Warfare throughout history has been mainly the "province" of men, but women also played a role – as leaders, spies or less often as fighters. This is a list of women who, in either of these capacities, actively engaged in warfare in the Postclassical Era (that is, about the 5th to the 15th century). It does not include female monarchs or other rulers who did not lead troops.
625: Hind al-Hunnud is among fifteen women accompanying troops in a battle near Medina, singing songs to inspire warriors. She exults over the body of the man who killed her father, chews his liver, and makes jewellery from his skin and nails.
1087: Matilda of Tuscany personally leads a military expedition to Rome in an attempt to install Pope Victor, but the strength of the imperial counterattack soon convinced the pope to retire from the city.
1130: Female Chinese general Liang Hongyu, wife of general Han Shizhong of the Song Dynasty, blocks the advance of the Jin army with her husband. Her drumming invigorated the Song army and rallied them to defeat the Jin.
1179: Elizabeth of Hungary, Duchess of Bohemia successfully defends Prague toward her brother-in-law Sobeslav II as regent during the absence of her spouse. She appeared herself on the battle field with clerical signs on her banner.
1335: The Scots defeat a company led by the Count of Namur. Amongst the Count's casualties was a female lancer who had killed her opponent, Richard Shaw, at the same moment that he had killed her. Her gender was only discovered when the bodies were being stripped of their armor at the end of the engagement. "The chronicler Bower seems to have been at least as impressed by the rarity of two mounted soldiers simultaneously transfixing one another with their lances as with the fact that one of them was a woman."
1341: Anna of Trebizond marches to take the throne of Trebizond at the head of an army.
1342: Joanna of Flanders conquers the city of Redon and defends the city of Hennebont during the Breton war.
1389: Frisian regent Foelke Kampana leads armies to assist her spouse Ocko Kenisna tom Brok, chief of Auricherland: after finding him dead on the battlefield, she returns to Aurich, and upon finding it taken by an enemy during her absence, she retakes it by military force
1392: Maria, Queen of Sicily, conquers Sicily and defeats the rebelling barons as the leader of an army alongside her consort.
1420: Joan of France, Duchess of Brittany, launches war against the Penthievre clan in Brittany and their strongholds one by one until she conquers the last, to free her consort, the duke, who was taken prisoner by the Penthievre.
1429: Joan of Arc asserts that God has sent her to drive the English out of France, and is given a position in the French Royal army. She is supported by Yolande of Aragon, mother of Queen Marie d'Anjou (wife of King Charles VII).
1471: Queen Margaret of Anjou is defeated in Battle of Tewkesbury. She and her son escaped to Flanders. The Yorkists eventually captured her and ransomed her to Louis XI, after she had sworn an oath not to go to war anymore.
1472: Onorata Rodiana from Cremona, Italy is mortally wounded in battle. She had disguised herself as a man to become a soldier.
June 27, 1472: Jeanne Hachette rips down the flag of the invading Burgundians at Beauvais, inspiring the garrison to win the fight.
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This paper was presented at the Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast Conference, June 16–18, 1995, at Forest Grove, Oregon, U.S.A. Research for this project was facilitated by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. (Although the link is to a forum, the paper is posted in its full length there since it is not available online as it was never published. The following links are to papers and articles where the original paper by Jennifer W. Jay was referenced in the bibliography)
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^De Pauw, Linda Grant (2000). Battle Cries and Lullabies: Women in War from Prehistory to the Present. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 86. ISBN978-0-8061-3288-4.
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^Kaufman, Stuart J. (2001). Modern Hatreds: The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War. Cornell University Press. p. 91. ISBN978-0-8014-8736-1.
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^Houghton Mifflin Company; Justin Kaplan (2003). The Houghton Mifflin Dictionary of Biography. p. 487. ISBN0-618-25210-X.Cite uses deprecated parameters (help)
^Low, Sidney James; Frederick Sanders Pulling (1910). The Dictionary of English History. Cassell and Company Limited, London, New York, Toronto, and Melbourne. p. 421.Cite uses deprecated parameters (help)
^Williamson, Paul (1998). Gothic Sculpture, 1140-1300. Yale University Press. p. 171. ISBN0300074522.
^Bachmann, Dieter (2003). "I.33". Archived from the original on 2010-12-15. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
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^The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, eleventh edition, volume XII. Cambridge, England, at the University Press, New York 35 West 32nd street. 1910. p. 793.
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