Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wild Women of the World - Who Was She?

(taken from "Uppity Women of Ancient Times by Vicki Leon"

In 480 B.C. war was being waged between the Persians and the Greeks (remember Spartacus). The great Persian King Xerxes had assembled an enormous fleet of ships that he thought were invincible. But just to be safe, he asked Queen Artemisia of the kingdom of Cara to cough up some support for the war effort. She did some better than that. Queen Artemisia showed up in full battle armor with five of her own triple-decked warships and a land army to boot.
In the first naval battle, Artemisia fought bravely but the Persians still suffered a great loss. She warned King Xerxes that the Greeks had superiority on the sea, but he did not listen and ordered another naval battle. After the first battle, the Greeks placed a bounty on Queen Artemisia's head - 10,000 drachmas for anyone who could take her alive! During the fierce battle that ensued, she rammed and sank one of Xerxes ships and managed to get away.
Even though the Persians lost the naval battle, King Xerxes was so impressed with her he awarded her a suit of Greek armor and said "My men fight like women, and my women fight like men". Wow, what a woman!
My question for you is - Should women participate as soldiers in warfare?


  1. You always ask interesting questions, Mary! I don't think that women should be 100% on the same level as men in the military, meaning that women in the military should not be forced to fight on the front lines. If military women are to fight, it should be voluntary.

    Testosterone makes men a lot different than women! But that doesn't mean women can't add their own kind of "fight" in battle. Not having been in the military or really studied all sides of this issue, I can't really answer. I want to say that if a woman like Artemisia exists, yes, she should be allowed to fight. Is that too idealistic, though?

  2. Thanks Tonja - you always put a lot of thought into your answers. There have been many women through out history that fought like men - but I would have to say that on the whole, women were not meant for the carnage of war. Maybe those excetional women have a larger does of testosterone than most of us - LOL!