Which female heads of state were present on the battlefield

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
34,578
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#21
- Isabella 1 Of Castile was often on military campaigns (Katherine Of Aragon was born on during one of them),
- Mary Queen Of Scotland,
- Elizabeth 1,
- Katherine Of Aragon was involved in the war with the Scottish at the start Of Henry 8's reign
If you're going to carry on participating on this forum, learn the Roman numerals. Consider this an official warning. We expect certain standards to be met, and you have no excuse for not doing it, if you are genuinely interested in real history, not just watching historical dramas.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,713
Sydney
#22
Picky ! picky ! picky !
I agree ,
please pretty please roman numerals are the standard and should be adhered to ,
so is the numbering of army corps and the convention of the right and left bank of a river as facing the downward course
 
Apr 2019
406
India
#24
The accounts don’t record if they held weapons, but they commanded armies in battle and the history of Liao records that it was custom for many Kitan women to be adept at shooting and riding, and it provides these two empresses as examples, so I would assume that they likely had some skill with weapons.
Even if they were trained doesn't necessarily mean that they were using their skills in real life situation. I mean if empresses had big and well trained army at their disposal then why would they dirty their hands. There were many female heads of the state who used to be present at the battlefield or who were involved in war planning and diplomacy. But they did not actually fight. Nevertheless it doesn't mean their intelligence and leadership skills were not worthy of merit. But I'm somewhat confused by criteria for this thread.
It seems in India most of women belonging to warrior class used to recieve military training but they did not weild weapons in the wars unless the situation was really distressful like if most of the male members of the military were dead or when their army was severely outnumbered by their respective enemies. Even then many women preferred to do suicide. Although women used to be employed as guards and spies.
 
Jan 2016
589
United States, MO
#25
Its like asking why would Chinggis Khan dirty his hands. The leaders of nomadic states on the steppe always lead their armies into war. Yes, they had generals. But the head of the state acted as the top general which meant commanding armies in the field when the need arose. These Kitan women who controlled the state had to fulfill the requirements of being the head of the state which included leading troops.

Did they personally kill enemies? I don’t know but I don’t think it matters too much. The role of being a general doesn’t entail directly engaging the enemy because it is inefficient, but the actions of the general take at least as much or debatably more of the responsibility for enemy deaths.
 
Apr 2019
406
India
#26
Its like asking why would Chinggis Khan dirty his hands. The leaders of nomadic states on the steppe always lead their armies into war. Yes, they had generals. But the head of the state acted as the top general which meant commanding armies in the field when the need arose. These Kitan women who controlled the state had to fulfill the requirements of being the head of the state which included leading troops.

Did they personally kill enemies? I don’t know but I don’t think it matters too much. The role of being a general doesn’t entail directly engaging the enemy because it is inefficient, but the actions of the general take at least as much or debatably more of the responsibility for enemy deaths.
This is why I said that I'm confused about the criteria for being mentioned in this thread. Is this thread about the warriors or the leaders?
I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,622
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#28
Would Boudica qualify?
I think so. And I was pondering the status of Hatshepsut. When she was the Son/Daughter of Ra of KemeT [this is a transliteration of how Ancient Egyptians called Egypt ... "KmT"] it happened she leaded the Egyptian Army, but with Thutmose III in battle and alone only in case of expeditions. So, in this context, she's in the middle.
 
Likes: MG1962a

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,296
#29
Has anyone mentioned Zenobia of Palmyra? She donned armour and led troops personally during her rebellion against Rome. Boudicca rebelled against Roman occupation in Britain.
 
Jun 2012
7,384
Malaysia
#30
Yep. Naomasa has. And Zenobia indeed more than deserves credit as a bravest & most illustrious warrior queen. There was another one from Arabia, can't recall her name now.

The Massagetae (who might well have also kind of evolved into the Kamboja over time, at some stage of history) were well known for their strong women, Tahm Rayis (i. e. Tomyris) still surviving in Uzbek folklore. Kripa (Cleophis) is said to have faced off against Alexander after her son the newly installed king died in battle fighting him. While I'm kind of inclined to believe that the legendary Penthesilea of Trojan War fame was also actually one of them. if the legend is true.
 
Last edited:

Similar History Discussions