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Viking 'Warrior' Presumed to Be a Man Is Actually a Woman

17 Sep 2017 18:24 #56273 by slim36
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17 Sep 2017 23:19 #56278 by Woodclaw
This is a major discovery and it has been all the rage in many groups I read. There is a lot that rides on it, from redefining the perception of women in the medieval scandinavian culture, but the evidence is still very limited and fragmentary. so far the most damning evidence is that this woman doesn't diaply any sign of ever been into combat (i.e. broken bones or other injuries), but we all know that there might be another explanation ;)

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19 Sep 2017 01:35 - 19 Sep 2017 01:39 #56286 by shadar
Most people were a lot smaller in Medieval days. But not the Norse, who were tall and ridiculously strong in comparison. Part of that was genetics, but a bigger part was that Vikings had a high protein, high calorie food supply. The average Medieval serf who farmed a bit of land (and was heavily taxed of his crops) was starving a lot of the time, including while growing up.

It would not surprise me that a high-status Nordic woman, trained for combat and well-fed since birth, and given a degree of personal freedom that women in other countries did not enjoy at that time, could hold her own against the average conscripted French, Italian, Spanish, etc. soldier.

I think I read somewhere that the average Nordic woman was taller than the average non-Nordic European man of that era.

Tall, strong, fierce and warlike blue-eyed blondes. Sounds good until you have to face one wielding a sword and who wants to kill you. Then they might as well be White Walkers.

Shadar
Last edit: 19 Sep 2017 01:39 by shadar.
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19 Sep 2017 10:04 #56290 by Woodclaw

shadar wrote: Most people were a lot smaller in Medieval days. But not the Norse, who were tall and ridiculously strong in comparison. Part of that was genetics, but a bigger part was that Vikings had a high protein, high calorie food supply. The average Medieval serf who farmed a bit of land (and was heavily taxed of his crops) was starving a lot of the time, including while growing up.

It would not surprise me that a high-status Nordic woman, trained for combat and well-fed since birth, and given a degree of personal freedom that women in other countries did not enjoy at that time, could hold her own against the average conscripted French, Italian, Spanish, etc. soldier.

I think I read somewhere that the average Nordic woman was taller than the average non-Nordic European man of that era.

Tall, strong, fierce and warlike blue-eyed blondes. Sounds good until you have to face one wielding a sword and who wants to kill you. Then they might as well be White Walkers.

Shadar


I don't have the articles at hand, but I remember clearly reading several sources that debunked most of those claim. While it was true that the vikings were usually pretty damn in shape for their day and age, vikings and Norse aren't synonimous: the word "viking" comes from an ancient Norse word "vik" that means "to go on a journey" (or rather a raid), the vikings were the military elite of the Norse society, like the knights in other parts of Europe and the differences in terms of strength and body structure between a viking and a Norse farmer were more or less similar to those between a knight and a French farmer. Both vikings and knights were professional warriors, opposed to levies and other support units summoned in time of need and they both underwent an extremely rigorous training (according to the memories of a French knight, the minumum daily training regime was running 2 miles in full combat gear).
As far as the degree of freedom enjoyed by Norse women that's one of the elements up to debate and a lot of it now hinges on this discovery.

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19 Sep 2017 16:31 #56295 by shadar

Woodclaw wrote:

shadar wrote: Most people were a lot smaller in Medieval days. But not the Norse, who were tall and ridiculously strong in comparison. Part of that was genetics, but a bigger part was that Vikings had a high protein, high calorie food supply. The average Medieval serf who farmed a bit of land (and was heavily taxed of his crops) was starving a lot of the time, including while growing up.

It would not surprise me that a high-status Nordic woman, trained for combat and well-fed since birth, and given a degree of personal freedom that women in other countries did not enjoy at that time, could hold her own against the average conscripted French, Italian, Spanish, etc. soldier.

I think I read somewhere that the average Nordic woman was taller than the average non-Nordic European man of that era.

Tall, strong, fierce and warlike blue-eyed blondes. Sounds good until you have to face one wielding a sword and who wants to kill you. Then they might as well be White Walkers.

Shadar


I don't have the articles at hand, but I remember clearly reading several sources that debunked most of those claim. While it was true that the vikings were usually pretty damn in shape for their day and age, vikings and Norse aren't synonimous: the word "viking" comes from an ancient Norse word "vik" that means "to go on a journey" (or rather a raid), the vikings were the military elite of the Norse society, like the knights in other parts of Europe and the differences in terms of strength and body structure between a viking and a Norse farmer were more or less similar to those between a knight and a French farmer. Both vikings and knights were professional warriors, opposed to levies and other support units summoned in time of need and they both underwent an extremely rigorous training (according to the memories of a French knight, the minumum daily training regime was running 2 miles in full combat gear).
As far as the degree of freedom enjoyed by Norse women that's one of the elements up to debate and a lot of it now hinges on this discovery.


I'm not surprised that a lot of what has been written about Vikings, and Norse in general, has been embellished for various reasons, including political ones in the 30's and 40's. But those of us who aren't archaeologists have to depend on what's been written.

Perhaps this new discovery and others will rewrite the story, although which way is hard to decide.

As far as Vikings == Knights, that makes perfect sense. I was going to note that when I posted my earlier reply, but instead focused on a warrior Norse woman among the Vikings, and facing some poor bastard Frenchman (or his ilk) who had been on his farm half starving a month (or a week or a day) earlier, but now is supposedly a soldier with a spear or whatever in his hands.

Of course, not all Viking women are fierce...



Shadar

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20 Sep 2017 18:08 #56303 by Agent00Soul


Those are some clean Vikings!

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20 Sep 2017 20:27 #56305 by Woodclaw

Agent00Soul wrote: Those are some clean Vikings!


In actual fact there are some account from the XI century that mentioned cleanliness as one of the most defining traits among the people from Northen Europe. Apparently it was customary to dedicate a full day each week to bathing and personal care. There are also several archeological findings of combs -- usually made from bones -- in sites from the viking age.

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24 Sep 2017 03:50 - 24 Sep 2017 03:50 #56348 by Mynn
How very interesting. I never thought high-ranking female human warriors existed during that era. If that were the case, how was the viking culture like when it came to treating female warriors? Or did they know if the female warrior was female in the first place?

This revelation of your Earth's lore has enthralled me dear.

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Last edit: 24 Sep 2017 03:50 by Mynn.

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