WS 101 M/W- Cora Agatucci

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Women's StudiesTable of ContentsHistorical Timelines
(Do you know about these women? If not, consider: Why not?)
Part I: Women Make Early History

Learn more about selected WS topics by clicking the hyperlinks embedded in these timelines.
And if you find inaccuracies, bugs, or other websites relevant to timeline topics, please let me know:
The timeline pages are under construction and probably always will be...



The cults of Isis and Ishtar flourished on Crete and in Egypt 

(See Hymn to Ishtar, from the First Dynasty of Babylon, approximately 1600 BC; and image of the Egyptian goddess Isis).


Priestess Enheduanna composed the world's first poetry volume, by which she reverenced the goddess Inanna 
(see Accessing Women's Lives in Mesopotamia, item #3, and image of the Sumerian goddess)



2500-2000 The cults of Isis and Ishtar flourished on Crete and in Egypt (See Hymn to Ishtar, from the First Dynasty of Babylon, approximately 1600 BC; and image of the Egyptian goddess Isis).
2000 Priestess Enheduanna composed the world's first poetry volume, by which she reverenced the goddess Inanna (see Accessing Women's Lives in Mesopotamia, item #3, and image of the Sumerian goddess)
c. 1500 Hatshepsut led Egypt in a period of military conquest and prosperity
Learn more:
QUEEN HATSHEPSUT [c.1503 - 1483 BC]
(Dr. V.G. Callender, Macquarie Univ.).
Hatshepsut Tutorials & Resources (Charles Stuart Univ.)
Herstory: < >
Images of the
Temple of Hatshepsut - available:
< >
< >
901-100 The Hebrews composed the Song of Deborah during the same era that Greeks worshipped Hera, Artemis, Aphrodite, and Athena
811-807 Semiramis, a legendary queen also called Samuramat, ruled Assyria.
600-501 Greek women adapted the man's chiton as their standard dress: see Women's Life in Greece and Rome.
5th century Artemisia of Halicarnassus became the first female ship captain and fleet commander by taking her husband's place after his death and backing Xerxes's fleet near Marathon, Greece. (see Translated Primary Sources: link to Herodotos (selections) on Artemisia of Halicarnassus (7.99, 8.69, 8.103) and synopsis of The Naval Battle at Salamis)
450 Aspasia, Pericles's mistress, held a cultural salon in Athens
400 Eire, an Irish warror-queen/goddess, vanquished Milesian invaders (see also Irish History)
4th century Agnodice studied medicine and practiced gynecology
316 Olympias, widow of Philip of Macedon and mother of Alexander the Great, was murdered by Cassander
328 Roxane, a Bactrian princess, married Alexander the Great and produced his only child (see World of Alexander and history of Afghanistan)
31 Cleopatra, Egypt's last queen, chose death rather than be displayed as an ornament of Octavian's captured booty

AD/CE 1st - 16th c.

59 or 61 CE
(or AD)
Queen Boudicca (more) of the Iceni led an army against the Roman camp of Londinium in retaliation for the rape of her daughters (see also Tacitus's account of the Celts)

"My wish is to ride the tempest, tame the waves, kill the sharks. I will not resign myself to the usual lot of women who bow their heads and become concubines."
TrieuThi Trinh, Peasant who led an insurrection against Chinese invaders
(240 C.E./A.D., Vietnam)

370 Hypatia of Alexandria, Egypt, the first recorded woman scholar, studied mathematics with Plutarch, studied philosophy, designed a hydroscope and astrolabe, and taught geometry, algebra, and astronomy at the University of Alexandria (more on Hypatia; see also list of women's rights in ancient Egypt)
496 Clothilda, Queen of France, converted her husband Clovis to Christianity
527 - 548 Empress Theodora (c. 500-548) ruled the Byzantine Empire with her husband Justinian as partners. Theodora's intelligence and courage helped save and advance the Byzantine Empire. Theodora influenced Justinian's legal and spiritual reforms, had laws passed that prohibited forced prostitution and that
granted women more rights in divorce cases, and she also established homes for prostitutes.
534 Queen Amalaswintha ruled Italy (see Ravenna: 2. Portrait bust of Amalaswintha)
Born in 606 Fatima, Mohammed's youngest daughter, lived near her father in Medina and cared for him. Her sons founded the Shiite branch of Islam (see Islam Glossary: Fatima; Schools of Thought: Sunni vs. Shiite and Women in Islam; mention in Barbara Crossette's New York Times review of "A Manual on Rights of Women Under Islam," and Dr. Ali Shariati's tribute to Fatemeh)
610 Khadimah, Mohammed's wife, supported the prophet with her mercantile business while he completed his religious mission.
625-705 Empress Wu Zetian ruled successfully during the most glorious years of the Tang Dynasty, even though according to the Confucian beliefs having a woman rule would be as unnatural as having a "hen crow like a rooster at daybreak." Wu Zetian was the only female in Chinese history to rule as emperor.
634 Queen Sondok (or Sonduk) became the sole ruler of Silla Kingdom (Korea) through 647. Having no sons, her father, the king, chose as Sondok as his heir. Women in this period had a certain degree of influence already as advisers, queen dowagers, and regents; throughout the kingdom, women were heads of families since matrilineal lines of descent existed alongside patrilineal lines. Furthermore, the Confucian model, which placed women in a subordinate position within the family, was not to have a major impact in Korea until the fifteenth century. During the Silla kingdom, women's status remained relatively high.
797 Greek Empress Irene of Athens (c. 752-803) was crowned sole ruler of the Byzantine empire, the first woman ever to hold the throne of the (East) Roman Empire.
9th century The poet Kasia ruined her chances for a place at court after retorting to a sexist remark made by the Emperor Theophilus
855 Pope Joan, under the name John VIII, remained in office in the Vatican until the birth of her child, for which she was stoned to death in 858 (See excerpts from Cross's novel & how Cross learned about Pope "Jeanne"'s existence; Was there really a Pope Joan? and more historical links on Christopher Moore's musical-dramatic production of Pope Joan)
913 Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred the Great, designed an earth mound at Warwick Castle (genealogy). From the Gutenberg Project's e-text of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles: A.D. 912. "This year also came Ethelfleda, lady of the Mercians, on the holy eve called the invention of the holy cross, to Shergate, and built the fortress there, and the same year that at Bridgenorth." A.D. 913. "This year by the permission of God went Ethelfleda, lady of Mercia, with all the Mercians to Tamworth; and built the fort there in the fore-part of the summer; and before Lammas that at Stafford: in the next year that at Eddesbury, in the beginning of the summer; and the same year, late in the autumn, that at Warwick. Then in the following year was built, after mid-winter, that at Chirbury and that at Warburton; and the same year before mid-winter that at Runkorn. ((A.D. 915. This year was Warwick built.))"
959 Hroswitha of Gandersheim composed comedy and poetry, which influenced the creation of miracle plays.

From Women's History in America (Women's International Center):
"Early Christian theology perpetuated these views. St. Jerome, a 4th-century Latin father of the Christian church, said: 'Woman is the gate of the devil, the path of wickedness, the sting of the serpent, in a word a perilous object.' Thomas Aquinas, the 13th-century Christian theologian, said that
woman was 'created to be man's helpmeet, but her unique role is in conception
. . . since for other purposes men would be better assisted by other men.'"

c. 1000 Novelist Murasaki Shikibu published The Tale of Genji, a Japanese adventure tale called the world's first novel (see also a beautiful 17th c. "Suma" from the Tale of Genji from the School of Iwasa Matabei [1578-1650] and try
1098-1179 Hildegard of Bingen was a remarkable woman, a "first" in many fields. At a time when few women wrote, Hildegard, known as "Sybil of the Rhine," produced major works of theology and visionary writings. When few women were accorded respect, she was consulted by and advised bishops, popes, and kings. She used the curative powers of natural objects for healing, and wrote treatises about natural history and medicinal uses of plants, animals, trees and stones. She is the first composer whose biography is known. She founded a vibrant convent, where her musical plays were performed. Although not yet canonized, Hildegard has been beatified, and is frequently referred to as St. Hildegard (see links, two lluminations of Hildegard of Bingen, announcement of Michael Fox's ed. of her Book of Divine Works to learn more).
1322 Jacqueline Felicie de Almania faced charges of practicing medicine without a license. Male doctors of Paris forced her to cease her women's clinic.
c.1364 -
c. 1430
Christine de Pisan, who received an excellent education for her time, was left a widow at the age of twenty-five with three small children, her mother and a niece to support. She decided to earn her income as a writer. Her poems, songs and ballads were well-received and soon she was able to support her family. Christine de Pisan became popular and her work was later supported by many lords and ladies of medieval Europe. Much of her work contains a great deal of autobiographical information, which was unusual for writers of that time.
1429 Joan of Arc (c. 1412-1431), Maid of Orleans, led Charles VII to Reims for his coronation as King of France. This French national heroine, the most famous fighting woman in European history, led French troops on the battlefield to drive the British forces from her homeland. Although she knew nothing about warfare, she claimed to be guided by visions of saints to fight for her king and country. When Joan's enemies captured her, they declared her a witch and burned her at the stake.
"The Wife of Bath [Chaucer's Canterbury Tales], a literary figure familiar to most, [provides]... a bold and vivacious answer to the classical and medieval antifeminist traditions which depict women as the bane of Adam, the root of all evil, the source of temptation, or, at the opposite pole, as idealized and virginal objects of worship. The Wife brashly speaks out against the misogynistic teachings of the Church Fathers, asking,
"Who peyntede the leon, tel me who?
By God, if wommen hadde writen stories,
As clerkes han withinne hire oratories,
They wolde han writen of men moore wikkednesse
Than al the mark of Adam may redresse."

( From Dr. Deborah Everhart's course "Medieval Women: Tradition and Counter-Tradition," focusing on "medieval women who have struggled to find a voice and write themselves, despite the constraints of an oppressively patriarchal world. The abbess Heloise, the mystics Julian of Norwich and Margery of Kempe, the poet Marie de France, and the scholar Christine de Pisan all speak out against misogynistic inscriptions of women's roles as they attempt to write their own 'stories.'")
1558 Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603), arguably the greatest of all English rulers, ascended the throne at age 25. Her life began in intrigue when her father Henry VIII cursed the birth of a girl. During her 45-year reign, Elizabeth refused to marry, a shrewd political tactic that kept all options open for political/marital alliances, and England grew in prosperity and power. Her reign was a major period of cultural growth in England, as well as relative stability and peace in the land. She established the right to a fair trial, and organized social welfare programs for the old, infirm, and the poor.
1560-158? Marietta Robusti Tintoretto, a Venetian painter, was the eldest of eight children of Jacopo Robusti Tintoretto, and a full-time apprentice in his studio for 15 years. Her father was deeply attached to her, taking her everywhere he went and only until she was too old, dressed her as a boy. Along with her brother, Domenico, she learned to paint in the father’s grand manner. An accomplished musician as well, she produced her own portraits and her fame spread as far as the courts of Spain and Austria. She was invited to become the court painter for Phillip II of Spain and the Emperor Maximilian, however, her father would not allow her to leave his studio or home. Instead he found her a husband, and as a condition of their marriage, Marietta had to remain in the Tintoretto household until her father died. Marietta, however, died before Tintoretto in childbirth in her early 30s. A painting of Marietta’s entitled, "Portrait of an Old Man With Boy," long been attributed to her father and considered one of his finest portraits, is only now recognized as Marietta’s work after her monogram was discovered in 1920. Even with the monogram as evidence, some scholars still feel the reattribution is in dispute. Marietta was as proficient as her father, since for centuries, it has been impossible to tell the difference between the two artists’ hands. However, art historical accounts from as recently as 1929 describe Marieta’s work as strained, sentimental, and resolute. In addition, when discussing the Tintoretto studio output, historians have marveled at what they call the almost superhuman production of the great master. Many have even remarked at Tintoretto’s remarkable variety of brushstroke. However, this has not led to re-interpretations of any form of workshop production may veer from Tintoretto’s own hand. Some historians seem unwilling to consider that Marietta or even Domenico could have produced works on their own. Historians have also not investigated Tintoretto’s marked decrease in production after Marietta’s death, attributing it solely to a father’s mourning and resultant grief at the death of his beloved daughter. (see exhibition excerpts from The Marietta Robusti Tintoretto Story, and of related interest, the Renaissance's "only female sculptor" Properzia de'Rossi, 1491-1530, and others in the Women Artists Archive of Sonoma State Univ.).

TOP of this page Part I: Women Make Early History
Women's Studies Historical Timelines were prepared by Cora Agatucci, 1997

Go to Part II: 17th & 18th Century Women

Part III: Modern Struggles for Equality Part IV: Struggle for the Vote
Part V: U.S. Woman Suffrage Is Won Part VI: Women in the 20th Century & "Second Wave" Feminism
Part VII: Women of the 1990s & Sources & Resources for Further Study

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