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Iranian Womans roles in the military

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  Quote Dari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Iranian Womans roles in the military
    Posted: 14-Aug-2004 at 13:00

What did Iranian woman, during the Mede, Achaemenid, Hellenstic (Selecuid), Parthian and Sassanian era's do in the military. I have heard from reading Ferdowsi's Shah Nameh that there were several female commanders and heros present at Ninevah, as well as other battles.

I also heard that the Parthians employed many female commanders against the Romans. Is this true? Even if not, did woman really particpate in war with their husbands and men?



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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2004 at 16:28
Grand Admiral Artemisia
Artemisia The First, of Halicarnassius, A Living Legend
The Leader and Head of Mighty Imperial Persian Navy.
One of the bravest women of all times in the history of Persian Empire & the world.One of the greatest Military minds of the world.A typical Independent woman. The first female officer ever, in the history of the world.
A true legend,Grand Admiral Artemisia, commander in Chief of the Persian Navy during Achaemenids Dynasty.Artemisia,
Artemisia (Latin), Artemesus (Greek), Artemesius (Roman), Artemis (Persian),Artemis meaning: (The great speaker of the truth) also, (named after the great goddess of hunting Artemis sister of Apollo) or Artemisia, The Grand Admiral, leader of the Persian Navy during Xerxes, Xerxes' great love.Artemisia, simply a Persian Legend.
(5th century B.C.)Artemisia I (not to be mistaken with Artemisia II Queen of Halicarnassius)Queen of Halicarnassus, a city state in Anatolia, and of the nearby island of Cos in about 480 BC. Artemisia ruled under the overlordship of the Persian Emperor Xerxes I (Kheshayar Shah) (reigned 486-465 BC) and participated in Xerxes' Persian Achaemenids' invasion of Greece (480-479BC).

Named after Artemis, the Goddess of Hunting, Artemisia was the daughter of Lygdamis, a wealthy Greek Halicarnassian and a Cretan (Crete Island) mother. Now over here there is still other factors which creates doubts that Artemisia was half Greek and half Cretan. There is no doubt that Artemisia was Queen of Halicarnassus a Greek City State and later a colony of Persian Empire, yet the question is that was she originally a:
a) A Half Greek/half Cretan woman.
b) A native of Halicarnassus which was in Anatolia and back then considered Lydia (Present Turkey).
c) A woman originally originated of elsewhere in Persian Empire.

No matter which theory is correct, She was considered a citizen of Persian Empire, her sympathies were for Persian Empire, her patriotism was towards Persian Empire, she worked her way to the top by credibility and worthiness to become first a navy officer and then The Grand Admiral of The Mighty Persian Navy.

Artemisia was the ruler of Halicarnassus (near today's Bodrum, Turkey) and its neighboring islands, part of the Persian Empire then ruled by Xerxes (Kheshayar Shah I). When Xerxes went to war against Greece (480-479 B.C.), Artemisia led her powerful ships and helped Xerxes defeat the Greeks in the begining phases of naval battle of Salamis. The Greeks offered a reward of 10,000 drachmas for capturing Artemisia, but no one succeeded in winning the prize.

Artemisia used politics to put her city state under the protection of Persian Empire, she truly used politics when she participated in the naval battle supporting Xerxes in his Greek campaigns. But ultimately she opened her way & she opened up the way for all women, when she saw the big picture. The little city state of Halicarnassius was no more the issue! She was already a Queen, a navy commander, a member of elite aristocracy, a war hero, & a famous woman, but she wanted it all! She wanted to register her name in history. Battles of Salamis, Thermopylae, Plataea and Mycale, also others were just great campaigns, some won & some lost. Persian Empire took a big risk, won a little, lost a little, yet held on to its past position in Europe before the Greek Campaign, now what? Now Artemisia of Halicarnassus wanted to become Artemisia of Persian Empire!

By this time Artemisia was a legend. She used this fame to first launch two different campaigns. She saw life as a large battle field! First she wanted Xerxes! She was sexy, strong, built, a typical athletic in shape woman with beauty & culture. She made an oath to get Xerxes. She was nuts about him. there was something about Xerxes that drove her crazy! Xerxes was a great military mind himself, his African, European, and Asian campaigns are well known. Xerxes was also a great flirt, a play boy, women's man, & a very arrogant aristocrat.. Capturing his heart was a great task to do for Artemisia. Xerxes was a great Nationalist. He was a true believer in the Persian system of running an Empire. He used Cyrus' philosophy of human rights issue, legend to Cyrus Cylinder The First Human Rights Document ever in the world, & he mixed it with Persian Expansionism of the Empire, Achaemenid's style & Fair based governing style of Darius his father mixed with his own Military Ingenuity. What a combination! To win Xerxes' heart was to impress him militarily! Xerxes had seen it all, he had women throwing themselves @ him from all parts of empire from Chinese border in the East & Aristocrats from Ariana & Bahktar Satrapees (two states of the Persian Empire presently known as Afghanistan) all the way to Greek colonies of Persian Empire in the West & Europe. He had women lined up from Masagget (Fish Eaters) land & north shores of Caspian Sea @ north all the way to Siranaik & Napata (present Libya) & Egyptian Southern border in Africa in south!Artemisia wanted to also achieve something else, this brings us to her second goal. She wanted a very high position & command in Persian Court House to establish her absolute power & authority in the Persian Achaemenid's Court. Well, Persian Empire being the only Super Power in the known world back then, she wanted to be an important part of it!Amazingly Artemisia done something to achieve her first & second goal!

Her first goal was to capture Xerxes' heart.
Her second goal was to establish herself as a power element in the Achaemenid's Empire by possessing an important position.

What she done was to impress Xerxes by her brave Navy campaigns & bravery in battle field. She gave naval support to Xerxes & Mardoniuses forces (Arteshbod Mardonius/Persian Field Marshal of Xerxes & of Royal family). She fought in the battle like a man. she showed military genius & ingenuity. She impressed the hell out of Xerxius. By doing this she for sure captured his heart & definitely accomplished getting a high position in Persian government.

Artemisia became Xerxes' lover, actually his greatest love until that day! Yet Xerxes never married her, funny how Xerxes later ended up marrying Esther his Jewish Princess! Yes, no matter how much this great love affair between Xerxes & Artemisia dragged on, yet they never got married! It was destiny for Esther to come along in the years ahead & to steal Xerxes' heart again!



     
            
     
     
     

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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Aug-2004 at 06:37
I found this cool link a while ago that had the names of many many ancient Iranian women in important polictical, religious and military postions, I tried to find it again through google, but had no luck.
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  Quote Rakhsh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Nov-2005 at 08:40
nice
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jul-2006 at 07:49
(mistake post)

Edited by izobelle - 20-Jul-2006 at 07:53
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jul-2006 at 07:49
Jamshidi- I know it has been some time since you posted here, but I was wondering if you could give references for your post.  I found it extremely interesting and would like to read more.
 
Thanks in advance,
 
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  Quote kingofmazanderan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jul-2006 at 15:32
What about the Sarmatians i know they wernt exactly part of the Iranian empire but their women fought along side the men almost all the time.  I even heard at birth they had one of their breasts burned so that it wouldnt grow so that they could be better archers.
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  Quote Herschel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jul-2006 at 13:14
Yes, the Iranians of the steppe (Sarmatians, Scythians, Sogdinians, etc.) allowed their women to fight in battle with them. I read that both sexes would get high before battle and enter a trance, in which they fought like berserkers.
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  Quote Apo-Init Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2007 at 12:39
Originally posted by kingofmazanderan

What about the Sarmatians i know they wernt exactly part of the Iranian empire but their women fought along side the men almost all the time.  I even heard at birth they had one of their breasts burned so that it wouldnt grow so that they could be better archers.
 
Yes, Sarmatian women did fight as warriors but the custom of burning a breast off was what the Greeks said about the Amazons NOT the Sarmatians, and is only a myth (lie) to defeminze the Amazons since all the Greek depictions of Amazons show them with both breasts in tact, and of course breasts don't interfere in archery skill anyway as there are plenty of full breasted female archers.
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  Quote Apo-Init Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2007 at 12:42
Originally posted by Herschel

Yes, the Iranians of the steppe (Sarmatians, Scythians, Sogdinians, etc.) allowed their women to fight in battle with them. I read that both sexes would get high before battle and enter a trance, in which they fought like berserkers.
 
Actually, only the Sarmatians allowed their women to fight.  I don't know about the other peoples you mentioned. Sogdians was a name applied to sendentary agricultural people in Central Asia. But certain nomad groups like the Saka and Massagetae were known to have warrior women. The Massagetae were once led by Queen Tomyris who defeated the Perians and took King Cyrus's head as a trophy. There was also a Saka warrior queen named Zarina.
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  Quote Ardeshir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2007 at 14:04
I think the Iranians were the first people to let their women fight.
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  Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2007 at 14:10
Artemisia was of Hellenic origin and culture.Concerning her "devotion" to the Persian Empire,it is not that it had any other choice.When the King is on your doorstep (Ionia) ,you cannot deny any assistance to him,can you?With this way Artemisia tried to gain more for her city,not for the Persian Empire.
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