Musa of Parthia who also seized control, and Jeanne II of Navarre, who didn’t. This wraps up the series Women Who Seized Power.

Selected Sources and Images

Among my sources are Peter Lang Verlag’s paper on “Parthian Women in Flavius Josephus” and Capetian France, by Elizabeth M. Hallam.

Musa of Parthia, who may (or may not) have had the most extraordinary rise of power of all the women in this series, having started as a foreign slave and ending up queen regnant.

Image By Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.

This 18th century engraving shows Philip the Long ascending to throne of France over the pleas of the four-year-old Jeanne, who would otherwise have inherited the throne from her father Louis X. Being young, female, and possibly illegitimate, Jeanne just had too many strikes against her to succeed in a power play.

Image from the Louvre Museum

Title Image by klimkin from Pixabay

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