Catherine II of Russia
Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great , Empress of Russia, was born in Stettin
Szczecin , is the capital city of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. It is the country's seventh-largest city and the largest seaport in Poland on the Baltic Sea. As of June 2009 the population was 406,427....

, Pomerania, Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 on as Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg. She was the most renowned and the longest-ruling female leader of Russia, reigning from after a coup d'état and the assassination of her husband, Peter III
Peter III of Russia
Peter III was Emperor of Russia for six months in 1762. He was very pro-Prussian, which made him an unpopular leader. He was supposedly assassinated as a result of a conspiracy led by his wife, who succeeded him to the throne as Catherine II.-Early life and character:Peter was born in Kiel, in...

 (just after the end of the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

) until her death on . Catherine's rule re-vitalized Russia, which grew larger and stronger than ever and became recognized as one of the great power
Great power
A great power is a nation or state that has the ability to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength and diplomatic and cultural influence which may cause small powers to consider the opinions of great powers before taking actions...

s of Europe.

In both her accession to power and in rule of her empire, Catherine often relied on her noble favourite
A favourite , or favorite , was the intimate companion of a ruler or other important person. In medieval and Early Modern Europe, among other times and places, the term is used of individuals delegated significant political power by a ruler...

s, most notably Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin.

I like to praise and reward loudly, to blame quietly.

As quoted in The Historians' History of the World (1904) by Henry Smith Williams, p. 423

I will live to make myself not feared.

As quoted in The Historians' History of the World (1904) by Henry Smith Williams, p. 423

Assuredly men of merit are never lacking at any time, for those are the men who manage affairs, and it is affairs that produce the men. I have never searched, and I have always found under my hand the men who have served me, and for the most part I have been well served.

As quoted in Woman Through the Ages;; (1908) by Emil Reich, p. 155

Your wit makes others witty.

Letter to Voltaire, as quoted in Short Sayings of Great Men : With Historical and Explanatory Notes (1882) by Samuel Arthur Bent, and Hoyt's New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations (1922) revised and enlarged by Kate Loise Roberts

A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.

As quoted in Daughters of Eve (1930) by Gamaliel Bradford, p. 192

Power without a nation's confidence is nothing.

As quoted in And I Quote : The Definitive Collection of Quotes, Sayings, and Jokes for the Contemporary Speechmaker (1992) by Ashton Applewhite, Tripp Evans, and Andrew Frothingham, p. 278

It is better to be subject to the Laws under one Master, than to be subservient to many.