Women Who Rule

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Where do you go to find models of powerful women? Hatshepsut, Circe, Antigone — the ancient world was full of them, real and mythic. For thousands of years, women ruled the world. Today we barely know their names. Why? This week we rediscover the women of ancient myths and legends.

Hatshepsut statue, partially defaced
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For centuries, even the memory of Hatshepsut was erased. By the men who followed her. Now, Egyptologist Kara Cooney has written about the great Egyptian queen — a woman who should have become legend — as well as the many other women who ruled ancient Egypt.More

Length: 
10:33
Circe
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In Homer's "The Odyssey," Circe was a Greek goddess who turned Odysseus’ men into pigs. Today, Circe finally gets to tell her side of the story, thanks to novelist Madeline Miller.More

Length: 
11:28
Circe
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Circe, the all-powerful goddess from Homer’s “The Odyssey,” is known for turning men into swine, and for her mastery of potions. The artwork “Circe,” imagined by Romare Bearden, is a black woman surrounded by mystical animals and a skull, wearing West African garb with a calm but defiant look on her face.More

Antigone
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Writer, classicist, and stand-up comic Natalie Haynes makes a strong case for reading ancient Greek and Roman literature in the modern age.More

Length: 
7:23
Odysseus und Penelope
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Classicist Emily Wilson is the first woman ever to publish an English translation of Homer’s epic. "In some ways, it should be a story that's less about me than about why it has taken the English speaking world so long before there's been a complete published translation of "The Odyssey" by a woman."More

Length: 
10:18
Winged victory
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Religion scholar Serinity Young noticed the famous Greek statue "The Victory of Samothrace" in the Louvre Museum and couldn’t stop thinking about it. She spent more than 20 years investigating winged women and found them everywhere.More

Length: 
9:09
Women Who Rule
Articles

If our cultural and political history is a guide, women in power make us uncomfortable. We deal with that discomfort in one of two ways: making powerful women out to be villains — witches, demons, succubi, changelings — or erasing them entirely.More

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