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Feudal Japan

Shogun Minamoto

“Tomorrow's battle is won during today's practice.”

Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147 AD - 1199 AD) is one of the most important historical figures of Japan. In 1192 he obtained the title of Shogun and founded the first bakufu (shogunate government) in the history of Japan. With the establishment of the shogunate government, which lasted until 1868, the samurai caste held the reins of the country, rising to the top step of society. He was part of the Minamoto Clan family, also called Genji, a Japanese clan that held great importance during the Heian period and the early Kamakura period. Its ventures and battles have been fundamental for the development of Japanese history and culture.

Tomoe Gozen

“You can’t fight without an opponent.”

Tomoe Gozen (1157 AD - 1247 AD) was a Japanese military of great and recognized valour who served General Minamoto no Yoshinaka, cousin of Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first Shogun of Japan. She was also a strong archer and a vigorous soldier, in the saddle or on foot, suited to face any enemy, worth as much as a thousand warriors. She had a superb tactic in breaking the lines of enemy cavalry. In the early stages of the battle, she was sent as the first captain in heavy armor, with a large sword and a powerful bow. Her name was associated with greater glory than any other warrior in fact it is the only onnamusha (woman warrior in Japanese) described in the epic literature of the samurai tradition.

Ancient Rome

Emperor Claudius

“There are two different ways of writing history: one is to persuade men to virtue and the other is to compel men to truth.”

Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (10 BC - 54 AD) was Roman emperor from 41 to 54 AD and despite his lack of political experience, Claudius showed remarkable qualities: he was a skillful administrator, a great patron of public construction, an expansionist in foreign policy and a tireless legislator, who presided over the courts personally. He was also a very educated man, writer, historian and linguist, although almost all his works have been lost. Aiming at the unification of the empire, he granted Roman citizenship to many colonies. His greatest war effort was the conquest of Britain and some small expansions to the East.

Empress Julia

“No philosophy, my son; it is of no use to an emperor.”

Julia Agrippina (15 AD - 59 AD) was a Roman noblewoman and empress, wife of Emperor Claudius. Julia was one of the most significant female figures of the Roman Empire, in fact during a sudden popular uprising in Rome it was the arrival of Julia to save Claudius from the anger of the crowd. She was the one who ruled: a strong, resolute and intelligent woman. Julia was the only one who succeeded in achieving an effective status comparable to that of a female prince, that is, an authentic empress. She had from the Senate of Rome the title of Augusta, which was a recognition of great prestige and almost unique, granted to personalities of particular prominence.

Ancient Egypt

Pharaoh Menes

“Grain must return to the earth, die, and decompose for new growth to begin.”

Menes was the first Egyptian Pharaoh in history. He gave birth to the first Egyptian dynasty. This legendary warrior-king is traditionally attributed the first unification of Lower Egypt with Upper Egypt, around 3000 BC. Hieroglyphic writing, architectural ability, and other technical skills made very rapid progress in the thousand years that followed Menes Reign. The Egyptians became among the world's wealthiest and most advanced civilizations of all time; only a few can compete with this primacy.

Queen Ahhotep I

“If you search for the laws of harmony, you will find knowledge.”

Ahhotep I was an Egyptian queen of the XVII dynasty and went down in history as the “Warrior Queen”. She played a key role in the long wars for liberation against the Hyksos invaders who were putting in serious trouble the unity of the kingdom of Egypt. After the victory, Ahhotep I played a vital role in the government, war affairs and general leadership of Upper Egypt. For her extraordinary skills in battle she also received a ceremonial dagger, few influential people could boast such recognition. She was also honored with a stele, ordered by Ahmose I, her son, in the temple of Amon-Re, where her conquests on the field are celebrated.

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