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Frua Aelfwynn of Seaxna Rice (Anglo-Saxons) by Gambargin Frua Aelfwynn of Seaxna Rice (Anglo-Saxons) 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. 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 Waldetoft

Disclaimer: 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 :) (Smile)


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 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.


DRAWING COMMENTARIES

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 HWS: Medieval Shieldmaidens of the North by Gambargin, whose aim is to portray the post-viking Christianized Scandinavia, including the Kingdom of Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

The Celts Deirdriu and Gwenhwyfar of Celtic Alliance (Celts) 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

(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.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconwill-of-the-spurr:
Will-of-the-spurr Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015
So are there any of these sketches that show men?
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015
Well, this series focus on women warriors, with other male/female warrios included in the background :)
Reply
:iconpelycosaur24:
Pelycosaur24 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2015
I just love the inspirational music for this one :D
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015
Same here! Music helps to boost the mood when drawing :)
Reply
:iconpeggyarnold:
PeggyArnold Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015
There is a story of a Norman female warrior, "Alice the Vicious." During the Norman invasion of Ireland during the reign of the English-Norman king Henry II, she is said to have killed tens of Irish warriors in retaliation for the death of her lover.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
I haven't heard of Alice the vicious, but it's certainly interesting. There's another one which is recorded in the history, Isabel of Conches, but I'm not sure if she took part in battle. I'm sure there;s plenty of Norman female warrior in the history, since the Normans contributed greatly with their participation during the Crusades, so some of the wife of the crusader would have accompanied their husband to the holy land.
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:iconprofbathrobe:
ProfBathrobe Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015  Hobbyist Interface Designer
Yay! My ancestor-homies!
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
Anglo-Saxons for the win!
Reply
: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 Dec 15, 2014   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 :)
Reply
: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 :|)
Reply
: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
Reply
:icongurdim:
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 
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:iconmy-sword-is-bigger:
My-Sword-is-Bigger Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I honestly can't get over how awesome your pictures are, mate. Well done :D
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
Always a pleasure, i'm glad you like my works buddy!
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:iconcoragus:
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. 
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:icongambargin:
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 :)
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:iconluchoborello:
LuchoBorello Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014
Please, pass me some links or book's names. I simply love this draw! haha
Reply
:iconcoragus:
coragus Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
I had a Hugeee obsession with them. even tried learning some Englisc just because the evolution of the English language is so interesting.
now I am obsessing over the Hopewell native americans from 0-500AD as I am wanting to make a game based on them.
I suggest www.goodreads.com/book/show/55… it is a really good view of what Anglo Saxon-life was like at the turn of the millennium.
the Anlgo-saxons were relativity peaceful with most fight just being between a few dozen men after harvest seasons
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014
Now that's certainly an interesting read. Good to know a bit more about the Anglo Saxons.

As for the american Indian, i'm still reading more about the Mississippian culture that existed within the time frame of the historically wrong sketch series, to create a character based on that. I think the hopewell tradition era preceeds them if i'm not wrong.
Reply
:iconcoragus:
coragus Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014
It always is, very interesting culture the anglo-saxons are

yes they were from around 200 BCE to 500CE, they had a HUGE trade network for their time that spanned the whole east coast. there is no evidence of wars at all in this time and area by these people, they even call it the pax hopelliana because it seems like they were all just co-operating a working together to make massive earthworks. I am wanting to make a strategy/ city-ish (they didn't have cities just lots and lots of homestead-like places) game based on them. and I have been doing drawings on them too. which I have not uploaded really need to...

The Mississipian culture is really cool! dunno how you are going to draw a warrior of them due to all the nudity.
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:iconschweinebeine:
Schweinebeine Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
very saxon! excellent wow very helmet! :o
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
Gotta Love the saxons!
Reply
:iconarminius1871:
Arminius1871 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh mein Gott, this is so wonderful! So youre drawing also women warriors of germanic tribes?
You really should once draw a Walkre (Valkyrie), which would be a special mythical woman, and not from a folk.
With wing helmet, and flying on a horse, the music of inspiration could be Wagners ride of the valkyries:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGU1P6…

Oh I know you have soooo much to draw, but maybe you can add something on your list? There is a difference between
Germans and Germanics, Germanics are Germans, English and Scandinavians, but the Germans are only the continental european tribes.

Maybe you could draw the tribes, that became Germans? During the 10th century, when Otto the Great ruled.
The tribes were basically: Bajuwaren (later Bavarians), Franken (who also conquered France), Allemannen and Sachsen (Saxons).
Some might even add the Friesen (Frisians). But I would take the basic 4 tribes.

Also there should be a small oak-tree, like presenting the begin of the german nation...if you want^^
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014
sorry it took long to reply. Thanks for the link, i will certainly include the valkyrie when drawing the fantasy series.

I haven't thought of the different tribes of German in the medieval series, but certainly i had in mind about the ones during the classical antiquity, the time where they managed to defeat the roman legions, under the leadership of Hermann :)
Reply
:iconarminius1871:
Arminius1871 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No prob, Im always happy when u answer, even when its later^^

Oh yes, the tribe of the Cherusker is a must, also the Goten (Gothics) are famous.
Reply
:iconyurisc:
Yurisc Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Please man, don't draw swords on their backs.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
Woops, i think that was an artistic license...but i remember seeing one images from osprey with sword on their back :D
Reply
:iconyurisc:
Yurisc Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Not everything in Osprey is correct. Have you tried to draw a sword from your back?
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014
No, not really. I imagine them to be very difficult to draw one's sword from the back, unless it's meant to be carried and not drawn at all. I'll take into account for future drawing :)
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:iconyurisc:
Yurisc Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Good.
The less swords on the back the better, unless for transportation reasons.
Reply
:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wonderful job on the helmet! I love it! Also your shading has become a bit stronger hasn't it? It looks really nice. Funny, in my last picture I went for a very similar set of weapons (except for the spear). If you start from 800's then can we hope to see a Frank and maybe Lombard at some point?
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
Thank You akitku! I have to admit, my shading probably gotten abit stronger but im not sure why. As for the spear, actually i wanted to draw her with an axe, but i guess i made it too long which ended as spear.

As for the lombards, i'm not really sure of their details, but weren't they already been defeated by the Carolingian before the 9th century?
Reply
:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, the Carollingian's obviously weakend their power considerably - I would definitely agree that they were a Dark-Age, post-Roman kingdom (if  kingdom at all) but we do hear of the Lombards up till the Norman conquest. Robert Guiscard divorced his wife in order to marry a Lombard heiress, one Sichelgaita, who actually accompanied him to battles, and fought in full armour according to some accounts!
But yeah, they are certainly more of a Dark Ages power really. A Frank would certainly make much sense though! Either from the Carolingian Period or, if need be, the later Capetian period...
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014
Certainly. I would probably look more into the Capetian or the Carolingian era when drawing the character from the series,  i guess it'd be something different from the typical Joanne d'arc in her shining armor.
Reply
:iconluchoborello:
LuchoBorello Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014
Oh, please, do Lombards! I descent from them! It would be sooo cool! 
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:iconlamnay:
lamnay Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
Love it.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
So do i :D
Reply
:iconryanryzzo:
RyanRyzzo Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ws hl!

That stare!
Fantastic! I'd love to see her in civilian dress.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
No problem, she will have her picture in the good ye olde dress of the anglo saxons :D
Reply
:iconironsides11:
ironsides11 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
Gosh, I hadn't even thought about the Anglo-Saxons! Since the Normans are also in the mix, is there any chance we'll see a united Anglo-Norman realm?

Also, here's some music you might like: www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2dOMQ… I don't know if you've heard Corvus Corax before. They're a German medieval metal band, so they're kinda appropriate for Anglo-Saxons. :P
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
Ah yes, Corvus Corax, I've listened to some of them. They are good for a fight scene, which will probably be drawn later =P

I will certainly draw the normans, but not sure of Anglo-Norman Realm...unless the the 17th centuries Britannia is a multicultural empire :D
Reply
:iconironsides11:
ironsides11 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
haha awesome! I'll have to work hard to find some music that you haven't heard. :P
I think a multicultural Britannia would be a great addition to the series! Please make it happen!!!!!!
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014
British isles filled with Anglo Saxons, the Normans, Welsh, Irish and Scots? boy, thats a very multicultural mixed in an island =P
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