Shammuramat– fl. c. 811 – 808 BCE – Nimrud, Assyria


During the 9th Century BCE, Assyria became the most powerful state in the world. Made up of twelve modern day countries, the Neo-Assyrians are considered the first true empire. Shammuramat was the first woman to rule it.


The length of her reign is disputed – between three and seventeen years. What is known, is that Shammuramat was the wife of King Shamshi-Adad, and after he died she ruled as regent for her son, Adad-nirari.

“Queen Semiramis”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –

The Queen’s memorial stela (funeral slab) was found along those of kings and governing officials, an unusual honour for a woman at the time. Further evidence of her power includes dedications made in her name.

It is believed that Shammuramat was the inspiration for the Greek legend of Semiramis, a warrior Queen who rebuilt Assyria.


Women Rulers Throughout the Ages: An Illustrated Guide – Guida Myrl Jackson-Laufer

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