A concept drawing for the Anglo-Saxon Woman Warriors of the Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited, which is a recreation of the original HWS series based on the AD 800 - AD 1400 era of warfare. Saxanana Reis represents the Anglo-Saxon faction in the series, which is roughly based on the Kingdom of Wessex and Kingdom of England before the Norman Invasion in the 11th Century.
Inspired by the music - www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU3I0g…
- Thor (hymns of the Old Gods) by Andreas Waldetoft
The British Isles had been home to some of the most ferocious and warlike people that even Romans had difficulties dealing with since they first landed in the shores of kent centuries ago. There they found the brave and independent Celtic tribes, who held themselves superior in their ways of life, compared to the more decadent and draconian ways of Rome. It was not until the decline of the roman empire, that another "foreigner" landed on the shore of Britain, a group of Germanic people that would later be known as Anglo-Saxons.
The Anglo-Saxons established themselves as rulers, along with the welsh, picts and the irish, wrestling control over the british isles in a seemingly endless conflict. These made them hardy warriors, accustomed to brutal war and proud display of bravery. Later in the centuries, the Vikings came into their doorstep, and brought many influence along with the destruction they had caused to the Anglo-Saxons. These saxons would continue to rule england, until one day, another foreigner came to the island, not as raiders, but as conqueror who wanted to claim the land for their own, the people we know today as the Normans.
Historically speaking, the Anglo-Saxons were pretty simple in terms of their way of life as compared to the more complex culture of their european neighbors. Architecture was rather simplistic, with a fair bit of romanesque and Celtic influence. Warfare consisted mostly of Shield Walls clashing together in a spectacular fight, and their society revolved around kinship and the principle of an "eye for an eye" (or something similar, in my own words)
The women of the Anglo-Saxons were probably similar to that of their north Germanic brethren. They had rights to hold property, in marriage and also in some legal proceedings that gave them considerable freedom for modern standard. Warfare were no strangers to these women too, given that life expectancy was less than 30 yrs old back then, you'd be expected to know how to fight, or at least to defend yourself
As for the character in this drawing, Aelfwynn Eadgarsdohtor, the daughter of the local theign to the king, is drawn in a mail shirt, a fur overcoat, a (very badly drawn) large round shield, as well the ornamented stylized anglo saxon helmet. Bear in mind that these equipment would be very very expensive (think of your yearly salary, multiplied by 2), and her helmet would be reserved only to very rich nobles, but certainly offered one of the best protection available, and also a display of prestige. She also had to be very strong and powerful to be able to smash through shield walls and would probably be able to pluck a man's head bare hand
I'm sure there will be many that are versed in the history of the Anglo-Saxons, so if you do find any errors, i'd really appreciate any historical feedback, and please apologize for any unintended errors.
Maybe related to the following:
A Part of the Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited - You can find more on the various faction on the map here:
Compare to the Vikings
and the Celts
from the original series. (Not much difference i'd say)