Ching Shih

feministodyssey

Ching Shih was born in 1775 in the Guangdong province of China. She is widely regarded as the most successful pirate in history. Not much is known about her early life other than the year she was born and that her birth name was Shil Xiang Gu.

Ching Shih was a prostitute on a floating brothel until 1801 when she married a man named Cheng I, who came from a large pirating family. It is unclear if he married her because he loved her or as a power move, but either way she managed to get him to agree to give her a 50% share of his business during their marriage and leave her half of his fleet and his treasure if he chose to divorce her.

The couple adopted Cheung Po, a young man Cheng I had kidnapped, as their step-son and made him the heir to Cheng I’s…

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Leizu

feministodyssey

Leizu, or Empress Xi Ling Shi, was an empress of China in the 27th century BC. Much of her history is shrouded in myth, but she is said to have discovered how to make silk. The story of her discovery has many different versions, so I will tell my favourite one.

One day, while Leizu was having afternoon tea, she noticed some silkworms eating the leaves of mulberry trees and forming cocoons. She picked some fully-spun cocoons and sat down to have a drink. While she was having her tea, she dropped a cocoon into her cup and watched it unfurl in the hot liquid. Leizu became intrigued by the fine filament it produced, so she took her discovery to her husband, the Yellow Emperor, and convinced him to have more mulberry trees planted so she could cultivate the worms and produce more of the filament. From here she is…

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Leizu

feministodyssey

Leizu, or Empress Xi Ling Shi, was an empress of China in the 27th century BC. Much of her history is shrouded in myth, but she is said to have discovered how to make silk. The story of her discovery has many different versions, so I will tell my favourite one.

One day, while Leizu was having afternoon tea, she noticed some silkworms eating the leaves of mulberry trees and forming cocoons. She picked some fully-spun cocoons and sat down to have a drink. While she was having her tea, she dropped a cocoon into her cup and watched it unfurl in the hot liquid. Leizu became intrigued by the fine filament it produced, so she took her discovery to her husband, the Yellow Emperor, and convinced him to have more mulberry trees planted so she could cultivate the worms and produce more of the filament. From here she is…

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Cleopatra

feministodyssey

Cleopatra VIII Thea Philopator was born in 69 BC and was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a family of Macedonian Greek origin that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great’s death during the Hellenistic period. The Ptolemies spoke Greek and refused to speak Egyptian, yet Cleopatra learned many languages including Egyptian despite this and represented herself as a reincarnation of Isis, the goddess of health, marriage and wisdom. She was the last active Pharoah of Ptolemaic Egypt.

She was born to Ptolemy XII and an unknown mother. Her older sister was Berenice IV Epiphaneia, her younger sister was Arsinoe IV and her younger brothers were Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator and Ptolemy XIV. During her childhood, her father was forced into exile and she accompanied him. Berenice attempted to send an embassy to Rome in advocacy of her claim but Ptolemy XII had them killed as she had been opposing his…

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Agnodice

feministodyssey

Agnodice was born in 4th BC Greece, and she is said to be the first female midwife/doctor in Athens. Her story is generally believed to be a myth and is most popularly in Gaius Julius Hyginus’s Fabulae.

The legend says that Agnodice had been born into a wealthy family and that her she was horrified at the mortality rate amongst mothers and babies due to poor medical care, so she disguised herself as a man to study under the anatomist Herophilus in Alexandria as it was illegal for women to practise medicine at the time (a crime that was punishable by death). Once she had learned everything she could, she went back to her home in Athens to assist in childbirth. At first, women were not keen to have a man present while they were giving birth, but once she revealed her true sex to them they allowed her…

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How to Use Twitter for Your Blog

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