Women Warriors

Last night I got to watch the US women’s soccer team fight to a rousing victory during their World Cup. What an incredible match!! It put me in mind of a few more historical female warriors. Here are a few of my favorites:

Artemisia I of Caria


This was a 5th century queen but is best known for being a naval commander and ally of King Xerxes of Persia during his invasion of the Greek city-states.

Joan of Arc


Who hasn’t heard of this amazing legendary figure whose influence aided the French while she was still a teen.

Nakano Takeko


One of the only known female samurai – distinguished her self in Japan’s Boshin Civil War.

Queen Boudicca


One of my top favorites. A Celtic queen who, with her army, nearly chased the Romans out of Britain.

Grace O’Malley


A female pirate! She not only ruled the Umaill kingdom she inherited from her father, she took the fleet she inherited and used it for piracy.



Another queen who fought against the Romans and won many fights against them before her capture.

Deborah Sampson


Listed as the first female (that we know of at least) to fight in the American military. She fought during the American Revolution.

Augustina de Aragon


Known as the Spanish Joan of Arc – she defended┬áSpain during the Spanish War of Independence


There are so many more amazing warrior throughout history. Do you have any favorites?

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Michelle McLean is a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl who is addicted to chocolate and Goldfish crackers and spent most of her formative years with her nose in a book. She has a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, and a knack for explaining complicated things to uncomplicated people. Michelle's non-fiction works include guides on how to write essays, term papers, literary analysis essays, and poetry. She also writes romance with a good dose of mystery and humor, historicals, and a paranormal here and there. When Michelle's not editing, reading or chasing her kids around, she can usually be found in a quiet corner working on her next book. She resides in PA with her husband and two children, an insanely hyper dog, and three very spoiled cats.

10 Responses

  1. Victoria Vane

    Hi Michelle! What a great post! I would add a few from the Wild West days: Calamity Jane, was a frontierswoman and professional scout who was not only a close friend of Wild Bill Hickok, but also gained fame fighting Native Americans.
    There were also a number of famous Native American female chiefs and warriors: Fallen Leaf (often called Woman Chief by the Americans): While Fallen Leaf was a Crow warrior, she was actually born to the Gros Ventre nation and was captured by the Crow when she was 12. After she had counted coup four times in the prescribed Crow tradition, she was considered a chief and sat in the council of chiefs.

    Running Eagle: she became a Blackfoot (Piegan) warrior after her husband was killed by the Crow.

    Colestah: a medicine woman, psychic, and warrior. Armed with a stone war club, Colestah fought at her husband’s side. When Kamiakin was wounded, she rescued him, and then used her healing skills to cure him.

    Buffalo Calf Road Woman: rode into the middle of the warriors and saved the life of her brother. She then rode into battle the next day by her husband’s side.

  2. Violetta Rand

    Great victory for the U.S. at the World Cup, Michelle–and lots of record breaking! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Barbara Monajem

    What a cool topic! I’m a big fan of Boudicca. I also find Grace O’Malley fascinating. She’s featured (but not the main character, in spite of the title) in Diana Norman’s The Pirate Queen–an excellent book, but because of the time and place it’s a heartrending read.

  4. Maggi Andersen

    Fantastic! Warriors of another kind: Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing (and a prodigious writer) and Harriet Chalmers Adams, the American explorer, writer and photographer. Only female journalist permitted to visit the trenches during World War I.

  5. Alyssa Alexander

    Absolutely love this! Great post. I love stories of strong women who defy the odds and the conventions placed on them.

  6. Jessica Jefferson

    Great post for the day after the big win! I was going to mention Florence Nightingale, but I see Maggi already saved me the trouble!