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Women In Warfare And The Military

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TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Women In Warfare And The Military
    Posted: 31-Dec-2011 at 12:55

Coming across a web page titled "Women in warfare and the military in ancient times"  I was intrigued by the wealth of names going back almost four thousand years. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to start up a thread discussing the role of women in warfare, and the military, from ancient times all the way to the present, and maybe the future. That is from as far back into ancient history as possible. So what do you know about the role of women in warfare and the military from ancient times forward? The page I saw was the following, if you want to check out the page I was talking about, but please don't think you need to stick with those from ancient times.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_warfare_and_the_military_in_the_ancient_era

 


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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Dec-2011 at 14:36

Queen Ahhotep I

Queen Ahotep I was the daughter of Queen Tetisheri, the wife of her brother Seqenenre Taa II, and the the mother of Kamose, Ahmose I and Queen Ahmose Nefertari. She is also thought to have been the mother of the princes Ahmose Sipair and Binpu and the princesses Ahmose-Henutemipet, Ahmose-Nebetta, Ahmose-Meritamun and Ahmose-Tumerisy. When he was killed fighting the Hyksos, Ahotep rallied the troops and maintained the pressure on the invaders until her son Kamose was old enough to lead the army. A stele in Karnak temple records her service to the nation, stating:

"The king's wife, the noble lady, who knew everything, assembled Kemet. She looked after what her Sovereign had established. She guarded it. She assembled her fugitives. She brought together her deserters. She pacified her UpperEgyptians. She subdued her rebels, The king´s wife Ahhotep given life".

When her second son Ahmose succeeded in expelling the Hyksos, he led his army to Nubia to regain lost territories. While he was gone, a group of Hyksos sympathisers tried to steal the throne. Ahhotep foiled this attempt, and was awarded the "golden flies of valour" by her son. He also gave her a cache of beautiful jewellery and ornamental weaponry which was found in a tomb at Dra Abu el-Naga near the Valley of the Kings. Her original tomb has not been discovered

http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/qahhotepI.html



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 31-Dec-2011 at 14:38
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Nick1986 View Drop Down
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Dec-2011 at 19:34
One of the earliest female warriors was Boudicca who, as every British person should know, led a successful revolt against the Romans
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Dec-2011 at 22:21
Hua Mulan
An early liberationist.... but no doubt a mean heifer...... who took no feces from any. And unlike later champion's of feminism took no.... nor sought no glory.... but returned home with no desire to seek accolades.
 
If she were here.... I would make her a Corporal in the Regiment
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

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Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2012 at 14:20

Tomyris

"Tomyris Plunges the Head of the Dead Cyrus Into a Vessel of Blood" by Alexander Zick

Tomyris, from the Persian was a queen who reigned over the Massagetae, an Iranic people of Central Asia east of the Caspian Sea, in approximately 530 BC.
The names of Tomyris and her son, Spargapises, who was the head of her army, are of Iranian origins. Since the historians who first wrote of her were Greek, the Hellenic form of her name is used most frequently.

Many Greek historians recorded that she "defeated and killed" the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great during his invasion and attempted conquest of her country. Herodotus, who lived from approximately 484 to 425 BC, is the earliest of the classical writers to give an account of her career, writing almost one hundred years later. Her history was well known and became legendary....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomyris#History

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2012 at 18:16

Amage


Amage was a Sarmatian queen who, as Polyaenus reports, ruled as regent for her incapacitated husband in the 4th century BC. She was very warlike, and once sent a letter to a Scythian prince warning him to stop his incursions on her protectorates in the Crimea. When he ignored this warning, Amage rode with 120 men to Scythia and attacked him, killing his guards, killing his friends and family, and personally killing the prince herself "in a sword duel". She allowed his son to live and rule his people on the condition that he obey her edicts.
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2012 at 21:34

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the legendary Amazons yet. Is there any evidence this tribe of warrior women existed?
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2012 at 06:07
Originally posted by Nick1986


I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the legendary Amazons yet. Is there any evidence this tribe of warrior women existed?
They were going to be my next lot, Nick. This is because of there connection with my last two. They were said to have removed a breast to help with firing of their bows. Probably Sarmatian fighting women I think. Not uncommon in Sarmatian tribal society.
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2012 at 07:38
Some million Mazanis (ancient Amazones) still live in the Mazandaran province in the south and the east of the Caspian sea, the original name was "Hamazan", in Persian "hama-" is used as a prefix almost the same as Greek "homo-" and "hama-" (together) and "Zan" means woman.
 
Of course they don't live the same as ancient Amazones but some ancient traditions and ceremonies have been preserved in the region.
 
For example you can read about Aabesk: http://landandpeople.blogspot.com/2009_05_01_archive.html
 
Aabesk (آب اسک) is a village in the north of Iran, 90 Km away fromTehran toward Caspian Sea. Every year and by the second month of spring, people in Aabesk perform very interesting ceremony that is called, Barfchal (برف چال/ Barf: Snow / Chal: Ditch) and Zanshahi ( /زنشاهیZan: Woman / Shahi: Kingdom).

By the first or second week of the second month of spring, all men from 7 to 70 years old in the village go to the mountain and cut pieceof snow. Then they carry the cut pieces and bury them in a special ditch by 12 meters depth and 10 meters width. During this time when men are out of the village, women perform a womanly ceremony and call the ceremony as “Women Kingdom”. During the day the whole village is under authority of women and they dance in the streets and present breakfast and lunch to the inhabitant. In case they find any man in the village they would catch him and detain him in a stable, or even hit him hard! So no man dares to remain in the village whatsoever!
 
Or you can read in Cultural Heritage News Agency about Alasht: http://www.chnpress.com/news/?section=1&id=1004
 
Walking in the streets of Alasht, men should remember that facing any woman they must lower their head and say hello, because there is the Village of women.
 
From the top of the mountains surrounding the village, any traveler may notice a small home-like building few hundred meters off the village, to which a narrow winding path is led.

As a matter of fact this building is a shrine called Dokhtar-e Pak (Immaculate Girl). Locals believe that this shrine belongs to a grand lady and according to an old superstition, men should not approach the shrine or they will be bitten by its guardian serpent. Every weekend women and girls pray in the shrine in the hope of meeting their wishes.
 
Women of Alasht are the core of their family, who like the mountains of their residence, are proud facing the difficulties of life.
 
It is interesting to know that Mazani women were used as warriors in the Islamic times too, it is good to read this book: http://books.google.com/books?id=uuwcfCe284EC
 
 
More info about Khayr al-Nisa in this book: http://books.google.com/books?id=jDXdyMCx4xYC
 
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2012 at 10:05
That is most interesting, Cyrus.Smile Personally, and maybe it's in my blood somehow, but I like the idea of a woman in competition with me, as an equal, pushing the limits. But then again my reading material shows how I love the idea of adventure, and I love the adventure of a woman competing with me. I believe that the meaning of life is to strive, and that is to say when it stops it dies. So you should aim to do what you can in the time given to you. Aim to follow your dreams as far as you can. Smile

This is something else I've read about Amazons:
The Amazons were a society of female warriors reputed to be the daughters of the war god, Ares and the nymph, Harmonia.

The Amazons lived at the fringe of the civilized world beyond the shores of the Black Sea in the land of Scythia.

The Greek word, Amazon, comes from the combination of A (meaning Without) and Mazos (meaning Breast); the Amazons were said to have cut off their right breast so that it would not interfere with their use of the bow in battle.

The historian, Herodotus, said that the Scythians called the Amazons oeorpata which is the equivalent of Man Killers (orer being the Scythian word for Man and pata meaning Kill).

Early artwork representing the Amazons showed them as fierce warriors but later renderings showed them as comely women dressed in Persian garb

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  Quote cavalry4ever Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2012 at 14:32
I am surprised no one mentioned Queen Zenobia from Palmyra. She caused few headaches to roman generals. She was a field commander of her army and quite skillful one.

Edited by cavalry4ever - 03-Jan-2012 at 13:54
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2012 at 16:00
The fact is that Ultra-feminism was a major problem in Mazandaran from the anceint times. As I mentioned in another thread about "Zan-shahi", in the ancient times Mazani women organized small empires in the northern villages of Iran. They usually invaded other villages and captured some men, after having intercourse with them, they beheaded those poor men and used their bloods to fertilize their farms. The same thing happened about every male child who was born in the village.
 
For this reason Mazandaran has been called as the land of demons in Avesta: http://www.avesta.org/vendidad/vd1sbe.htm
 
The fourteenth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the four-cornered Varena39, for which was born Thraetaona, who smote Azi Dahaka [Zohak].

Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created abnormal issues in women40, and barbarian oppression41.

41. The aborigines of the Caspian littoral were Anarian savages, the so-called 'Demons of Mazana [Mazendaran].'
 
 
A day in the Persian month unique of Ordibehesht (April 21-May 21) of every year is an interesting occasion for all the women of Aab-Ask Village in northern Iran.
On this day, no man is allowed to stay in the village and women take charge of all the village affairs, Mehr News Agency reported.
On one Friday of Ordibehesht, the ancient ritual called ‘Zan Shahi’ (literally meaning the monarchical rule of women) or ‘Varf Chal’ is celebrated by the residents of Aab-Ask Village, 80 km from Amol, Mazandaran province.
Village Tradition
The day is usually selected by the village’s elders. All inhabitants gather in the village’s big square. Members of the Village Council and the elderly sing songs and inform everybody that no man, between 5 and 50 years, could stay in the village.
When the day arrives, before sunrise, women of the village prepare the things the men of the household need for a day, burn wild rue and see them off till they leave the village.
In the meantime, the women prepare themselves to rule over the village. The tradition is that one of the women becomes the queen and another becomes the symbolic bride of the village. Others become ministers, guards and soldiers.
The soldiers are busier than all other women, as they should constantly report to the queen about the village’s conditions. The guards ensure that no man enters the village.
The queen and all her entourage first visit families who are mourning the loss of one of their members. Then they go to families who have a sick person at home. The bride of the village congratulates all women who have been newly married.
The queen, who has been selected from among the prominent women of the village, should resolve the problems facing the women of the village on this day.
If a woman has a complaint about another woman, she should raise the matter in public so that the issue would be tackled.
On this day, many women who have had their vows fulfilled prepare food and distribute them.
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2012 at 16:07
Originally posted by Cyrus Shahmiri

The fact is that Ultra-feminism was a major problem in Mazandaran from the anceint times. As I mentioned in another thread about "Zan-shahi", in the ancient times Mazani women organized small empires in the northern villages of Iran. They usually invaded other villages and captured some men, after having intercourse with them, they beheaded those poor men and used their bloods to fertilize their farms. The same thing happened about every male child who was born in the village.
 
For this reason Mazandaran has been called as the land of demons in Avesta: http://www.avesta.org/vendidad/vd1sbe.htm
Do you have any information as to when the women of that region became enlightened enough to allow their males with their heads, Cyrus?
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2012 at 20:03
1st century - Agrippina the Younger, wife of Emperor Claudius, commanded Roman legions in Britain. The defeated Celtic captives bowed before her throne and ignored that of the emperor.
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jan-2012 at 05:41
Originally posted by TheAlaniDragonRising

Do you have any information as to when the women of that region became enlightened enough to allow their males with their heads, Cyrus?
 
It is not clear, of course there could be some mythical beliefs in the story too, we certainly know that Mazani women have always preferred to rule the villages, one of the reasons could be that women really work more than men in this region, it is interesting to read this article about Mazandaran Rural Areas: http://www.sid.ir/en/VEWSSID/J_pdf/112920090404.pdf
 
In line with previous studies, this survey revealed an accentuated role of women in all aspects of rural life. Women do most of the work in home making, cattle husbandry, keeping poultry and pasture exploitation.
 
Table 5- Role of men and women in pasture exploitation in selected villages:
 
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jan-2012 at 07:14
Originally posted by Cyrus Shahmiri

Originally posted by TheAlaniDragonRising

Do you have any information as to when the women of that region became enlightened enough to allow their males with their heads, Cyrus?
 
It is not clear, of course there could be some mythical beliefs in the story too, we certainly know that Mazani women have always preferred to rule the villages, one of the reasons could be that women really work more than men in this region, it is interesting to read this article about Mazandaran Rural Areas: http://www.sid.ir/en/VEWSSID/J_pdf/112920090404.pdf
 
In line with previous studies, this survey revealed an accentuated role of women in all aspects of rural life. Women do most of the work in home making, cattle husbandry, keeping poultry and pasture exploitation.
 
Table 5- Role of men and women in pasture exploitation in selected villages:
 
To me that would suggest that at some time in there history the women have had to rely on themselves heavily. This could have occurred if the men spent prolonged time away from them, or the men had been killed fighting. Of course this doesn't mean they couldn't be Amazons.Smile
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  Quote cavalry4ever Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jan-2012 at 14:02
I don't think ultra-feminism is the right term. All major civilizations started as matriarchies. It also applies to ancient religions. The traces of matriarchies can be observed in many societies to this day.
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jan-2012 at 14:26
Originally posted by cavalry4ever

I don't think ultra-feminism is the right term. All major civilizations started as matriarchies. It also applies to ancient religions. The traces of matriarchies can be observed in many societies to this day.
Yes I've got to agree with you there, I don't look upon these fighting women as ultra-feminists, more like women doing what the men were doing. As for civilizations starting as matriarchies, they were probably safer than when the men later took to sabre rattling in a big way. 
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jan-2012 at 16:47
Madar-shahi (matriarchy) and Zan-shahi are two different things, the first one refers to a social organization in which descent and relationship are reckoned through the female line but the second one is about a female social organization.
 
As I mentioned about the village of Alasht in Mazandaran, in this village women and girls have higher social status than men and boys, they have created a female community to rule over the village and men can't have any role.
 
But the important poinst is that "Women of Alasht are the core of their family, who like the mountains of their residence, are proud facing the difficulties of life."
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jan-2012 at 16:52
Originally posted by Cyrus Shahmiri

Madar-shahi (matriarchy) and Zan-shahi are two different things, the first one refers to a social organization in which descent and relationship are reckoned through the female line but the second one is about a female social organization.
 
As I mentioned about the village of Alasht in Mazandaran, in this village women and girls have higher social status than men and boys, they have created a female community to rule over the village and men can't have any role.
 
But the important poinst is that "Women of Alasht are the core of their family, who like the mountains of their residence, are proud facing the difficulties of life."
Personally I'm into equality, but I guess there's no kind of ruling to stop one group stopping such a thing there.
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