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The Women Warriors of Rus and Norse by Gambargin The Women Warriors of Rus and Norse by Gambargin
This Drawing is Outdated - Please see the Updated version in the Gallery Folder of Women Warriors of Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited

The tales of Women who fought in battles were told in many folk legends of the Slavic People as well as the classical Scandinavian sagas. However, these tales mostly occurred before the arrival of Christianity, during the time of the "Old Pagan Gods".

For Scandinavians and the rest of the world, the image of vikings with their horned helmets and imposing stature whose sole occupation were to raid and plunders for riches, made them well known for their brutal bloodthirsty carnage. On the other hand, some prefer the image of a proud warrior society, bonded together by strict code of honor and unchallenged bravery, putting them together alongside with mythological creatures.

The sagas such as Brynhildr (Brunhilde) from Volsunga and Hervarar speaks of Shield-maidens, women who took part in battles and renowned for their beauty and bravery. The tale itself speak some truth, as Pagan Scandinavian Society demanded that each person should take up his/her arms. Thus, it was common for the wifes of renowned jarls, theigns and chief to take part in battle alongside their husbands, or defend their homes in their husbands absence. '

As for the Slavs, particularly the Eastern Slavic People such as the Rus, Women who took part in war were rare, or may not have been properly documented. Pagan Slavs may have included women as part of their fighting force to fend of the constant attacks from the Magyars, Cumans, and various other raiding steppe nomads.

After the arrival Christianity to Scandinavia (Catholic) and Eastern Europe (Orthodox), the image of women warriors and shield maidens was gradually dismissed, as the virtues of a proper lady and chivalric noblemen were gradually adopted.

In this Picture, The Grand Principality of Kaviarovich is a generalization of Scandinavian Kingdoms, Tribes as well as the Kievan Rus into a single faction. Princess Olga Novgor is a noblewoman belonging the Kaviarov Boyars who ruled the Grand Principality of Kaviarovich. As for the Viking, She is Hjerim Jordisvaskr, a Shiled Maiden as well as the leader of The Væringjar Mercenary employed in the service of Princess Olga Novgor.
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Lemniskate Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
"Kaviarovich" made me laugh.
forest-of-fire Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
what Slavic folk legends? I'm from Slovenia and I haven't heard any of them, only the stuff about Jurij, who slayed the dragon in the swamps of Ljubljana. and actually, not only Russians, but also other Slavic nations had pointed helmets and I like that you didn't draw horns on the other helmet, because Vikings didn't wear horned helmets in battles, because horns could get stuck in a flag or something and you can't say ''Hey, just a second, my horns got stuck!'' to your enemy in the middle of a fight
Gambargin Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
Thanks for the comment Adrianna! My apology for the long delay in reply. I can't really remember the exact stories, it was toldby my colleague which i didn't cross check the reference :o

As for the "horny" vikings, i thinks that's more of the christian depiction many centuries long after the viking age, and yes, the horns are dangerous and impractical on a helmet, mainly for its users. At least, this is what i have read and studied from the books :)
forest-of-fire Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, I know that christians like to tell their own versions, but I remember that I heard that horned helmets were more like a decoration, like that shiny and majestic but also useless armors and helmet that medieval knights wore on parades. All we learned in school about our folk myths was about a werewolf and a song about Pegam and Lambergar, for which I later discovered that is a christian version of a story about Perun and Veles (I think). So, everything I know about our (slavic) gods and godesses is what I discovered on the internet(most of it when I had a little obsession with Arkona).
tlacuilopilo Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi! I see you also like to draw/paint historical women mainly. I also do that. I believe is so outdated to just render portraits of males, when the famous females in history has so much better lives and stories to tell today.
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
Hi Miguel, thanks for the compliment! Yes, i have to agree with you, as they are very interesting to draw. Women in history do not get as much attention, especially in warfare as compare to men, so i'd like to make drawings dedicated to them to give a different perspective :)
tlacuilopilo Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I agree with you. Let's keep up making historic women known.
Kuruntijasz Featured By Owner May 22, 2013
This is a wonderful piece of art!
I especially like the face and helmet of Hjerim Jordisvaskr. The detail and lighting is almost perfect.
Gambargin Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
Thank you for the compliment :)
Oswulf Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student General Artist
This is a delightful Deviation, if you don't mind my saying. The late period of Norse expansion, which necessarily entails talk of both the Russland and Vinland expeditions, has always intrigued me most of all with my Northern Germanic cousins. A shame that the greater virtues of both Heathenry and Catholicism were not able to better mingle, I should think we would have been a much stronger people for it!
Gambargin Featured By Owner May 21, 2013
Hi Oswulf! Thank you for the comment, i have to say you have a good point of view. I was discussing with my colleague about the tale of Vikings and Slavs on how their action shaped much of the low middle ages in Europe. I havealways wanted to draw the romantic portrayals of these warriors, so in the meantime im reading about the anglo saxons before the norman invasion of england to see if i can create sketches in my historically wrong series :). Feel free to let me know if you have any suggestions :D
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Submitted on
May 21, 2013
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