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Frua Aelfwynn Eadgarsdohtor of Saxanana Rice by Gambargin Frua 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 Ricerepresents the Anglo-Saxon faction in the series, which is roughly based on the Kingdom of Wessex, Mercia 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


INTRODUCTION

Before the Normans landed in the shores of England in 1066, the land was ruled by ferocious and proud Germanic people called the Anglo-Saxons. Though their origins still remains a topic of debate to this day, it is without doubt, that what started as just another tribes of Germanic people after the fall of the Roman Empire, the Anglo-Saxons would later fought their way to supremacy against the celts, other germanic tribes and the vikings, eventually forming the Kingdom of England.


DRAWING COMMENTARIES

The shieldmaiden depicted here, 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

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, and as history have proven, a good example of Woman who fought in war was Aethelflaed of Mercia.


REFERENCES AND OTHER RELATED MEDIA

Maybe related to the following:

The Celts Deirdriu and Gwenhwyfar of Celtic Alliance (Celts) by Gambargin, The Viking Gunnhildr Freysdottir of Vikingrunionen (Norse) by Gambargin, The Normans Aubrey de Manche of Duche de Normannus (Norman) by Gambargin, The Byzantines Basilissa Sotirisa of Basileia Rhiomanion (Greek) 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.1.22 by Gambargin


HISTORICAL COMMENTARIES

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 made the romans troops left the isles in the early 5th century and allowed several Germanic tribes to land on the shores of Brittania, one of them being the Anglo-Saxons

The period after the decline of Roman Empire in the 5th century, saw what historians referred to as the migration period, where large numbers of Germanic tribes like the Goths, Vandals, Angles, Saxons, Lombards, Suebi, Frisii and Franks, moved into the Roman Territories. This migration was pushed further westward by the Huns, Avars, Slavs, Bulgars and Alans. "The Barbarian Invasion" is perhaps the common misconceptions which is related to the Great Migration Period, often overlapping with idea of "Drak Ages", but historically speaking, these ideas were considered very generalized and inaccurate.

The Anglo-Saxons originated from the land of Saxons, that could be traced back to the confederate of Germanic Tribes in the northern German Plains. Initially, the Anglo-Saxons was thought to be amongst those who migrated to England, "invading" them and displaced the local population. This idea is currently challenged however, there's evidence even to their settlements in the British Isles before the Romans, and their service as auxiliaries during Roman Rule of Britain. So, the Anglo-Saxons could be considered as a product of centuries of cultural progress and assimilation. Nevertheless, there were indeed migrations from the mainland which contributed to the population of Anglo-Saxons domains in Britain.

What followed after that was the legacy of Anglo-Saxons ruling the land, along with the Welsh, Picts and the Irish. They started to convert to Christianity somewhere in in mid 7th century, but the process was gradual and would last until late 9th century. This era saw the rise of prominent Anglo-Saxons domains, like Mercia and Wessex. Mercia was the Latin name for the region in Low-England and was inhabited by several tribes of Anglo-Saxons and Brythonnic Speaking people. The Mercians ruled their dominion with aggresive expansionism in the 7th-8th century, firming their grip on the territories they included in the "Mercian Hegemony" and further supported by the Mercian's militaristic doctrines. On the other hand, Wessex saw its rise in the 9th century, during the times of the Viking invasion of England. It's rulers succeeded in uniting the Anglo Saxons and fending of the Danes who ruled the eastern land. After that, the Anglo-Saxon began rebuilding the land and reforming the society, which allowed the formation of Kingdom of England, before being conquered by the Normans in 11th century.

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.
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:iconsolidsamurai:
SolidSamurai Featured By Owner Edited Dec 11, 2014
The anglo saxons are actually just the name used to comprise several tribes that landed, raided and settled on the british isles in the 5th century (and probably later, until some kind immigration policy was imposed, I suppose).  Frisians, Angles, Jutes and Saxons come to my mind, and there might be others too. 

Generally, they were all germanic tribes and they intermixed and the early english can be distinguished from the celts such as the irish, the cornish, the welsh, the picts and the scots, by being well... german.  And yes, the scots co-existed with the picts probably fairly early on, up until they conquered what is now scotland in the beginning of the 11th century.  Before then, they probably lived somewhere in ireland (the north, maybe?).
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:iconartlovr59:
artlovr59 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2014   Photographer
VERRRY GOOD!! Man, you are getting so good at this. And here I can only draw stick-men :( !  May I have one small quibble? I understand the "over the shoulder" carrying of the sword is really a product of the movies and the 19th century. I doubt you could draw a sword placed like that in a hurry, and that could mean big problems!
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2014
Ah yes, that sword, I didn't get a chance to correct it. It's probably for transport, rather than for holster i suppose =P
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:iconartlovr59:
artlovr59 Featured By Owner 5 days ago   Photographer
Yeah, I thought of that, too. It would make sense tht way...
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2014
Yay! Shield wall in the background! She seems really dangerous! Wonderful work as usual Gambargin :)
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2014
Thank you :)
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:iconjoolita:
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.
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:icongambargin:
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 :)
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:icongurdim:
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...

But!

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 :|)
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:icongambargin:
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
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