Female Viking warriors: truth or fiction?

Feb 2019
868
Pennsylvania, US
Graves with females only? Or males and females. Because viking warriors had female slaves who were buried with their masters. It's unclear if weapons were also used as decoration with female slaves. Likely , females slaves were killed before burial. I cannot imagine burying people alive.
These were from a mix of locations and areas - from single individual (Birka) and mass Viking burials - but also from cultures were sacrifice wasn't associated with burial rituals... In cases like the mass grave in York (supposed "Great Viking Army" burial site), where there were male and female remains, the sacrificial deaths were believed to be identified and did not include the female bodies (there were two sacrificed boys, placed in an unusual position with a sheep jaw at their feet - these were believed to be killed at the time of burial).

Also, from graves like the Oseberg Ship burial, researchers noted that the items included with the burial are not only the possessions of the diseased, but items that marked key life events for that individual. Basically this means that the importance of the objects buried with the dead are much greater than items for use in the afterlife, but they were included to tell the story of a person's life and achievements. If this represents how a Viking chose items for burial, this seem like it would give more weight to the argument that the weapons buried with women were used by the women in life...

From what I've read, holding back the possessions of the deceased from the grave (even an item that was needed by the living) would have negative effects... ranging from haunting by the reanimated corpse (the Draugr, who leave their grave with immense strength and insatiable hunger for flesh) come back to claim their possessions to condemning the soul of the dead to a sort of void/limbo, because their status in life is not recognized after death.

I've never heard that weapons were used as decorations for female slaves before... which burial was this?
 
Dec 2017
801
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These were from a mix of locations and areas - from single individual (Birka) and mass Viking burials - but also from cultures were sacrifice wasn't associated with burial rituals... In cases like the mass grave in York (supposed "Great Viking Army" burial site), where there were male and female remains, the sacrificial deaths were believed to be identified and did not include the female bodies (there were two sacrificed boys, placed in an unusual position with a sheep jaw at their feet - these were believed to be killed at the time of burial).
It has been shown in Norse funerals, thralls (slaves) could be sacrificed during a funeral so they could serve their master in the next world. Viking warriors traveling around Europe captured slaves.

Sigurðarkviða hin skamma (Old Norse poem) contains several stanzas in which the Valkyrie Brynhildr (in Norse mythology one of a host of female figures who choose those who may die in battle and those who may live) gives instructions for the number of slaves to be sacrificed for the funeral of the hero Sigurd, and how their bodies were to be arranged on the pyre, as in the following stanza

Bond-women five
shall follow him,
And eight of my thralls,
well-born are they,
Children with me,
and mine they were
As gifts that Budhli
his daughter gave

Occasionally in the Viking Age, a widow was sacrificed at her husband's funeral.
 
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Dec 2017
801
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As an example

Viking graves in Norway contain a grisly tribute: slaves who were beheaded and buried along with their masters, new research suggests.
In Flakstad, Norway, remains from 10 ancient people were buried in multiple graves, with two to three bodies in some graves and some bodies decapitated. Now, an analysis reveals the beheaded victims ate a very different diet from the people with whom they were buried.
Viking Graves Yield Grisly Find: Sacrificed Slaves
 
Feb 2019
868
Pennsylvania, US
It has been shown in Norse funerals, thralls (slaves) could be sacrificed during a funeral so they could serve their master in the next world. Viking warriors traveling around Europe captured slaves.

Sigurðarkviða hin skamma (Old Norse poem) contains several stanzas in which the Valkyrie Brynhildr (in Norse mythology one of a host of female figures who choose those who may die in battle and those who may live) gives instructions for the number of slaves to be sacrificed for the funeral of the hero Sigurd, and how their bodies were to be arranged on the pyre, as in the following stanza

Bond-women five
shall follow him,
And eight of my thralls,
well-born are they,
Children with me,
and mine they were
As gifts that Budhli
his daughter gave

Occasionally in the Viking Age, a widow was sacrificed at her husband's funeral.
I don't think anyone here would argue whether Vikings sacfriced humans or not... or even whether they included sacrificed humans in graves at the time of burial.

I'm not sure how this relates to women buried with weapons...
 
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Dec 2017
801
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I don't think anyone here would argue whether Vikings sacfriced humans or not... or even whether they included sacrificed humans in graves at the time of burial.

I'm not sure how this relates to women buried with weapons...
I will search for that information a little later. PS Did women in the graves mentioned by you had weapons with them?
 
Dec 2017
801
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I also think many won't argue whether or not there were female warriors among Vikings. It's not if there were female warriors, it's how many were there. I suspect some exaggerate their numbers.I read 2-3 treaties between Byzantium and Varangiands (Vikings in the east) listing the names of Varangians. There were no female names. Maybe only chiefs Varangians were mentioned in the treaties.

PS Arab traveler Ibn Fadlan traveled to Volga Bulgaria (present day Tatarstan on Volga river). In his chronicle he described he met Varangians and how a female slave was sacrificed during burial of her master :Ahmad ibn Fadlan - Wikipedia
 
Feb 2019
868
Pennsylvania, US
I also think many won't argue whether or not there were female warriors among Vikings.
Well, you certainly did... on this same thread, a few weeks ago... I'm glad you changed your stance! :)

I suspect some exaggerate their numbers.
I've been trying to keep terms concerning the existence of female warriors as being in the realm of possibility / “hens teeth”. I don't think anyone here suggested they had large numbers... but some people are having a hard time when it is simply asserted that one (Birka woman) existed. That's more the crux of the matter here.

PS Arab traveler Ibn Fadlan traveled to Volga Bulgaria (present day Tatarstan on Volga river). In his chronicle he described he met Varangians and how a female slave was sacrificed during burial of her master :Ahmad ibn Fadlan - Wikipedia
Who doesn't like a good sacrifice now and again?
 
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Feb 2019
868
Pennsylvania, US
Since , I researched on the subject and changed my mind. :)
Well, that's a very laudable quality - I have immense respect for any person who can be strong enough to question their stance, honest enough with themselves to research/learn more... and willing to openly admit it without excuse. Those are all very difficult to face yet are excellent qualities... I hope I have as much character when I ever end up on the wrong side of factual evidence (I've been there before - and most likely will be there again).
 
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