Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Aethelflaed of Mercia, 917 AD - Women War Queens by Gambargin Aethelflaed of Mercia, 917 AD - Women War Queens by Gambargin
A Quick Concept Drawing for Aethelflaed (Æthelflæd) Alfredsdohtor, Lady of the Mercians. She was the daughter of King Alfred the Great who ruled the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom, later married to Aethelred, lord of Mercia and ruled his kingdom after his death, from 911 AD to 918 AD.


Historical Women War Queens Logo by Gambargin
Project: Women War Queens Series

"Earh mæg þæt an þæt he him ondræde"



DRAWING COMMENTARIES

Made in collaboration under the guidance and historical advice from :iconuracca:. After the recent events, she has helped me to see if i can start and get into the habbit of drawing again. Inspired by her recent works on Artemisia of Caria, as well as the poll I made earlier on which "Historical Women Warriors I should Draw?".

In this drawing, she is depicted wearing hauberk/chainmial shirt, as well as a stylized full-face Anglo-Saxon Helmet with little boar, since i'm a bit lazy to draw her face. She is accompanied by her fellow Mercian Lords, as well as her heavily armed retainers or Thegns. I chose this depiction because in my opinion, since she took part in the battle against the Danish Viking, she would have been properly armed and armored just like her mercian lords and thanes, although I may includes some stylization which could be considered inaccurate =P

Inspired by the song fit for an Anglo-Saxon Queen - TES Skyrim OST - Sovngarde

Credit goes to :iconmy-sword-is-bigger:,:iconcoragus:,:iconarwendeluhtiene: and :iconbrowncoatmando: for the inspiration in creation of this drawing :)


HISTORICAL COMMENTARIES


We have heard of the Vikings and how they invaded England. Ferocious in their fight, they would face the equally fierce and brave Anglo-saxons who fought them back that started the period of which, the two wrestled control over England. Amidst the height of the conflict in 10th century, rose one figure who bested the vikings, a Woman who had successfully defeated another of britain's invaders, something that Boudicca failed with the Romans centuries earlier. Her name was Aethelflaed, the Lady of the Mercians, A figure revered by both the English and the Celts for her fight against the Pagan invaders of Britain.

Aethelflaed was the daughter of King Alfred the Great, nd English King of Anglo-Saxon origin, who later married the Lord of Mercia, Aethelred. At this time, the Anglo Saxons were divided into few political divisions, and Alfred needed to secure the alliance he needs to defeat the Vikings who occupied most of eastern and northern England. Various intermarriage between the Anglo-Saxons royal families were therefore important in order to unite them in fighting against the Viking, as such, this is where Aethelflaed comes into part. Her Husband, Aethelred, ruled Mercia which is located north of the Kingdom of Wessex, and shared border with Welsh to the west, and the East Anglians (Viking Dominion) to the east. Despite being one of the prominent power in the region, Althered was loyal to the Wessex King, preferring to be called as Ealdorman. It was from her marriage to him that lady Aethelflaed learned the intrigue of politics, and the necessity of securing political alliances in order to combat the threat of the Vikings.

When Alfred Died in 899, The Mercian Ealdorman Aethelred assured his support for Alfred's Successor, Edward, the brother of Aethelflaed. However, as the time pass, Aethelred grew older and weaker and in the last few years of his reign, Aethelflaed began to assert her control over Mercian affairs, though always in conjuction with her Brother, Edward, whom by now, is the King of Wessex. In 911, Aethelred died, and the control over Mercia passed onto Aethelflaed, which by this time, had already been recognized and gained majority support amongst the Mercian nobility. She also helped her brother Alfred in council over matter ranging from domestic, city-building as well as political affairs, which assisted Alfred greatly. She was, as described in her chronicle, a Woman who protected men at home and intimidated them abroad, due to her superior management and diplomatic skills. Despite her popularity abroad and within, she refused to be called queen, instead, adopted the title "Lady of Mercian" so as to maintain political alliance with her brother Edward.

Ever since then, Edwards developed and executed a new strategy in expanding the realm alongside her sister. Aethelflaed began by building numerous fortifications and burghs alon the mercian border, as well as fending of incusions sent by the Vikings, Irish, and the Northumbrians. This allowed the Anglo-saxons to consolidate their hold over the reigon, and provide source of manpower and supplies before a full force assault on the vikings. Througout much of this period, the tension between the Viking and the Anglo-saxon some what relaxed, however, on the other hand Aethelfaled was tempted into entering Wales and began her campaign against the Welsh, storming Brecenanmere in 916 and subjugating it's welsh king. Later on the following year, the Vikings warbands from Northampton and Leicester marched on to mercia and led a Major assault against it, pillaging many of the towns and slaughtering their inhabitants. Thus, the call of war has been called, from there, Aethelflaed and Edward began to move on the offensive.

One of the famous event in this fight against the vikings was the two pronged attack in 917, Edward would assault the Danes at East Anglia, while Aethelfaled marched towards derby and conquered the Viking stronghold there. The result was the removal of Viking powers in East Anglia, Bedford, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Northampton and Derby, were the survivors pledged their allegiance to Edward. Given the Success, In spring on 918, Edward led an advance on Stamford, while at the same time, Aethelflaed launched an attack on Leicester, both of which were capture by the 2 anglo-saxon assaults. The victories caused a major shock to many of the vikings, that the Vikings of York pledged their submission to Edward, fearing the power and might of the Anglo-Saxons. The brother and sister became celebrated figures due to their success, but alas, such joy did not last long.

In June 918, Aethelflaed fell ill, and passed away. It was a loss that saddened all of Mercia, and to Edward, who had been working closely together with her sister previously, was a moral and emotional shock. But the king wasted no further time and shortly assumed control of Mercia, on which, becuase of his sister's legacy, acknowledged him as the ruler. Now with the support of Mercia, he would ride forth to conquer the remaining Viking strongholds in Midlands and bring back the control of land south of humbler under the English Control after 4 decades of Danish Vikings rule.

But why have we heard so little of her in the history books compared to others like Joan of Arc of Artemisia? Indeed, Aethelflaed played major and important role in helping her brother Edward in his military campaigns against the Vikings, and her considerable military and political ability had contributed to the numerous Victories in freeing England from Viking controls. But alas, the Anglo-Saxon chronicles maintained that Edward should be the sole chief author of the victory as a propaganda in which, the role of Aethelflaed diminished and  remained largely forgotten to this day. This was an attempt on which the chronicles wanted to assert political authority over its subject, not of sexual prejudice, but of political design. On the other hand, Aethelflaed was remembered as the " Queen of Saxons" in foreign courts as well as in the Annals of Ulster, preventing her legacy from being completely wiped out.

====================================================================================================================

You can see another Historical Women Warriors drawn from this series:

Artemisia I of Caria, 480 BC - Women War Queens by Gambargin Artemisia of Caria, Queen of Halicarnassus

You can suggest or contribute to the voting in the poll "Historical Women Warriors I should Draw?"

If you are interested in the Anachronistic Women Warriors of the Historically Wrong Sketch Series like this one, an Anglo-Saxon Woman Warrior Frua Aelfwynn of Seaxna Rice (Anglo-Saxons) by Gambargin, please feel free to visit my gallery :D
Add a Comment:
 
:iconwisdom-thumbs:
Wisdom-Thumbs Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Not only is this one of the coolest drawings I've seen in a while, this is the single most awesome story I've read all year (literally, in my opinion). And I just got finished reading about Charlemagne and the Song of Roland, so that should tell you something.

The most interesting part, I think, is how these siblings ruled and conquered together, and that the sister was the dominant badass until her tragic death by germs. If that tale from history doesn't say something about humankind, then what does?
Reply
:iconsebistara:
Sebistara Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"Filthy Bernacian Scumfuckers dont know shit about our Swag, git gud or git rekt!" - King Penda of Mercia
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
Ahhh...bring back those memories of playing Mount and Blade Vikings =P! I hope they make more like this :D
Reply
:iconsebistara:
Sebistara Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i agree, but with less elite warriors wielding only knifes
Reply
:iconxelianthought:
xelianthought Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014
Awesome. 
Reply
:iconragnarok6664:
Ragnarok6664 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Excellent :)
Reply
:iconj4b:
J4B Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Neat picture and description.
Reply
:iconheathenfrisian:
HeathenFrisian Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
One of my favourite books series' is The Saxon Stories, featuring a fictional character "Uhtred of Bebbanburg" during the invasions of the danes during the late 800's. Aethelflaed is portrayed very awesome in the books and a good friend to the fictional character, Uhtred.
Reply
:iconbrowncoatmando:
BrowncoatMando Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Hobbyist
"Fate is Inexorable"  seems to me Uthred had a hard time accepting that despite saying it all the time...
Reply
:iconheathenfrisian:
HeathenFrisian Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yeah it's true, but that's just the nature of his character. He does whatever he thinks he needs to do and just hopes the Fates don't fuck with him. I think he sees fate more like I see it. Not that it's a determined plan, being played out, but that the future is completely out of your control. As they say "The best laid plans of mice and men..."
Reply
:iconmedievallass:
medievallass Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Aethelflaed of Mercia holds a place in my heart. It's so cool you included her with such a thoughtfully made and detailed piece I love it!

Hayley :floating:
Reply
:iconhannahalmare:
HannahAlmare Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014
Wow, she was really cool! And your picture of her is also great!
I recall having read about her in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles (yeah, I sometime read that for fun...and a laugh), but there weren't as much information about her as here. She was kind of present, but the chronicles definitely didn't concentrate on her being the military leader. She just kept building things, and sending her forces. But what you wrote is so much better! :)
Reply
:iconcipherpunkblue:
Cipherpunkblue Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014
I love your style and - perhaps even more - your approach to women warriors. Thank you so much.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Thank you Jerry, appreciate the compliment :)
Reply
:icongentlementlemann:
Gentlementlemann Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I really like the haze effect you've given to this, makes you think this is mod or after battle.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Yeap, i certainly love making that one as well :) Thanks for the compliment !
Reply
:iconugiel:
ugiel Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Masked face makes her really intriguing on your drawing :)
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Indeed, I'd probably be scared though to meet one in real life =P
Reply
:iconarwendeluhtiene:
ArwendeLuhtiene Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:love:
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Glad you like it Arwende :)
Reply
:iconarwendeluhtiene:
ArwendeLuhtiene Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very welcome Hug !
Reply
:iconacenbeaky:
ACEnBEAKY Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014
"I say lads, looks like a lovely day for a walk."
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
"And perhaps meet some vikings along the way?" at least, that's what i thought =P
Reply
:iconfrejias:
frejias Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I really love her pose, she looks so strong! Your chain mail is amazing, it really looks like you've drawn out every single link!
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Ah yes thanks for the compliment frejia :) Yeah, the chainmail is probably the most consuming =P
Reply
:iconcassy-blue:
Cassy-Blue Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014   General Artist
I read a cool book about her. Lovely work
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Thank you cassy :)
Reply
:iconrutterkin1:
rutterkin1 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014
Well done, both the drawing and historical background.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconmizstorge:
mizstorge Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014
Great subject and nice composition. I especially like her belt and sword. What is she holding in her left fist?
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Thanks! Ah, well, it was supposed to be a staff of some short, but i made an error, so just made it into something :D
Reply
:iconbrowncoatmando:
BrowncoatMando Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Hobbyist
axe with the blade pointed down maybe?
Reply
:iconjantot1:
jantot1 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Maybe, you should try to draw the women warrior on Mahabarata TV series. You know, Srikandi.

By the way, all your sketches are great. . .
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
No problem sir! The Indonesian will have a mention in the series (Bangga Tanah Air! :D)
Reply
:iconjantot1:
jantot1 Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Yap :happybounce: 
Reply
:iconschweinebeine:
Schweinebeine Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014
whoa thats quite a research! you sir deserve a #1 
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great picture! She's such a fascinating character! Apparently her role was later downplayed by Anglo-Saxon chroniclers in favour of Wessex for political reasons...Which is a shame!
I love the way you did her helmet - I love those types of helmets, though I can never stop wondering how come their hair didn't get all tangled in the maille...ouch!
What historical characters are you thinking of doing next?
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
True, that's one reason why i want to draw here in the first place. Ah yes, the hair and the chainmail.....=P

Well, the next one coming would be King Jadwiga of Poland :)
Reply
:iconsebistara:
Sebistara Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Our King Penda was defeated on the battlefield against Oswald!
Are you Engle enough to avenge the King?
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
That made my sides on orbit :D
Reply
:iconcancerberus97:
cancerberus97 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014
thank go you are still alive.
i was becaming suspicious.
now that a nice warrior queen. a little bit brunt, but very realistic. well done
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Sorry if i made you feel that way my friend, rest assured, i'm still here:)
Reply
:iconartlovr59:
artlovr59 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014   Photographer
Great stuff! Good to see you drawing again! I know the story of Alfred the Great of course, but hadn't read much about his daughter, so thanks for the education, too!!
Keep it up!!
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Glad you like it Chris :)
Reply
:iconartlovr59:
artlovr59 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014   Photographer
That I do!
Reply
:iconbrowncoatmando:
BrowncoatMando Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Hobbyist
I love those Anglo-Saxon helmets
utterly practical but not really, pretty too...
See you included a Sutton Hoo too. I own a less elaborate version of it.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Yeah, the anglo-saxon helmets were some of my favorites :)
Reply
:iconstankothegreat:
StankoTheGreat Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Oh hell yes, now that's awesome. I love Vendel-style helms.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Oh, those are some sexay helmets :D
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×




Details

Submitted on
June 22, 2014
Image Size
363 KB
Resolution
1092×731
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
7,671 (2 today)
Favourites
218 (who?)
Comments
54

License

Creative Commons License
Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
×