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Viking Women on the battle field?

  1. Sep 6, 2014 #1

    Astronuc

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    Apparently more women accompanied their husbands or families during Viking journeys/migrations than previously thought. Some apparently fought on the battlefield, or at least wielded swords and possibly wore armour.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communi...11/07/invasion-of-the-viking-women-unearthed/
    http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/09/female-viking-warriors-proof-swords#470354
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2014 #2
    That is really interesting. I have read how the narrow Viking ships could sail or use oars. They were the perfect vessel for the European rivers. The bottoms of the ships were even shaped to enable them to land on sandy beaches.

    We have see so may artists paintings of Viking ships full of men, now to think that half of them may have been women is incredible. It makes me wonder if perhaps they were going along to help establish permanent encampments and supply bases.

    Here is another link

    http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/09/female-viking-warriors-proof-swords
     
  4. Sep 7, 2014 #3

    WWGD

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    Why is it sexist to assume that warriors were all men? Your average woman is physically weaker--significantly so-- than your average man, so it is not a good idea in general to have women fighting in face-to-face combat. Would you likely hire your average 5'3'' , 130 female bouncer for a rowdy bar, to deal with your average 5'9'', 180 lbs male? It is a different issue nowadays, in the way fighting is done. The man-hating far-left feminists can be as absurd as the far-right anti-government, anti-women nuts.
     
  5. Sep 7, 2014 #4
    Now in Viking marriages, the new wife is given her husbands sword, so there's sentimentality to the thing. So a sword buried with a women could mean it was special to her, or that it was a status symbol, not that she was a warrior.
    On the other hand, there were warrior women types in Conan and Lord of the Rings. These being my principle historical references.
     
  6. Sep 7, 2014 #5

    AlephZero

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    Indeed. Repton is about as far away from the sea as you can get in the UK - 85 miles in a straight line to the east coast (it's actually closer to the west coast), and I would estimate 120 miles by boat up the Humber estuary and the river Trent.

    I haven't followed all the content of the links in this thread, but Repton is well documented as the overwintering camp of the Danish army in 873/4 AD. The Danes commandeered and fortified the church as their headquarters, and built a grave and cairn for a mass burial of about 250 people, of which about 25% were female. But it's more likely those deaths were from an outbreak of disease than from combat.
     
  7. Feb 18, 2015 #6
    There is no hard evidence that of female warriors-female vikings. Women that made a significant influence were buried with certain items of respect.

    "Some women made their mark through exceptional status or achievement. One of the richest burials of Viking Age Scandinavia is that of the Oseberg 'queen', buried in a very grand style with a richly-decorated ship and large numbers of high-quality grave goods in 834. Later in that century, Aud the 'deep-minded' lived a veritable Viking Age odyssey. The daughter of a Norwegian chieftain in the Hebrides, she married a Viking based in Dublin and, when both her husband and son had died, took charge of the family fortunes, organising a ship to take her and her granddaughters to Orkney, Faroe and Iceland. She settled in Iceland, distributing land to her followers, and was remembered as one of its four most important settlers, and as a notable early Christian."

    the source and interesting full article about life of Vikings is here : http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/vikings/women_01.shtml
     
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