Freydis the Shieldmaiden

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freydis

Freydís Eiríksdóttir in het saga museum

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renap0003Though she is not called a Shieldmaiden, Freydís Eiríksdóttir, is compared to one. She is in my family tree because I am kin to Erik the Red Thorvaldsson. After I married Mary Ann Tharaldsen, we flew to New York to meet her parents. They were not to happy we did not inform them we were getting married. Mary Ann’s father was very mu ch into his ancestor, Eric the Red, and had done extensive genealogical reasearch. You could say he was a fanatic, like I would turn out to be. He let me know in detail I had married into a noble and famous Norwegian family. He then asked about my ancestors. He was not impressed. No one jumped out at him – from a Viking vessel.

Mary Ann and her husband adopted a blonde boy they named Erik, and a Eskimo boy. When by great luck Mary Ann became pregnant and born a girl, they named her Britt.

Rena Christiansen is Nordic, and an Aries. I see her holding a shield and wearing a Viking Helmut. Behold the Goddess of War!

With the ruling that American Women can serve in the military and be in combat, Freyis is now the sister of Lady Liberty whom I have compared to the Rose of the World, the protectress of our shores and our Democracy.

Long live our Freedom!

Jon ‘The Ranger’

Freya

In Norse mythology, Freya is a goddess of love and fertility, and the most beautiful and propitious of the goddesses. She is the patron goddess of crops and birth, the symbol of sensuality and was called upon in matters of love. She loves music, spring and flowers, and is particularly fond of the elves (fairies). Freya is one of the foremost goddesses of the Vanir.

She is the daughter of the god Njord, and the sister of Freyr. Later she married the mysterious god Od (probably another form of Odin), who disappeared. When she mourned for her lost husband, her tears changed into gold.

Her attributes are the precious necklace of the Brisings, which she obtained by sleeping with four dwarfs, a cloak (or skin) of bird feathers, which allows its wearer to change into a falcon, and a chariot pulled by two cats. She owns Hildesvini (“battle boar”) which is actually her human lover Ottar in disguise. Her chambermaid is Fulla. Freya lives in the beautiful palace Folkvang (“field of folk”), a place where love songs are always played, and her hall is Sessrumnir. She divides the slain warriors with Odin: one half goes to her palace, while the other half goes to Valhalla. Women also go to her hall.

https://rosamondpress.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/the-vineland-of-pynchon-and-sinclair/

https://rosamondpress.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/rosamond-and-the-earls-of-orkney/

Erik the Red (Eirik Raude) Thorvaldsson (950 – 1003

Birthdate:
950
Birthplace:
Sola, Rogaland, Norway
Death:
Died 1003 in Greenland

Freydís Eiríksdóttir

This is an Icelandic name. The last name is a patronymic, not a family name; this person is properly referred to by the given name Freydís.
Freydís Eiríksdóttir was a daughter of Erik the Red (as in her patronym) who was associated with the Norse exploration of North America. The only medieval sources which mention Freydís are the two Vinland sagas, believed to be composed in the 13th century but purporting to describe events around 1000. They offer widely differing accounts, though in both Freydís appears as a strong-willed woman. Eiríks saga rauða describes her as a half-sister of Leif Eiríksson but according to Grœnlendinga saga she was a full sister.
[edit] Saga of Erik the Red
Freydís joins an expedition to Vinland led by Þorfinnr Karlsefni. Her major part in the story is intervening in a battle between the Norse and the native Skrælingjar. The natives are mounting an attack and have driven the Norse into a retreat.
Freydis came out and saw how they were retreating. She called out, “Why run you 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 but have a weapon, I think I could fight better than any of you.” They gave no heed to what she said. Freydis endeavoured to accompany them, still she soon lagged behind, because she was not well [pregnant]; she went after them into the wood, and the Skrælingar directed their pursuit after her. She came upon a dead man; Thorbrand, Snorri’s son, with a flat stone fixed in his head; his sword lay beside him, so she took it up and prepared to defend herself therewith.

Then came the Skrælingjar upon her. She let down her sark and struck her breast with the sword. At this they were frightened, rushed off to their boats, and fled away. Karlsefni and the rest came up to her and praised her zeal. – Sephton’s translation
[edit] Grœnlendinga saga
After expeditions to Vinland led by Leifr Eiríksson, Þorvaldr Eiríksson and Þorfinnr Karlsefni met with some success Freydís wants the prestige and wealth associated with a Vinland journey. She makes a deal with two Icelandic men, Helgi and Finnbogi, that they should go together to Vinland and share all profits half-and-half. They agree to bring the same number of men but Freydís secretly takes more.
In Vinland, Freydís betrays her partners, has them and their men attacked when sleeping and killed. She personally executes the five women in their group since no-one else would do the deed. Freydís wants to conceal her treachery and threatens death to anyone who tells of the killings. She goes back to Greenland after a year’s stay and tells the story that Helgi and Finnbogi had chosen to remain in Vinland.
But not everyone is silent and word of the killings eventually reaches the ears of Leifr. He has three men from Freydís’s expedition tortured until they confess the whole occurrence. Thinking ill of the deeds he still does not want “to do that to Freydis, my sister, which she has deserved”.

As terrifying pedigrees go, Freydis had a pretty good one. A viking woman who was the illegitimate daughter of Erik the Red and half sister to Leif Erikson, Freydis and her husband set off on an expedition to Vinland (Nova Scotia). The Vikings and the Vinlanders had a tolerant existence of each other until the Vinlanders tried some of the Vikings delicious cheeses (which they’d never had before) and came down with a killer case of lactose intolerance. Thinking the Vikings were poisoning them, the Vinlanders attacked. The crew fled, leaving behind a heavily pregnant Freydis, who couldn’t keep up with them. Picking up a sword, Freydis ripped her dress open showing her breasts, waved her sword and screamed at the startled Vinlanders, who faced with this clearly crazy pregnant woman, retreated. No word on whether the yelling or the bared boobs are what actually ran off the natives. Having been left behind by her husband and crew, Freydis stayed hidden and gave birth to a son. Eventually the crew rescued her and held a conversation I can only assume was extremely awkward.
On a second expedition, one of the Viking ships sank with no loss of life. Not for long, as Freydis ordered the killing of everyone saved from the ship because they wouldn’t have enough provisions. When the men balked at killing the women, Freydis grabbed an axe and did it herself because that’s how she rolled. Later she and her husband set out on another expedition with a set of brothers, one of which Freydis conned out of the larger boat. Causing tensions in the settlement, Freydis ordered her husband to kill the brothers and their group. For good measure she threatened to divorce him if he didn’t follow through. Once again her husband and her men followed through, but balked at killing the women and once more Freydis said “give me that axe” and finished the job. When she and her crew returned to Greenland they told everyone that the brothers and their group liked Vinland so much they decided to stay and threatened to kill her crew if they ever leaked the truth. Eventually the secret did get out, but I assume everyone was too afraid of Freydis to do anything about it.

Women at War
Contrary to popular belief, women often engaged in medieval warfare. If the Chatelaine happened to be at home while their husband was away and their castle was besieged, it was routine for her to command the defences.
Here are some examples of notable Medieval femail warriors:

* 8th century: Shieldmaidens fight at the Battle of Bråvalla on the side of the Danes.
* 722: Queen Aethelburg of Wessex destroys the town of Taunton.
* 750: Veborg, as well as many other Shieldmaidens, participate in the Battle of Bråvalla in Sweden.
* 783: Saxon women throw themselves barebreasted into battle against Charlemagne’s forces. Among them is Fastrada, who became Charlemagne’s fourth wife.
* Early 9th century: Cwenthryth fights Wulfred, Archbishop of Canterbury, for control of her abbey estates.
* 880: Ermengarda defends Vienne.[20]
* 912-922: Reign of Ethelfleda, ruler of Mercia. She commanded armies, fortified towns, and defeated the Danes. She also defeated the Welsh and forced them to pay tribute to her.
* Mid 10th century: Queen Thyra of Denmark leads an army against the Germans.
* 971: The Scandinavian ruler of Kiev attacked the Byzantines in Bulgaria in 971. When the Norsemen had been defeated, the victors discovered shieldmaidens among the fallen warriors.
* Early 11th century: Freydís Eiríksdóttir, a Viking woman, sails to Vinland with Thorfinn Karlsefni. When she faced hostile natives while pregnant, she exposed her breasts and beat her chest with a sword. This caused the natives to run away.
* 1040-1090: Sichelgaita of Salerno second wife of Robert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia, accompanies her husband on military campaigns, and regularly puts on full armor and rides into battle at his side. At the Battle of Dyrrhachium (1081) she rallied Robert’s troops when they were initially repulsed by the Byzantine army.
* 1046-1115: Lifetime of Matilda of Tuscany, who conducted wars to defend the papacy.
* 1071: Richilde, Countess of Mons and Hainaut is captured fighting in the Battle of Cassel.
* 1072: Urraca of Zamora, Infanta of Castile, defends the city of Zamora against her brother, Sancho II of Castile.
* 1075: Emma de Guader, Countess of Norfolk defends Norwich castle while it is under siege.
* 1090: A Norman woman Isabel of Conches rides armed as a knight.
* 1121:Urraca of Castile fights her half-sister, Theresa, Countess of Portugal when she refuses to surrender the city of Tuy.
* 1131-1160: Melisende of Jerusalem ruler of the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem is one of the rulers involved in the Second Crusade.
* 1136: Welsh princess Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd leads an army against the Normans. She is defeated and killed.
* 1141: Matilda of Boulogne raises an army to continue the fight for the crown of England, after her husband, King Stephen is captured by the Empress Matilda.
* 1145: Eleanor of Aquitaine accompanies her husband on the Second Crusade.
* 1172: Alrude Countess of Bertinoro ends a siege of Aucona by leading an army into battle and crushing imperial troops.
* Late 12th century: Eva MacMurrough conducts battles on behalf of her husband, the Earl of Pembroke.
* 3rd May 1211. The chatelaine of Lavaur, Gerauda (or Geralda) de Lavaur, was murdered by Catholic Crusaders because of her part in resisting their siege of Lavaur during the Cathar Crusade. Click here to read more about the siege of Lavaur
* Mid 13th century: Eleanor of Castile accompanies her husband on his crusade. According to legend, she saves his life by sucking poison from his wound when he was injured.
* 1264: Eleanor of Provence raises troops in France for her husband during the Baron’s War.
* 1271: Isabella of Aragon dies at Consenza on the way back from the Crusades.
* 1290: An illustration of a woman named Walpurgis is shown training in sword and buckler techniques
* 14th century: Jane, Countess of Montfort leads troops into battle. Countess Jeanne de Penthievre is among her antagonists.
* 1326: Isabella of France invades England with Roger de Mortimer, and overthrows Edward II, replacing him with her son Edward III, with her and de Mortimer acting as regents.
* 1334: Agnes Dunbar successfully defends her castle against a siege by the Earl of Salisbury.
* 1335: The Scots defeat a company led by the Count of Namur. Amongst the Count’s casualties was a female lancer who had killed her opponent, Richard Shaw, at the same moment that he had killed her. Her gender was only discovered when the bodies were being stripped of their armour at the end of the engagement. “The chronicler Bower seems to have been at least as impressed by the rarity of two mounted soldiers simultaneously transfixing one another with their lances as with the fact that one of them was a woman.”
* 1364-1405: Tamerlane uses female archers to defend baggage trains.
* 1383: Eleanor of Arborea, ruler of Sardinia, conducts a defensive war against Aragon.
* 15th century: Maire o Ciaragain leads Irish clans in rebellion.
* 15th century: Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine, leads an army to rescue her husband from the Duke of Burgundy.
* 1429: Joan of Arc leads the French army. Yolande of Aragon supports her. Pierronne, a contemporary of hers, also hears voices and fights for the king of France.
* 1461: Queen Margaret of Anjou defeats the Earl of Warwick in the Wars of the Roses.
* 1461: Lady Knyvet defends Buckingham Castle at Norfolk against Sir Gilbert of Debenhem
* 1471: Queen Margaret of Anjou is defeated in battle at Tewksbury.
* 1472: Onorata Rodiana from Cremona, Italy is mortally wounded in battle. She had disguised herself as a man to become a soldier.
* June 27, 1472: Jeanne Hachette rips down the flag of the invading Burgundians at Beauvais, inspiring the garrison to win the engagement

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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