Famous Redheads Throughout History Vol.1
Everyone loves history. Everyone loves Redheads. Here’s a combination of the two. Vol. 2 will happen at some point in the future.
Rurik, 830-879, founder of the House of Rurik and basis for the name Roderick
The specific details surrounding his life are vague. What is known however; is that he was a Varangian prince from the Rus clan. The Varangians were a tribe of Vikings that many years before migrated to the northern coast of the Black Sea. During a turbulent time in Kiev where several clans were feuding, they invited the Rurik led Varangians to stabilize the situation. Rurik did the thing everyone does in that scenario. He took over Kiev and established a dynasty that lasted nearly 700 years. Most famous of his lineage is Ivan IV aka Ivan the Terrible.
Elizabeth I, 1533-1603, English queen, the last Tudor
She did too much to mention here. She was amazing.
Antonio Vivaldi, 1678-1741, Italian composer
Antonio was sickly as a child and had ‘tightness of the chest,’ which is believed now to be asthma. He learned violin from his father and early on they knew he was an amazing musician. He was known as Il Prete Rosso aka the Red Priest however he was absolved from religious duties due to poor health. He worked as a freelance musician, teacher, and composer throughout his life. Later in life however his career dwindled. He died poor and forgotten.
Svetlana Stalin, 1928-2011, Josef Stalin’s daughter
She famously defected to the United States in1967 and became a successful writer with the book, Twenty Letters to a Friend. In 1984, she returned to the Soviet Union but left for the United Kingdom after the Soviet Union dissolved. She died in Wisconsin in 2011.
Ismail I, 1487-1524, Shah of Persia, Poet, and Warrior
Ismail’s father, Shah Shaykh Haydar, died when he was 1. The family went into hiding in 1494, when the Aq Qoyunlu Turks, who killed his father, conquered his home. He was educated and trained as a soldier and tactician during this time. At 12 he recaptured home with help from other armies.
In the following years he had enough support to take what the Aq Qoyunlu conquered. It worked and in 1501 Ismail was crowned, Shah of Azerbaijan. A year later was named Shah of Persia. He was 15. Eight years later conquered all of Persia. Ismail had Muhammad Shaybani, the Uzbeks’ Chieftain, body severed into several parts. They were displayed across the Persian Empire and had Shaybani’s skull turned into a jeweled goblet. 1514, the Ottomans defeated Ismail and he turned to drinking a lot.
Aside from that, he was a prominent poet during his time. He wrote under a pen name and was very successful and influential to Persian literature for the next centuries. Ismail had an interesting life.
Cleopatra, 69-30 BC, Pharaoh
Cleopatra VII Philopator was born to the Ptolemy XII Auletes of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Most agree her mother was Cleopatra V Tryphaena. Political corruption wreaked havoc during her life and through a series of events she became joint ruler with her father at 14 in 55 BC. Four years later her father died and she co-ruled with her 10 year old brother Ptolemy XIII, whom she was married to. She didn’t care for this and stopped using his name in official documents and removed him from coins. This got her exiled in 48 BC.
Her brother became the sole ruler but, he messed with Julius Caesar. Cleopatra took advantage of this and got Caesar’s support for her to take what she deserved. She got her throne back and co-ruled with other siblings. A few years later she met Mark Antony and we know what happened after that.
Boudicca, ?-61 AD, Warrior
Not too much is known about her. She was married to the King of Iceni, Prasutagus. The Iceni were a British tribe in Eastern Britain. She was apparently tall, had extremely long, bright red hair, and a powerful presence. Her husband died and the Romans took over Iceni territory. They were banished from their home to Mona, an island of Wales now known as Anglesey, with other refugees. Boudicca was not going to let this happen. For now, she had to wait.
In 60 AD the Romans began a campaign on the inhabitants of the Mona to finally conquer Britain. It was a refuge for the locals that the Romans kicked out of their homes. Boudicca became their leader. She led an effective rebellion to an extent until the Battle of Watling Street. Her forces outnumbered the Romans but Boudicca’s army was slaughtered. She allegedly poisoned herself in the defeat.
Margaret Sanger, 1879-1966, Social Activist
During her time and still now she’s a controversial figure. Ms. Sanger was number 6 out of 11 children. She initially wanted to become a nurse but had only limited formal training.
Sanger in her lifetime became a vocal and influential feminist icon. She focused on expanding birth control and providing basic sex education to the public. This, of course, was met with great resistance. She also founded Planned Parenthood. However, she also supported Eugenics. Despite that she achieved a lot left her mark on history.
Ramesses II, 1303-1213 BC, Pharaoh
This guy did a lot. First he had 60 daughters and 96 sons. That’s 156 children. He ruled the Egyptian empire for 66 years. He led many military campaigns famously against Syrian and expanded Egypt’s empire and influence. He’s the Pharaoh with the most monuments of himself. This was done so his legacy would always be remembered. It worked.
Lady Emma Hamilton, 1765-1815, Socialite and Model
Her early life is mysterious until the age of 12. She was a maid for various people. She ended up in London and worked with a young actress, Jane Powell. This got Emma interested in acting. She became a maid for actors. This led to her becoming a dancer, model and actress. She was 15. Shortly after this she took a lover, Sir Harry Featherstonhaugh, which fizzled out quickly.
She eventually met George Romney, a prominent painter of the era. He was immediately struck by her and became the subject of many of his most famous works. After this she met Sir William Hamilton and continued modeling for Romney. She was entwined with royalty from across Europe. As a result she met Horatio Nelson. She became his mistress while married to Sir Hamilton. Shortly after he died, Nelson died. Her life spiraled downwards from there and died in poverty.