Lot’s of heroic Irish women here. When I was researching for Strongbow’s Wife I could find very little information. As Ali says below, so much was written up or re-written to fit the victor’s and the church’s view of events. I know some believe that, after Strongbow’s death, Aiofe became a warrior woman, fighting his cause. I prefer to think that, as an Irish woman, she deplored what her father had unleashed on Ireland and chose, instead, to look for ways to achieve a peaceful outcome. Maybe that’s just the pacifist in me. What do you think?
Warrior Women of Ireland
Irish mythology is riddled with powerful women, yet they are quite an enigma. On the one hand, we have feisty Queens like Medb, fearsome Goddesses like the Morrigan, gifted healers like Airmid, female smiths like Brigid, respected Druidesses like Bodhmall, and knowledgeable lawgivers like Brigid Brethach. On the other, we have the helpless heroines such as Etain, Deirdre, and Grainne, who seemingly did little but lure men with their beauty into tragedy and catastrophe.
We already know from the Brehon Laws that in ancient Ireland, women enjoyed far greater freedoms than those elsewhere. A woman could enjoy equal status with her husband in marriage; she had the right to divorce him if he did not fulfil his marital obligations, and if so, she was entitled to take with her all her own possessions and half of their joint property, plus a portion for damages. Women were also…
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