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January 18
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Aelfwynn Eadgarsdohtor of Saxanana Rice by Gambargin Aelfwynn Eadgarsdohtor of Saxanana Rice by Gambargin
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 -… - 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 =P

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:

Knyaginya Olga of Velikoye Knyazhestvo Kavirovkoye by Gambargin Baronne Aubrey de Octeville of Duche de Normannus by Gambargin Basilissa Sotirisa Angelina of Basileia Rhiomaion by Gambargin

A Part of the Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited - You can find more on the various faction on the map here:

HWS Medieval Revisited - Faction Map v.1.1 (Updt.) by Gambargin

Compare to the Vikings Gunnhildr Freysdottir af Rogalan of Vikingrunionen by Gambargin and the Celts Deirdriu Nic Domnhail of Kingdom of Alba by Gambargin from the original series. (Not much difference i'd say)
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joolita Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014
She looks so distant and pensive and then in the background there is this perky guy with an axe, it made me smile.
Gambargin Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014
Ah yes, the guy with axe was fun to draw. I was trying to bring more people into the backgrounds to add more feeling into the drawings :)
Gurdim Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014
Well, even with all the differences due to migrations, different time spans, mix with other cultures, technologic advance... etc... all these (not including the celts, of course, may a lightning struck me down! XD) ... was saying, i mean saxons, franks, anglosaxons, longobards, vikings with their proto-vikings ancestors, in minord degree the latter rus and the after-William da conqueror normans... they all were of germanic roots, and it can be seen from all their similarities, from the war gears, the shoes, the pantheon, the language (Tolkien docet), etc ^^

Only thing that once puzzled me was "why the longbards, the saxons and the sutton hoo guys, who came before the vikings, had all these super elaborated armors and weapons, full of particulars etc? The vikings were more advanced yet their stuff looks stinky compared to that!"
... well actually the answer is so simple it's stupid.... Vikings? We found stuff of guys from a wide range of wealth, while from pre-vikings... we found almost only the suppa-rich guys XD

As for the image, i love it, but actually i haven't found a pic i dont like in your gallery, yet xD. Just mind that the sword in the scabbard on the back is pure fantasy, as it is a pain to unsheat...


i was discussing this thing with my bro, who is a reenactor, and he told me "yeah, back scabbard is wrong, historically, but that typical germanic configuration, with the scabbard on a belt hanging from your shoulder... it's not impossible to make it slide around your torso, until the sword is on your back, and in times of march, with no chance of fight in sight, it can be more confortable than having the sword diddling on your side. Of course when the army senses violence in the air incoming, you'd better put back the tool of the trade in the professional position xD" 

See that "sperimental history" really is useful xD (wish more historian would aknowledge it :|)
Gambargin Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014
Indeed you are correct, these Germanics have similarities with them. It was probably more interesting back when England was ruled by much more germanic tribes, like the Saxons, the Jutes, the Angles and others....

I read once that vikings had to import swords from outside (like franks) because the iron in Scandinavia was of poor quality back then...

As for the sword hanging on the back, it's mostly for transportation reason, especially if the sword is pretty big (like longsword) :D
Gurdim Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014
uhm to be honest i dunno, i heard the opposite, that in Scandinavia there was the best iron XD Or maybe it's just (and i'm sure) that there were the best metalworkers, they exported swords all around Europe, with even their trademark on the blade, like a certain famous ULFHBERT guy (was literally hetched like this, in huge capital letters, on the blade XD) and seems some of these high quality swords were inherited and used from the Xth century AC to..... the 1200 O.o 
My-Sword-is-Bigger Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I honestly can't get over how awesome your pictures are, mate. Well done :D
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
Always a pleasure, i'm glad you like my works buddy!
coragus Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
they weren't the most warlike in terms that I know for the latter years around 800-1000AD. their main ranks of their armies were the fyrd, simple peasant folk. there were professional warriors but they tended to be guards like the famous huscarls that ended up joining the varagian guard. the saxons had towns, but most of the country was covered in small shires. 
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
Thanks for the information, i have to say it's actually quite interesting to read their story. Anglo-saxons weren't the ones i'm really familiar with, and it was rather surprising to see their warfare and communities than what i initially expected.

You seemed to be very versed in their history :)
LuchoBorello Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014
Please, pass me some links or book's names. I simply love this draw! haha
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