At our last publishing meeting we happily passed a new Stephen Turnbull book on the Samurai women of Japan from 1184 to 1877. It will feature such mighty warriors as the semi-legendary Empress Jingo-kogo who led an invasion of Korea while pregnant with the future Emperor Ojin and Tomoe Gozen. who handled her sword and bow with such dexterity that she was a match for \'a thousand warriors, and fit to meet either god or devil\'. It is scheduled for 2010.


So this got a discussion going on other warrior women (and the also semi-legendary Elite on \'Warrior Women of Northern Europe\' that is still talked about here) and whether there is a book in it at all, in which Mike and Joe demonstrated complete ignorance in suggesting there is not due to lack of historical figures and decent sources. So Joe and Mike here is my list of Warrior Women (a bit random) for the next strand of Elite:


  1. The Amazons. OK so most classical historians are slightly sceptical but the tales of Hippolyte, Theseus and the invasion of Attica are perfect for some great Osprey artwork. And whether they were Scythian or Sarmatian there is perhaps enough anecodotal evidence that a warrior woman race did exist somewhere round the Black Sea. Steven Pressfield got a whole book out of it.
  2. Spartan women including the Spartan princess\'s Arachidamia who fought Pyrrhus and Chelidonis who commanded a group of Spartan women during another siege. See also Artemisia of Halicarnassus at Salamis for other Greek warrior women.
  3. Boudica and Gwendolen, the British contingent. Boudica\'s exploits are well-known but she was not the only woman fighting the Romans during the revolt. Suetonius, said that "in their ranks there are more women than fighting men." Gwendolen, mentioned by the chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth managed to reign over some portion of the British Isles for at least 15 years after defeating her husband in battle.
  4. Zenobia of Palmyra who fought the Romans in the Third Century, going with her army on campaign until she was finally defeated and taken back to Rome. Actually I think we\'ve done this one.
  5. Women Gladiators of Rome. Lots of evidence to support this, some of which summarised her on the Lothene site including the quote from Statius who wrote a poem about a gladiatorial contest staged by the Emperor Domitian which included, "Moors, women and pygmies".
  6. Scáthach and Aífe the legendary warrior women of the Ulster cycle of Irish mythology. Sources on this one may be difficult.
  7. Xena, Warrior Princess. Contemporary of Hercules. Both hero and villain. Plenty of source material.

 I think that is enough to get started on. I can see a whole new series…