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Category Archive: Rulers

Anne of Brittany – Twice Queen of France

Anne of Brittany - Twice Queen of France

Anne of Brittany – Twice Queen of France


Anne of Brittany led the duchy of Brittany after her father, the duke, died in 1488. As the wife of two French kings, she played a significant role in the political and cultural life of France during the early years of the Renaissance. The French king Charles VIII took control of Brittany and married Anne in 1491. This led in time to the union of Brittany with France. Charles died in 1498, and the following year Anne married his successor, Louis XII. During Louis’s reign, Anne made great efforts to encourage the arts. She brought poets, painters, decorators, and translators to the court to enhance the image of the king. Anne’s daughter Claude became the wife of one French king, Francis I, and the mother of another, Henry II.
The Duke of Brittany Francis II had no sons. So, he had to raise his daughter Anne, who was born on January 25, 1477, as heir to the throne. As a result, she received an atypical education for a medieval girl. She studied foreign languages, rhetoric, logic. And the duke usually solved political problems in her presence.
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Jane Grey – Queen for nine days

Jane Grey - Queen for nine days

Jane Grey – Queen for nine days


Jane Grey stands alone among the monarchs of England. Her reign was too brief from 10 July until 19 July 1553. In folk tales, she is called the Queen for nine days, the first Protestant martyr, the victim of the English Counter-Reformation. In numerous works of the XIX century, Jane Grey is the ideal woman of the Victorian era.
Our heroine was born and lived during the heyday of the Reformation. This period is considered the brightest in the history of Foggy Albion. A quarrel of Henry VIII with the Pope was the beginning. The head of the Roman Catholic Church refused to legalize the divorce of the king with his first wife Catherine of Aragon. The monarch was offended, and in 1534 the parliament decided to free the English church from subjection to Rome. As a result of the Reformation, the state received free land and funds confiscated from the Church. This allowed to equip the fleet, which managed to defeat the Spanish Invincible Armada. England became the mistress of the seas. But it was a time of political instability.
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Alexander Nevsky – Russian leader

Alexander Nevsky - Russian leader

Alexander Nevsky – Russian leader


Alexander Nevsky was the Russian leader, prince of Novgorod and grand prince of Vladimir. He was an outstanding military leader and statesman. He protected Russia against European invasion during the Middle Ages. Alexander defeated the Swedes at the Neva River. His heirs ruled Russia until 1917.
Alexander was the son of Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, Prince of Pereiaslavl and Novgorod. In 1236 his father moved to Kiev and Alexander succeeded him as prince of Novgorod. Alexander Nevsky knew Latin and Greek, and one of his favorite books in his childhood was biography of Alexander the Great.
Alexander had to guard the western frontiers from the Swedes and the Germanic Sword Knights of Livonia. On July 15, 1240 Alexander defeated the Swedes at the mouth of the Neva River.
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Roksolana – Hurrem Sultan

Roksolana - Hurrem Sultan

Roksolana – Hurrem Sultan


Suleiman the Magnificent was just a toy in the hands of this woman. She became one of the cruelest rulers.
Even in her lifetime there were a lot of rumors and gossips. According to some sources, Roksolana was Russian. However, some historians think she was Ukrainian, the Frenchmen assure that she was French, Italians – that she was Italian and so on.
The main events of this woman’s life remained in documents, legends, memoirs of Europeans who visited the court of the Sultan. It is known that she was 15 years old when she appeared in the Sultan’s harem. The young red-haired girl was not only beautiful, but also cunning and insidious.
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French king Charles VII

French king Charles VII. 1403

French king Charles VII. 1403


The French king Charles VII ruled from 1422 to 1461. His reign witnessed the expulsion of the English from France and the reestablishment of a strong French monarchy after the disasters of the Hundred Years War, 1337-1453.
Charles VII was born on February 22, 1403. He was the son of Charles VI and Isabelle of Bavaria. His father suffered from recurrent madness and implied that Charles was illegitimate.
Charles VI died in 1422 and Charles VII became the “king of Bourges”. Charles was sickly, physically weak, and personally unattractive.
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Alexander the Great – Greek king and conqueror

Alexander the Great – Greek king and conqueror

Alexander the Great – Greek king and conqueror


Alexander III, king of Macedonia, is known as Alexander the Great. He reigned over Greece, conquered the Persians, and marched as far as what are now known as Egypt, India, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. He succeeded in forging the largest Western empire of the ancient world.
Alexander was born in 356 BC in Pella, the capital of Macedonia. Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, gave him lessons. The boy’s main interest was war.
In 338 BC Alexander’s father, Philip II, brought all the Greek city-states except Sparta under his rule. Young Alexander commanded one part of the Macedonian army.
Philip II was killed in 336 BC and 20-year-old Alexander became king.
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Hatshepsut – Egyptian pharaoh

Hatshepsut – Egyptian pharaoh

Hatshepsut – Egyptian pharaoh


Queen Hatshepsut, along with Cleopatra and Nefertiti, is among the great rulers of Ancient Egypt. It was largely thanks to her that Egypt became the world power of her time. Her parents were King Thutmose I and Queen Ahmose. Hatshepsut married her half-brother Thutmose II.
Her father died in about 1482 BC and Hatshepsut came to power. During Thutmose II’s lifetime Hatshepsut was merely a principal queen bearing the titles King’s Daughter, King’s Sister, God’s Wife, and King’s Great Wife. In 1479 BC her husband died in the eighth year of his reign. Some historians later suggested that Hatshepsut had him poisoned to become the ruler herself. Thutmose III, her stepson, then became king, but he was too young to rule and she had begun to rule Egypt as regent.
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