Tattooed Scythian Warriors, Descendants of the Amazons? - Part Four
(Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 ) Just as the Pazyryk culture greatly resembled the Scythian culture to their west, I think we can also see cultural similarities in the Norse and Celtic peoples to the east of Scythia who, whether from intermingling in trade or migration, exhibited the same treatment of women until the spread of Rome and Christianity across Europe destroyed the native culture and purposefully erased any pagan history especially Goddess worship. I will also go as far to say that Rome and the church at the time began the systematic persecution of women taking away any power they had in society including, medicine, religion, brewing and warfare.
The Sarmatians, the people Herodotus believed were the mix of Amazons and Scythians, are known to have invaded Gaul and pushed out the Picts and there are many Roman accounts of the women warriors among the Gauls. The Norse shield maidens are not myth and accounts of their participation in known battles is generally not disputed unlike those of the Amazons. Queen Boudicca, trained as a warrior when she was a child went on to led an army of over 10,0000 many of them women against the Romans in Briton. Of course the Romans described her as a woman who was smarter than most of her gender which explained her successes but they still considered her a person not to be dealt with lightly.
Of her own part Boudicca said “ We British are used to women commanders in war; I am descended from mighty men! But I am not fighting for my kingdom and my wealth now. I am fighting as an ordinary citizen for my lost freedom, my bruised body and my outraged daughters…Consider how many of you are fighting and why! Then you will win this battle or perish. That is what I, a woman, plan to do, let the men live in slavery if they will. ”(Boudicca according to Tacitus)
In 61 AD Boudicca died when she took her own life instead of being captured and with her died the hope of women all over Europe for social equality in the face of the Roman invasion and the subsequent spread of Christianity. Perhaps Boudicca represents the last great stand of the descendants of the Amazons and the tattooed warriors of the steppes who rode into battle together, man and woman side by side, against the new societies where woman were seen as weak and inferior and their great deeds in history were turned into myths.
J. A. Salmonson, The Encyclopedia of Amazons (1991), ISBN 0385423667
F. G. Bergmann, Les Amazones dans l'histoire et dans la fable (1853)
The Real Scythians of Messopotamia, Fred Hamori, based on a work by Gyula Meszaros
The History of Herodotus, George Rawlinson, ed. and tr., vol. 3, Book 4, Chapters 2-36, 46-82. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1885]
Scythians in the Ancient World by Gill, Education About.com Ancient / Classical History Herodotus History Book IV
Scythian tumuli : Bouzek Jan (2/22/2008) "Scythian tumuli", 2008, Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Black Sea
Origins of the Picts and Scots, Hal MacGregor, Origins of the Clan Gregor
The Boudicca Chapters, Isha Bassi, Heroines of History. Wikispaces