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Thread: Women as Warriors in History

  1. #31
    Member Birkebeinr's Avatar
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    Prillar Guri

    Hi. I have two cents here - I have'nt seen anyone mentioning Prillar Guri.
    She did'nt do any fighting but played a key role at the battle of Kringen. In several aspects a very importent battle even tough it was'nt a big one. Norwegian nationalism got a fresh start and the Danish king could raise soldiers and sailors with more ease after the incident.

    A song was made in the 18th century to commemorate the event - the Sinclair Visa. Still sung in the Færøyar and in by folk musicians in Norway.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prillar-Guri

    http://www.genealogi.no/kilder/prillarguri.htm

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taras Bulba View Post
    "Whatever the source for her strength, clearly the importance of Jeanne d'Arc was neither as a strategist nor as a fighter. From the moment she left home to the she was captured her active career lasted no more than eighteen months; at her trial she herself said she had never actually killed anyone. What 'the Maiden', as she was called, did do was to excite the French people's imagination and calle them to arms, a task at which was singularly successful and for which she deservedly achieved immortal fame."
    --Martin Van Creveld Men, Women, & War: Do Women Belond In the Frontline? pg.21
    She may not have done a lot of fighting, but by Hell did she sure encourage women to fight.
    What's all this about women not belonging in the frontline? Goddess, I know a lot of women who could do a better job than any man on the frontline.
    Women may not be physically stronger than men, but it has been proven that women can in actual fact be able to bear a lot more pain than a man can (hey, we have to give birth for fuzz's sake) and we can also feel it quicker.

    There were also the Amazons. They fought with whole Roman armies and beat them.

    Ugh. I gotta go. I'll continue later.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Gustavus Magnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Altruist View Post
    Women are just as physically able as small men.
    Not at all. Many studies have shown that on average, women have 23% less muscle capacity. It's pretty obvious that in most relations the man is (alot) stronger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorsdottir View Post
    There were also the Amazons. They fought with whole Roman armies and beat them.
    The Amazons are fiction, made up. Some have put real life people in the context, but the actual Amazons are purely made up. Probably as a way to enhance the differences between civilized man (the Greeks) and the rest (barbarians).
    Leave behind the weak, we must take the strong in hand:
    Together are the wicked violent forces in command

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gustavus Magnus View Post
    The Amazons are fiction, made up. Some have put real life people in the context, but the actual Amazons are purely made up. Probably as a way to enhance the differences between civilized man (the Greeks) and the rest (barbarians).
    I was told they were real by my history teacher when we were studying Roman history. Maybe they weren't called the amazons, but there has definately been evidence of a communtiy of women who fought the Roman army.
    If I can find it....

  5. #35
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    I think the amazon myth is false and that it's more probable that the Romans/Greeks had invaded towns which were defended by female militia (because all the men were elsewhere fighting in a campaign or w/e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bran View Post
    There are numerous accounts of woman participating in battle, if not on the battlefield itself, then mostly behind their men, to send them back into war when they chicken out and try to flee.

    I con't see why women shouldn't engage in combat for biological reasons. The ability to buildup muscle is not all that matters; a skilled warrioress can easily tackle 25 body builders for that matter.
    Most exaggerate the weight of weapons and armor. Give or not, a sword was not 20 pounds but 1-5 pounds depending on the model. The claymore (the two handed huge Scottish sword) was 3 pounds. So don't give us the bull that women are unable to fight. I know plenty of women who use 5 and 10 pound dumbells. They would had been able to swing a claymore without a problem!


    Likewise, a suit of armor (even for a Calvary knight) was no more than 40-60 pounds (and dispersed throughout the body), in contrast, U.S. Marines are trained to carry the same amount if not more.

    And there are females in the U.S. Marines and Army.

    I don't consider body builders to be natural. The amount of food that it would had taken in the Medieval Ages to create that physique could had feed 3-5 people, who would end up being more useful in agriculture and warfare than a single man capable of bench pressing 300 pounds.


    The most important thing for a soldier is a sharp mind. In Africa, children soldiers have no problem holding or using Ak-47s. The most important thing in military is discipline (especially in the Napoleonic wars, Generals would position their men in rank fashion so as many as possible could fire. As opposed to survivability!) and skill.


    ========


    But the reason women were not on the frontline is simple: Someone had to keep the farms functioning. Not all men went to war - just the young ones of military age. The old men, young children, and women, stayed at home and provided the logistics (food) that kept a campaign and economy functioning.

    And someone had to serve in the militia. Old men and women were said to have been frequently raised as militia in siege warfare and town assaults. Women are not as harmless as some would paint them as. There's a reason why women were killed en masse during the thirty year wars.

  6. #36
    Senior Member Hierwend's Avatar
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    (44) Then, as the story goes, Vesosis waged a war disastrous to himself against the Scythians, whom ancient tradition asserts to have been the husbands of the Amazons. Concerning these female warriors Orosius speaks in convincing language. Thus we can clearly prove that Vesosis then fought with the Goths, since we know surely that he waged war with the husbands of the Amazons. They dwelt at that time along a bend of Lake Maeotis, from the river Borysthenes, which the natives call the Danaper, to the stream of the Tanais.

    Jordanes' Origin and Deeds of the Goths.

    And in the link below are some military victories of the Gothic(scythian/amazon) women.

    http://www.ucalgary.ca/~vandersp/Cou...dgeti.html#VII

    And a wiki link about amazons that seems to back it up with evidence from burials.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazons#Scythia

    And here is an article about Jordanes' credibility.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getica#...nd_credibility

    Although some parts of Jordanes' work can be written off as myth I think it's safe to assume that there were female Scythian warriors and they form the basis of the amazon mythos.

  7. #37
    Senior Member Runesinger's Avatar
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    Roman historians spoke frequently about Gaulish women fighting side by side with their husbands. It was considered a matter of family honour for the wife to fight alongside her husband.

    Further north among the Scandinavians, the sagas tell of Skjoldmar (Shield Maidens). The Shield maidens did not fight alongside the men, but fought in women-only shield lines. Their main weapon was a spear. A shield maiden had to be unmarried and childless.

    They had the specific duty to guard the queen or chieftain's wife when she accompanied him in the field of battle. The accounts in the sagas describe a line of Skjoldmar arrayed for battle as a very fearsome thing.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runesinger View Post
    Roman historians spoke frequently about Gaulish women fighting side by side with their husbands. It was considered a matter of family honour for the wife to fight alongside her husband.

    Further north among the Scandinavians, the sagas tell of Skjoldmar (Shield Maidens). The Shield maidens did not fight alongside the men, but fought in women-only shield lines. Their main weapon was a spear. A shield maiden had to be unmarried and childless.

    They had the specific duty to guard the queen or chieftain's wife when she accompanied him in the field of battle. The accounts in the sagas describe a line of Skjoldmar arrayed for battle as a very fearsome thing.
    Though did the Scandinavians used women on the frontlines? Or were women primarily used in the role as bodyguards and militia (defenders)?

  9. #39
    Senior Member Gustavus Magnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatest View Post
    Though did the Scandinavians used women on the frontlines?
    I've never heard of such a thing. Unless in an extreme case, women always stayed at home, though they were betrusted very high management roles.
    Leave behind the weak, we must take the strong in hand:
    Together are the wicked violent forces in command

  10. #40
    Senior Member Runesinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatest View Post
    Though did the Scandinavians used women on the frontlines? Or were women primarily used in the role as bodyguards and militia (defenders)?
    From what I read in the sagas, they were mostly bodyguards and militia, although they were sometimes used as reserves for flanking type maneuvers. The main thing I could see was they were strictly women-only units, and they were always unmarried.

    Units of this type were described in the Hervarar saga and the Gesta Danorum (where 300 shieldmaidens fought on the Danish side at the Battle of Bråvalla, in 750). However, after the Christians took over there were no more women in battle.

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