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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Knightmare - Notable Female Warriors


seiakera
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If a woman's birth was not in a noble family or royalty, the typical role in the society would be a wife, mother, peasant, artisan, or a nun. They were dominated by the male members of their family and expected to instantly obey and respect not only the father but the brothers, uncles, and male cousins. 
 
The male's word was law.
 
This thread is dedicated to the women who defied the society castes, their names forever immortalized in the history books by taking up the sword. Starting tomorrow, I'll bring up some interesting information about women in the medieval era who took up the sword - either permanently or just to defend their home, family, and lands in one battle.
 
But for now - food for thought ... When you see a knight or a warrior, you would typically expect to see a man underneath the armor. But instead when you see a woman - what is your reaction? Are you appalled? Shocked? Proud? Afraid? Why? Edited by seiakera
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I think it would depend on the situation. There are some situations where I'd be more shocked, simply because I'm not expecting it. However, I do have a feeling of pride when it comes to female warriors. It takes a great deal of strength to go outside of the social norm and serve your cause/people in the way that calls to your heart, even though others may look down on you or make life difficult for you because of it

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Shocked and proud! That is how I would feel. :)

 

Shocked because they are so rare, but proud in their spirit and determination. Also, strong women are hot. Strong AND Smart women are WICKED HAWT! ;)

 

I have long been a fan of historical women warriors, like Boudicca; and in ASOIAF, I love Brienne, The Maid of Tarth. :)

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I strangely feel neither of those feelings that you mentioned above.  The fact that there are women warriors isn't a new or strange idea to me.  I'm a big fan of the fantasy genre and you do see/hear/read about several women who take up the sword and don some armor.  I grew up watching Xena Warrior Princess and I am a very active Magic The Gathering player and I see women warriors all the time!  

 

On a side note I am glad that societies view on what roles/jobs women can do are changing.

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I'm of like mind with all 3 of your statements - I can just imagine myself back in that era, standing on a road, trying to sell my wares and seeing a group of soldiers passing me by ... then my jaw hits the floor when I realize one of them is a woman. But in this era, I tend to hunt down fantasies with a female warrior so my expectations that the medieval world should be riddled with armed women have been pretty much set by my readings. :biggrin:

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  I'm a big fan of the fantasy genre and you do see/hear/read about several women who take up the sword and don some armor.  I grew up watching Xena Warrior Princess and I am a very active Magic The Gathering player and I see women warriors all the time!  

 

On a side note I am glad that societies view on what roles/jobs women can do are changing.

^ This except I feel extremely proud of my fellow women warriors. My favorite fictional char to don a sword is Eowyn from LotR!!!

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the most famous female warrior imho would be Joan of Arc, and she gets burnt at the stake, it shows how times have changed (like now she'd be more likely sent to jail or maybe a mental hospital for carrying a sword but thats a whole different matter), but i definitely agree with you guys.

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Alright - Today's Honorable Mention....

 

 

Orden de la Hacha

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The city of Tortosa in Catalonia was occupied by the Moors and was under Muslim control for centuries. In 1149, Barcellona crusaders took over the city. On the 31st of December of that same year, the Moors laid a siege to Tortosa to retake it once again.
 
There are mixed explanations as to where the crusaders were at the start of the siege, they left for "pressing matters", most likely they went to take over another city from the Moors.
 
With most of the men away from Tortosa, the population consisted of women and children. They beseeched the Earl of Barcellona for relief but they were told that it would be best to surrender.  Instead they dressed as men, took hatches and other weapons, and attacked the Moors camp, successfully driving them away.
 
In honor of their bravery and fierce loyalty to the city of Tortosa, these women were knighted. The Order of the Hatchet (Orden de la Hacha) was born. 
 
These women had all of the privileges of knights of this time which was considered almost equal to nobility. However, the Order was limited to those women who fought at Tortusa and eventually, when the last woman died, the Order died.
 
*~*~*~*~*
 
I find it interesting that these women, who seem to have no prior battle experience, were able to thwart a seasoned army and turn them away. I applaud them for their courage and loyalty to face their enemies.
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the most famous female warrior imho would be Joan of Arc, and she gets burnt at the stake, it shows how times have changed (like now she'd be more likely sent to jail or maybe a mental hospital for carrying a sword but thats a whole different matter), but i definitely agree with you guys.

Chuckles you really do always bring a little bit of wit to every post you make ...it's much appreciated ... By this one at least. :)

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I'd feel...surprised yes, probably a kind of shock, but not necessarily negative. And most definitely a very strong overwhelming sense of curiosity :P What makes a woman become a warrior, what's her story? Typically - I believe - women care a lot about conserving life and not hurting others. So what has happened to make a woman take up arms and use them not only to defend herself?
 

I guess it would depend on the situation... in a time of need, I would be very thankful, proud of a fellow female fighting for her cause along with the men, and would most likely be inspired and want in :sheepish: Growing up with stories of Joan D'Arc (yay Chuckles!!!) and yarrrr, Eowyn and Brigitte and etc etc, I've always admired the honourable women warriors, because they act on what they believe in and I feel a lot of empathy for that...

Edited by Nyanna al'Meara
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Sichelgaita Princess of Lombardy

also known as Duchess Gaita of Lombardy

 

 
While there is no records of Sichelgaita ever being knighted, she is referred to one of the most respected female warriors during the Medieval period. Sichelgaita (also called Gaita for short) was born in 1035 to the ruling family of the Duchy of Salerno. She spent her upbringing studying medicine, horseback-riding, and swordplay.
 
Gaita was the wife of Robert Guiscard. Not only did she accompanied him on his campaigns, she also went out to battle with him, donning full armor like any other warrior. Gaita was his most trusted adviser in the affairs of state and military matters.
 
There is a story that during a battle, a group of soldiers were running away from the battle. She ordered them to return to the battle but when they kept running, she went after them with a long spear. This action led the soldiers to return to the fight.
 

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This type of woman warrior is very rare - not only did she learn the sword during her upbringing, she entered a marriage where her husband allowed her to join him in battle. There is one story I found but it was never validated as true - Gaita went into a battle when she was in her full term as a pregnant woman.
 
I admire this type of woman, especially in the Medieval Age, to constantly defy the expectations of what a woman should do.
Edited by seiakera
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that chick is wicked cool!!! and the husband is even more wicked cool to allow his wife to live beside him and not below him, so hats off to him as well!!!!

 

My thoughts exactly! I enjoyed reading about her, there are stories that she was very intimidating lol

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Matilda of Canossa

Also known as Matilda, Countess of Tuscany
 

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Matilda, Countess of Tuscany (also known as Matilda of Canossa) was born in Northern Italy in 1046. She learned weapons skills as a child. 
 
At the age of 15, she first went into battle at her mother's side in 1061 defending the interests of Pope Alexander II. When her stepfather, Duke Godfrey, died in 1069 Matilda began to command armies. 
 
For 60 years, this hardcore warrior woman kicked asses in Northern Italy, providing the main military defense force for none other than the Roman Popes, single-handedly taking on any challenges to the Papacy.
 
Any time the head of an army wanted to get to Rome to instigate a conflict with the Pope, Matilda took it on herself to ride out at the head of an army and lay the smack-down on them, no matter how formidable their armies may have been. When a pretentious king somewhere proclaimed to be a Pope (actually, they are a false Pope), she didn't put up with that papal bull – she overthrew the pretender pontiffs, crushed their armies, and erased them from history.
 
There are many rumors that she rode out on the battlefield personally, wearing a custom suit of armor and fighting hand-to-hand with axes, pikes, and swords. When Matilda wasn't impaling unholy knights on the tip of her lance or crushing heretic skulls into protoplasm, Matilda also provided safe refuge for persecuted clergymen, donated money and weapons to the Church, and somehow found time to make herself fluent in Italian, French, German and Latin.
 
Her body now lies in St. Peter's Basilica – she is one of only three women entombed in the Vatican, and she was the first non-Pope/non-Saint person of any gender to be interred there.
 

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This woman is hardcore! I was reading about her and 60 years, she took up the sword primarily for the Roman Popes in the early years of the Medieval Age. This site has a pretty detailed description of her years (warning: the author uses excessive profanity but it was amusing to read).
Edited by seiakera
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