Kyra N asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 10 years ago

Were there any cultures from 500 BC to the 1600s in which women fought?

2 Answers

  • 10 years ago
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    Certainly there were cases of women who fought in wars, like Joan of Arc, the warrior queen Boadicea, or the Chinese heroine Mulan. But I've never heard of any culture where it was a normal occurrence.

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  • 10 years ago

    Boudicca personally led the revolt against the Romans in Britain in 60 AD,but it certainly was not normal practice for women in Celtic cultures to fight as warriors, and there are no direct primary sources describing Boudicca as personally taking part in combat.

    Joan of Arc definitely engaged in combat 1429-1430 during the Hundred Years War, but again this was not the norm for women in Late Medieval European culture.

    Some Indian armies from the 3rd century BC to about 400 AD included a unit known as The Maiden Guard (originally recruited from Greek girls in Bactrian Greek Indian states), and these were definitely used as combat units.

    In some Sarmation tribes up to around around 200 BC, there was a custom of not allowing a girl to marry until she had slain a foe in battle, proof being bringing the severed head of a foe back, so this would seem to be one example of a culture (at least in some Sarmatian tribes) where women fought, if only as individuals rather than in organized units.

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