By Alison Buckley
In 582 BCE when she was illegally deposed by her husband, King Ahasuerus (Astyages) Queen Vashti of Media ruled an empire from India to western Turkey and from Georgia to the Sudan. A descendent of Queen Nefertiti, grand step-mother of Cyrus the Great and daughter of the Medes’ leading general, she was entrusted with the fostering of the seminal Aryan civilisation by her father-in-law King Cyaxares, who brought the Median Empire from its tribal origins to a parallel and allied power to King Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon.
Denied her rightful place in history as the first feminist Vashti has previously been relegated to secondary importance behind Esther of Purim and biblical fame. Now knew research has thrown light on the pivotal significance of her downfall for Middle Eastern history, which heralded the two and a half thousand year subjection of her Aryan civilisation to Persia, Judea, Greece, Rome and later Arabia.
Emerging from the distortions and deletions of their politically and culturally dominant discourses Vashti has no ancient rival and can only be compared to present day heroes such as Hilary Clinton and Queen Elizabeth of England.
Today her indomitable spirit lives on in her descendants, the Kurdish women guerrillas who fight to regain the land whose theft was initiated on that fateful day when Vashti refused to come before the king.
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