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When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt

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This riveting paperback explores the lives of six remarkable female pharaohs, from Hatshepsut to Cleopatra, and shines a piercing light on perceptions of powerful women today.

Female rulers are a rare phenomenon—but thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, women reigned supreme. Regularly, repeatedly, and with impunity, queens like Hatshepsut, Nefertiti, and Cleopatra controlled the totalitarian state as power-brokers and rulers. But throughout human history, women in positions of power were more often used as political pawns in male-dominated societies. Why did ancient Egypt provide women this kind of access to the highest political office? What was it about these women that allowed them to transcend patriarchal obstacles? What did Egypt gain from its liberal reliance on female leadership, and could today's world learn from its example?

In this captivating narrative, celebrated Egyptologist Kara Cooney delivers a fascinating tale of female power, exploring the reasons why it has seldom been allowed through the ages—and why we should care.

ISBN-13: 9781426220883

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: National Geographic

Publication Date: 02-04-2020

Pages: 400

Product Dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

KARA COONEY is a professor of Egyptology at UCLA. Her academic work focuses on death preparations, afterlife beliefs, and gender studies. She has participated in digs with the Metropolitan Museum of New York at the Royal Pyramid complex of Senwosret III and the Theban Necropolis with Johns Hopkins University. Cooney's writing has appeared on and she presented a multi-city lecture tour in 2019. She was a lead expert in the popular Discovery Channel special The Secrets of Egypt's Lost Queen, and is a recurring team member of the History Channel's Digging for the Truth. Her book The Woman Who Would Be King was published in 2014.

Table of Contents

Ancient Egypt Chronology 6

Introduction: Why Women Don't Rule the World 9

Chapter 1 Merneith | Queen of Blood 23

Chapter 2 Neferusobek | The Last Woman Standing 59

Chapter 3 Hatshepsut | Queen of Public Relations 99

Chapter 4 Nefertiti | More Than Just a Pretty Face 161

Chapter 5 Tawosret | The Survivor 209

Chapter 6 Cleopatra | Drama Queen 253

Epilogue: Why Women Should Rule the World 311

Acknowledgments 321

Notes 327

Further Reading and Essential Resources 376

Index 391