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Awilda as depicted in The Pirates Own Book, published in 1837.

Awilda, also known as Alwilda, was a female pirate. The story of Awilda is doubted by some historical scholars and considered to be a legend.


Awilda was the daughter of a 5th-century Scandinavian king;[1][2] referred to in one source as Synardus and a "Gothic king".[3] It is said that the King, her father, had arranged a marriage for her to Alf, the crown prince of Denmark,[2] whose father was King Sygarus of Denmark.[3] However, Awilda refused her father's choice.[2][3] She and some of her female friends dressed like sailors and commandeered a ship.[2][3] While sailing, they came across a pirate ship that had recently lost its captain, and the pirates elected Awilda as their captain.[2][3] The King of Denmark sent his son and a navy ship to battle with the "irksome" pirates.[2][3] Prince Alf and his men were able to board their ship and gain the upper hand in the battle.[2][3] Apparently, Awilda was so impressed with the prince's courage that she revealed her true identity, and agreed to marry Alf.[2][3] They married on board, and lived happily ever after as King and Queen of Denmark.[3]

"On Viking Expeditions of Highborn Maids: Two female warriors, of royal family according to the crowns on their heads, are participating in a sea battle." From Olaus Magnus' A Description of the Northern Peoples from 1555.

Modern versions[edit]

Awilda, Awilda (les dialogues) is a poem written by Stephen Wack depicting the story of Awilda and Prince Alf's eventual marriage.[4]

In One Piece, a Japanese anime and manga, a female pirate captain is named Alvida, in reference to Awilda.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Samuel Astley Durham, History of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, Volume 3, The cabinet cyclopaedia, p. 317 (Longman, Orme, Brown, Green & Longmans and John Taylor, 1840). Found at Google books. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Skadi Meic Beorh (2009), Pirate Lingo, Wildside Press LLC, p. 9, ISBN 978-1-4344-0510-4  Found at Google books. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Charles Ellms, The Pirates Own Book, (c. 1837). Found at Guttenberg books online. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
  4. ^ "Awilda, Awilda (les dialogues) by Quadriplegic Ego| Lulu Poetry". 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 

External links[edit]