Viking Shield Maiden Leaning, Nocking Arrow, The Vikings, The Age of Arthur--single figure
Item Number: VIK-46
Viking Shield Maiden Leaning, Nocking Arrow, Viking Shield Maidens, The Vikings, The Age of Arthur
Freydis Eiriksdottir (born c.970) was a Norse woman said to be the daughter of Eric The Red, who figured preminently in the Norse exploration of North America as an early colonist of Vinland, while her brother, Leif Erikson, is credited in early histories of the region with the first European contact.
The medieval and primary sources that mention Freydis are the two Vinland sagas: The Saga of the Greenlanders and the Saga of EriK The Red. The two sagas offer differing accounts though Freydis is portrayed in both as a strong willed woman who would defy the odds of her society.
The most famous account we have of Freydís, describes the following native attack on the expedition camp. The natives, equipped with “war slings” or catapults, stealthily attacked the expedition’s camp at night and shot at the Norse settlers. Many of the Nordic invaders panicked, having never seen such weapons.
Freydis calls out, “Why you run away from such worthless creatures, stout men that ye are, when, as seems to me likely, you might slaughter them like so many cattle? Let me have a weapon, I think I could fight better than any of you”.
They give no heed to what she says. Freydis is eight months pregnant at the time, but this does not stop her from running out of her tent and grabbing the sword from her fallen brother in arms, Thorbrand, Snorri’s son. Then come the Skraelingiar upon her. She lets down her sark so that one breast is exposed, and stikes her breast with the sword, letting out a furious battle cry. At this the Skraelingiar are frightened and rush off to their boats, and flee away.
Karlsefni and the other settlers come up to her, and instead of praise, rebuffs her behaviour.
VIKING SHIELD MAIDENS
A shield-maiden was a female warrior from Scandinavian folklore and mythology. They are often mentioned in Viking Sagas, and also in Germanic stories of the Goths, Cimbri and Marcomanni. The mythical Valkyries may have been based on such shield maidens.
There is little actual historical evidence for Viking female warriors, although there are graves of female settlers which have contained weapons. The historical evidence that Viking Age women took part in warfare, are based on a Byzantine historian’s records that women fought in battle when Sviatoslav I of Kiev attacked the Byzantines in Bulgaria in 971 CE. In the Siege of Dorostolon, the Varangians suffered a devastating defeat. The victors were stunned to discover armed women among the fallen warriors. The Saxo Grammaticus, reports that shield maidens fought on the side of Danes at the Battle of Bravellir in the year 750 AD
Examples of shield maidens mentioned by name in the Norse Sagas include Brynhildr in the Volsunga Saga.
Two shield maidens appear in certain translations of the Hervarar Saga. The first of these, whose name was Hervor, was known to have taken up typically masculine roles early in her childhood and often raided travelers in the woods dressed as a man. Later in her life, she claimed the cursed sword “Tyrfing” from her father’s burial site and became a seafaring raider. She was eventually to marry and settle down. Her granddaughter was also named Hervor and commanded forces against the attacking Huns. Although the Saga remarks on her bravery, she was mortally wounded and dies on the battlefield.
Released in SEPTEMBER 2023.