In the history of classical antiquity, one woman stands out as the sole ruler of a major empire: Cleopatra VII (69 BCE–30 BCE). She was the last active pharaoh of Ancient Egypt in the Ptolemaic dynasty of Macedonian Greek origin.
Cleopatra is remembered for her famous love affairs with 2 of Rome’s most powerful leaders: Julius Caesar and Marc Antony. She has been immortalized in Shakespeare’s tragedy Antony and Cleopatra, and more recently she was portrayed by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 film Cleopatra.
Burgdorf WHC, Hoenig LJ. Cleopatra, Queen of Dermatology. JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(2):236. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.2239