February 7th, 2013


Shieldmaidens and Skjoldmø

The following was posted by Rig Svenson on Facebook.

A shieldmaiden was a woman who had chosen to fight as a warrior in Scandinavian folklore and mythology. Something about a woman who wields a sword well that so appeals to me.The Grágás or Grey Goose Law is the name given to the laws which were used to govern the Icelandic Commonwealth until some where around 1262-1264CE. It consisted of six sections, the fourth of which was “The Wergild Ring List”. Wergild, was the reparation paid by an individual to compensate a family or clan for theft, injury or death. The revision of these laws of 840CE makes various provisions, including for the payment of Wergild by Skjoldmø. The nearest translation of Skjoldmø is “Shield Girl”, but it is important that we do not confuse them with the popular fantasy figure of the “Shield Maiden” (think Opera's Brunhilde) but rather honed professional warriors, given rights, privileges and status of their own within Norse Culture.

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