Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Another historical note

Beren IV
Gondor


Feb 18 2007, 11:51pm


Views: 272
Shortcut
Another historical note [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't have the reference handy (it's in the hands of some of my SCA friends, and the group I'm currently in is still hunkered down for the winter). However -

Women were a great deal more common on medieval battlefields than is generally made out to be the case. I am still quite certain that female soldiers were anomalies, but there are enough documented accounts of women who were soldiers to know that they were frequent enough that one should not have been shocked to encounter one (surprised, but not shocked). This said, off of the field of the pitched battle, women were common in medieval armies, where they performed tasks that in a modern army would be referred to as logistics. And these women would have been armed: they would have been involved in skirmishes, even if they were trying to avoid them. Eowyn of course was fighting on a pitched battlefied, so in her case, she was still one of the anomalous few. But the defenses of Thranduil's and Galadriel's realms probably included a great many women, first because it was a wood-skirmish type battle and second because these are Elves, who are less sexually dimorphic than Humans.

It is impossible to put numbers on how many women there were on medieval battlefieds. Modern historical research of course loves to find references to women in the records, and historical authors would have considered them noteworthy, because it certainly was against the mold of society. As a result, real statistical testing would be quite impossible. In the SCA, women on battlefields is somewhere in the ballpark of 10%, but the SCA is extremely egalitarian sex-wise, and the dead can still have children in SCA combat, so two of the major reasons for keeping women off of the battlefield don't apply in this mock-combat. If I had to guess a number, I would say that the number of Eowyn-like women who fought alongside men in male-dominated armies in the medieval period is somewhere between 1/100 and 1/1000, but I'm just arm-waving here with no real observational basis.

One last clarification on polygamy: Two relatively recent "western" religions, one being Islam (okay, 1400 years ago is old, but not as old as Taoism), and the other Mormanism (which really is young), allow multiple wives. In both cases, however, I believe that the limit is four wives per husband. One might take this to mean that a man really can't care for more than four wives or the families of more than four wives. If this is the case, then once you've lost three-fourths of your breeding-age men, you should start including women in your armies, because if the ratio of women to men is more than 4:1, you're going to have women who cannot be married, even if you do allow polygamy.

Subject User Time
Tolkien Artists, The Bros. Hildebrandt: Loose Ends and That's All Folks drogo Send a private message to drogo Feb 17 2007, 10:04pm
    Arwen Joins the Quest Reera the Red Send a private message to Reera the Red Feb 18 2007, 12:11am
        Well, that does explain Aerin Send a private message to Aerin Feb 18 2007, 12:20am
        Oh, I like that one! Ainu Laire Send a private message to Ainu Laire Feb 18 2007, 12:27am
            No story that I know of. Reera the Red Send a private message to Reera the Red Feb 18 2007, 12:38am
                Re: [Reera the Red] No story that I know of. drogo Send a private message to drogo Feb 18 2007, 12:55am
                    Re: [drogo] No story that I know of. Nerdanel Send a private message to Nerdanel Feb 18 2007, 11:58pm
                        "breathes life into Tolkien" N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 23 2007, 11:23pm
                    The cover of the original Grotta bio! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Feb 20 2007, 3:56pm
                        mine has two Hildebrandts on the cover a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Feb 21 2007, 1:10am
                            Yes, yours is a decade newer dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Feb 22 2007, 4:56am
                                mine has an Epilogue chapter a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Feb 22 2007, 12:17pm
            Tolkien the time-traveller? N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 23 2007, 11:19pm
    Re: [drogo] Tolkien Artists, The Bros. Hildebrandt: Loose Ends and That's All Folks Sandicomm Send a private message to Sandicomm Feb 18 2007, 12:28am
    Re: [drogo] Tolkien Artists, The Bros. Hildebrandt: Loose Ends and That's All Folks a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Feb 18 2007, 12:31am
        dang I keep forgetting to change my subject line!! [nt] a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Feb 18 2007, 12:31am
        Alas for the loss of Mod... loved it. Cirdan the Shipwright Send a private message to Cirdan the Shipwright Feb 19 2007, 9:06pm
            thanks, originally a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Feb 19 2007, 11:29pm
    Re: [drogo] Tolkien Artists, The Bros. Hildebrandt: Loose Ends and That's All Folks Beren IV Send a private message to Beren IV Feb 18 2007, 12:47am
        This of course has been much discussed, Aerin Send a private message to Aerin Feb 18 2007, 1:17am
            Re: [Aerin] This of course has been much discussed, Beren IV Send a private message to Beren IV Feb 18 2007, 1:39am
                That's another good point, as well. Aerin Send a private message to Aerin Feb 18 2007, 6:40am
                    Not completely unique Beren IV Send a private message to Beren IV Feb 18 2007, 6:56pm
                        True, women of Haleth Aerin Send a private message to Aerin Feb 18 2007, 9:51pm
                            Another historical note Beren IV Send a private message to Beren IV Feb 18 2007, 11:51pm
                                Re: [Beren IV] Another historical note Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Feb 19 2007, 12:43am
                                See Elizabeth's note, plus Aerin Send a private message to Aerin Feb 19 2007, 6:45am
                More Arwen in the books than most readers catch. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 23 2007, 11:40pm
            Re: [Aerin] This of course has been much discussed, Sandicomm Send a private message to Sandicomm Feb 18 2007, 6:16pm
                I think the movies came close to Aerin Send a private message to Aerin Feb 18 2007, 10:09pm
    Some unexpected brilliance linkin-artelf Send a private message to linkin-artelf Feb 19 2007, 3:09am
        "Journey in the Dark" is the chapter title dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Feb 20 2007, 4:07pm
        Orcs did wear cloaks. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 23 2007, 11:34pm
    Unexpected Joy! Daughter of Nienna Send a private message to Daughter of Nienna Feb 19 2007, 11:19am
        "a heavy front plane" N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 23 2007, 11:44pm

 
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.