Was empress of Russia, and led her country into the political and cultural life of Europe. She was one of history's most unlikely rulers. After marrying into Russia's Romanov family, she was part of a coup to unseat her husband ,Peter the Great and place her on the throne. The achievements of her reign,have often been overshadowed by her personal life. She was called the "Messalina of the Newa" and some called her a nymphomaniac.Catherine had 22 male lovers during her long life, she was partial to handsome young men and an erotic cabinet was custom made for her. The furniture was highly eccentric with tables that had large penises for legs. Penises and vulvas were carved out on the furniture and the walls were covered in erotic art.Catherine wrote numerous books, pamphlets and educational materials aimed at improving Russia’s education system. She was also a champion of the arts,creating one of the world’s most impressive art collections in St. Petersburg’s Winter Palace. She died in her bed, after a stroke.