For nearly all of written history, men have held the majority of the top ruling positions in Africa.

However, their female counterparts held great positions as well.

A number of women rose to power and greatness in Africa and while at it led troops to victory and protected their land.

Business Insider SSA now takes a look at some of the continent's dynamic ancient queens:

Candace - The Empress of Ethiopia (332 BC)

Candace is noted as being one of the strongest female military tacticians who had excellent skills at commanding a military.

It has been told that King Alexander pulled back his army from attempting to invade Ethiopia during 332 BC because of the fear of the great African Empress.

Queen Nefertiti (1292 BC to 1225 BC)

Nefertiti was one of the most mysterious and powerful women in ancient Egypt.

She was best known for her painted sandstone bust, which was rediscovered in 1913 and became a global icon of feminine beauty and power.

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Makeda - The Queen of Sheba (960 BC)

Makeda has always been described as the epitome of beauty and power.

She is popularly known for her interesting story with biblical figure King Solomon of Jerusalem, who taught her about leadership and monotheism.

They had a son named Menelik I, meaning ‘son of the wise’, who became the first Imperial ruler of Ethiopia and the first of a line of Aksûmite Kings.

Nana Yaa Asantewa - Ashanti Kingdom, Ghana (1863-1923)

Nana Yaa Asantewaa was the queen of Ejisu of the Ashanti Empire which is now part of modern Ghana.

She was known as the woman who fearlessly fought against the British colonialist to her exile. Queen Mother Yaa Asantewa was the last woman ever to lead a major war against the colonist.

Queen Cleopatra of Egypt (300BC to 30 BC)

Cleopatra VII Philopator was an Egyptian Queen and the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.

She was famed for her supposed beauty and intellect, and her love affairs with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.