Women Warriors: A History

TitleWomen Warriors: A History
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsJones, David E.
Number of Pages279
CityWashington, DC

"Global in its focus and pan-historical in its scope, Women Warriors includes the stories of scores of women leaders, soldiers, pirates, outlaws, terrorists, cavalry leaders, and more. In first-century Britain, Boudicea, Queen of the Iceni, led her followers in the destruction of the Roman towns of Colchester and London, leaving up to one hundred thousand dead in her wake. In the third century A.D., Queen Bat Zabbai of Palmyra (modern Syria) rode through the deserts with nomads, wore armor, and hunted with zeal. She also conquered Egypt and extended her domain from the Mediterranean to India - for a time making her the de facto ruler of the eastern Roman Empire. And of course there is Joan of Arc, the sainted French patriot who led her nation's forces in the siege of Orleans, driving back the English. Although their exact numbers are unknown, hundreds of women fought in the American Civil War on both sides of the conflict, often disguised as men." "Women have also served in the ranks and even formed their own combat units. The legendary Amazons, who probably lived in Northern Europe, rode through ancient Greece. The African kingdom of Dahomey had an elite army of five thousand women. In World War II, 8 percent of the Soviet military was female, and in 1942 the Yugoslav partisans formed a women's platoon. Nicaraguan women constituted about 30 percent of the fighting force in the Sandinistas' final offensive in the 1970s." "Not only soldiers, women have also been marauders and gangsters. In the early 1800s in China, Hsi Kai Ching commanded a pirate fleet of two thousand vessels and more than seventy thousand buccaneers. In the American West, Etta Place joined the infamous Butch Cassidy and Harry Longabaugh, "the Sundance Kid," on a train raid. After looting just fifty dollars, she took charge and their next project, a bank holdup, earned them thirty thousand dollars." "This compelling book challenges the notion that only men are capable of fighting in or leading battle. Qualitatively, women are shown to have been equal warriors with men. Providing the most complete, comprehensive account of the female martial heritage available, Women Warriors is a comment on the nature of gender, on the power of the warrior image, and on its source in history. It is a history that women can also claim as theirs."--Jacket.

Short TitleWomen Warriors
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