Modthryth (fl. 520)

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Modthryth (fl. 520)

German princess and warrior. Name variations: Modthrith. Flourished in 520 in Germany.

A fierce warrior, Modthryth was the daughter of the king of a Germanic tribe. The early Middle Ages, with its conglomeration of tribal kingdoms and petty warfare, saw a flourishing of opportunity for sword-bearing women to rise to fame. It is difficult to separate fact from fiction in the lives told of women like Modthryth, who became the basis of several characters in epic literature; still, it is clear that she was well schooled in the art of warfare, and that she proved a formidable foe to the men who challenged her or perhaps even, it is reported, dared seek her hand in marriage.

Laura York , Riverside, California

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