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. Seaxna Ricere presents the Anglo-Saxon faction in the series, which is roughly based on the Anglo-Saxon England before the Norman Invasion in the 11th Century. Though, it could be compared to the historical Wessex and Mercia.
Inspired by the music - Thor (hymns of the Old Gods)
by Andreas WaldetoftDisclaimer: I am by no means expert in History, just a humble man with passion for learning history. Also, English is not my first language so if you do find any errors or would like to make a correction/feedback, please feel free let me know
INTRODUCTIONBefore 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 a mix of local Tribes and Germanic Immigrants after the fall of the Roman Empire, centuries of intercultural interactions and mixing would give birth to the Anglo-Saxons that would later fought their way to supremacy against the celts, other germanic tribes and the vikings, eventually forming the Kingdom of England.
When it comes to representing the Anglo-Saxons, there are various arts and depictions that one can draw inspiration from. A good example would be the sutton-hoo helmet, which was found from a burial site bearing the same name. But to If i were to consider that drawing is close to accurate, if, accurate at all, is grossly oversimplification. First of all, there's little records of what actually happened during this time, or what the anglo-saxon wore. Most written sources are either too archaic, such as the Late Roman Nogtitia Dignitatum, or written somewhere after the event happened, like that of Anglo Saxon Chroniclers and Bede. If there was one thing that we can draw the conclusion from, its that after the Roman left Britain in the early 5th century, the land saw an era of continuous settlements and re-settlements of both local and foreign origins. With that, came an era of violence and of sword where land holdings were fought and maintained by the force of arms. As such, warfare of this era could be much more complicated than just mass fighting between shield walls, brawls and raids and as such, the equipments varied considerably.
Regardless, The shieldmaiden depicted here, Aelfwynn Eadgarsdohtor of Dornwaracester
, the daughter of the local thegn 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 (Based on Torslunda plate dies). Also, in case if anyone ask again, the sword on her back was ignorantly drawn, probably justified for transportation rather than holstering. Behind her on the right are some of the heavily armed retainers, depicted wearing mail hauberk as well as helmets mixed between coppergate style and vendel era period. Technically speaking, armor like this would have utterly expensive, so most warrior would fought in cloth or some form of gambeson, with head cover or simple metal helmet. Spears were commonly used as weapons (besides axe) because it was cheaper to produce compared to sword.
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 Anglo-Saxon Woman who fought in war was Aethelflaed of Mercia
REFERENCES AND OTHER RELATED MEDIA
Maybe related to the following:
Drawn as part of the Nordic Alliances in the Historically Wrong Sketch Series
, whose aim is to portray the post-viking Christianized Scandinavia, including the Kingdom of Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
, The Byzantines
A Part of the Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited - You can find more on the various faction on the map here:
(Is under revision)
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. Out of all the inhabittants of the the british isles, onne of the most striking, warlike and ambitious one was 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.