A 007 Inspired Top Ten

Let's face it, both Madame X and Caligula already have the Bond-ready monikers. Madame X, aka Mrs. Pierre Gautreau, was a fixture in 19th century Parisian high society. Well known for her physical beauty, her lavender scent and her infidelities, Madame X was born to be a Bond girl.

Caligula, Roman Emperor from the 1st century AD, channeled his inner Hugo Drax with his power hungry ego. He went out of his way to humiliate his senate, appointing a horse as his consul and threw criminals into the gladitorial ring with wild beasts when cattle proved to be too costly.

Portrait of Madame Gautreau, 1883-1884 (oil on canvas) by John Singer Sargent
Portrait of Madame Gautreau, 1883-1884 (oil on canvas) by John Singer Sargent

Bust of Caligula (12-41 AD), Roman
Bust of Caligula (12-41 AD), Roman

Like General Orlov in "Octopussy," Joseph Stalin had dreams of empire in Western Europe. In 1948, Stalin cut off the allies' access to Western Berlin in the hopes of gaining full control of the city. Unfortunately for Stalin, the allies responded with the hugely successful Berlin airlift which nipped those dreams in the bud.

Although we can't ask Ian Fleming, we're pretty sure Cleopatra is the archetype for the Bond girl. Cleopatra had beauty, charm and gumption to spare. Like Vesper Lynd in "Casino Royale," Cleopatra's passionate affair resulted in a demise at her own hand.

Stalin in the Kremlin by Fedor Pavlovic Resetnikov / Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest
Stalin in the Kremlin by Fedor Pavlovic Resetnikov / Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest

Cleopatra, late 19th century (oil on canvas), French School / Christie's Images
Cleopatra, late 19th century (oil on canvas), French School / Christie's Images

Tough cookie, Anya Amasov from "The Spy Who Loved Me", could be a modern-day Joan of Arc. The smart and quick-witted 15th century "Maid of Orleans" thumbed her nose at a misogynistic culture, earning respect as a warrior from her male contemporaries.

Attila the Hun, like Caligula, has a name tailor-made for a Bond character. Like Emilio Largo from "Thunderball," Atilla was an extortionist. He launched massive attacks against the Roman Empire after a demand for tribute went unanswered.

St. Joan of Arc (pencil & pastel on buff paper) by Sir William Blake Richmond / Christie's Images
St. Joan of Arc (pencil & pastel on buff paper) by Sir William Blake Richmond / Christie's Images

Attila the Hun (woodcut) / Private Collection
Attila the Hun (woodcut) / Private Collection

Jani Beg was a 14th century khan of the Golden Horde. While besieging the city of Kaffa, the plague swept through his army. Realizing victory was impossible, he catapulted the bodies of the deceased victims into the city. He is thought to have been responsible for spreading the black plague throughout Europe. What a guy! Those nasty Bond villains tend not to think of their human toll.

Like the exotic Aki, from "You Only Live Twice," who saved Bond's hide on more than one occasion, Pochahontas also saved the life of an Englishman. The daughter of Chief Powhatan shielded John Smith to save him from her father's ax.

A vast army of Tartars surrounded Kaffa in Abyssinia in 1346 by James Edwin McConnell / Look and Learn
A vast army of Tartars surrounded Kaffa in Abyssinia in 1346 by James Edwin McConnell / Look and Learn

Pochahontas wears a turkey-feather robe by William Langdon Kihn / National Geographic Image Collection
Pochahontas wears a turkey-feather robe by William Langdon Kihn / National Geographic Image Collection

Marie Antoinette and Tiffany Case from "Diamonds are Forever" both have a weakness for sparkly things. While Case sailed off into the sunset with a smitten Bond, Antoinette's love of jewelry, fashion and all the trappings of a gilded life at the French court eventually brought about her downfall.

Like Elektra King from "The World is Not Enough," the elusive Assyrian King, Ashur-nadin-apli (c. 1250 BCE) killed his father, Tukulti-Ninurta I, so that he could take the reigns of the family business. Unfortunately for both, karma has a tendency to make its way back around.

Portrait of Marie-Antoinette de Habsbourg-Lorraine (oil on canvas), French School / Musee Antoine Lecuyer
Portrait of Marie-Antoinette de Habsbourg-Lorraine (oil on canvas), French School / Musee Antoine Lecuyer

Detail of a relief depicting figure of guardian lion, from ancient Nineveh, Iraq / De Agostini Picture Library
Detail of a relief depicting figure of guardian lion, from ancient Nineveh, Iraq / De Agostini Picture Library

Bridgeman recently uploaded new material from the James Bond movie franchise including posters, movie props, photographs and fashion. View the selection from Christie's Images.

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