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I stumbled onto this story the other day about a Viking who turned out not to be a manly man, but a woman. One who was obviously a leader from the items buried with her.

I know that it’s popular to think that women have always been subjugated and not released from bondage until a bunch of laws were passed, but history proves that’s just not the case. If someone builds a wall, you either tunnel under it or go around it. Lots of women did just that.

I want to know more about this Viking leader and my imagination is furnishing a picture of her. She might have acquired her knowledge of warfare from her husband who was killed in battle. Enraged, she took up arms to avenge him. She died young, so I imagine it was with thoughts of Valhalla and being reunited with the man she loved. Or she could have been trained from birth to take the place of the son her father never had, refusing romantic entanglements because it would have interfered with her leadership. Or she could have taken up arms because her family was killed on a raid and she had nothing left to lose.

We’ll never know, of course, which is part of the mystery of studying the past. But we can certainly imagine.