#5 Agrippina The Younger- The fourth wife of the Roman Emperor Claudius, directly following Valevia Messalina who supposedly sought to execute Claudius herself, Agrippina was also Caligula’s sister- so you could say evil was in her blood. She was actually exiled for plotting against Caligula, but returned following his death, and married. Agrippina quickly sought to eliminate her rivals in variously ruthless ways, and in a bid for long-lasting, she persuaded Claudius to adopt her son, Nero. She allegedly poisoned her husband soon afterwards, and Nero became Emperor.
#4 Irene of Athens- Assuming power of Byzantine Empire of Regent for Constantine VI- who was just nine years old when he inherited the throne. Irena of Athens is remembered for her controversial efforts to restore the worship of religious icons. A divisive figure then and now, maintaining power was everything to her – no matter the cost.
#3 Fredegund of Soissons- Queen Consort with Chilperic 1, a sixth-century Frankish king, and Regent for her son Chlotherll, Fredegund rose through the ranks from the royal servant, to the King’s mistress, to a cold-blooded murderer ready to kill whenever necessary.
amongst other things, She arranged for Chilperic’s previous wife to be strangled, she started a fierce 40-year feud with that woman’s sister, Brunhilde, and she tried to crush the skull of her own daughter with a treasure chest.
#2 Wu Zetian of China- Taking control of China after millennia of male rule, and steering the empire through a relatively stable period in its history, Wu could well be judged as a very successful leader. However, her time at the top was drenched in blood. She employed a secret police to find and murder potential opponents, and she had no qualms about attacking her own.
#1 Ranavalona l of Madagascar– Also known as “Mad Queen”, Ranavolana entered into the Madagascan royal family a commoner but fought off various claimants to the throne, and eventually ruled for over 30 years. Remembered for her fierce policies, such as banning Christianity, she led on the exceptionally harsh regime, characterized by forced labour practices and brutal executions. Cross, Ranavolana and you were beheaded, boiled alive, or thrown into a ravine. Estimates say that up to 75% of the Madagascar population died during her reign, through war, diseases and by Ranavolana’s own orders.