Women in History

Women have always played an important role in history. There were good women, bad women, destroyers of society and shapers. There were women who were unwillingly caught up in the events of history and those who made them happen. Some women were just downright interesting. This blog will post about them all. Requests are welcome.
We post twice a week. All asks are answered publicly unless otherwise indicated. Tag this blog with #historicwomenblog.

Freydís Eiríksdóttir 13th Century

Research on Vikings show that the amount of Viking women has been largely underestimated for years. The most accurate estimate of Norse invaders of Britain is 33-50% female. The women were buried with their swords just like the male warriors.  

Freydís was daughter of Erik the Red, and a woman Viking warrior. She married a wealthy though weak man with whom she traveled. In 1004 Freydrís set off for the Americas. The Vikings got into trouble when they accidentally traded milk for supplies to some lactose intolerant Native people. The Natives, understandably, thought the Vikings were trying to poison them and a battle broke out. Freydrís, who was pregnant at the time, charged the opposing people and beat her bare breast while letting out a horrifying war cry. The other Vikings ran the hell away and the Natives decided to leave them alone. Freydís was left behind and gave birth to a son in a foreign land where he was raised until the Vikings came back to rescue her. 

On her next journey, Freydís led two ships. One sank on the way and the people from the sunken ship were saved on the one that was still floating. Freydís saw that they could not support this many people, so she ordered her crew to kill everyone from the other ship. The crew killed the men and refused to kill the women, not because they were gentlemen but because it was bad luck. Freydís, unfazed by superstition, took an axe and murdered the women herself.

On the third expedition, Freydís was officially in charge. When they arrived at their destination, the crew split because of differences. She ordered the people who split from her killed and they were, except for the women. Again. So, Freydrís killed the women. Again. 

Freydrís Eiríksdóttir was a murderous woman and all the lands she invaded were eventually abandoned. She is credited with inventing the first version of the sleeping bag. 

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