Monday, June 26, 2017

women soldier: Catalina was there (and she wasn't very nice

I always note the presence of women soldiers or women accompanying armies that often are overlooked, from the Amazon princess killed by Achilles (not in the Iliad but in another lost epic) to how Xenophon's men marched to the sea trying to protect his camp followers, to Peter the Great's wife (later Czarina) who accompanied him to the wars.

When the Spanish trying to conquer the Aztecs were  attacked, one of the European woman got a sword out and scared a lot of the attackers, who thought she was the Virgin Mary.

But apparently this wasn't the only lady among the Conquistadors: SP reviews a new book that notes the histories written by South American soldiers, whose writings are often overlooked by historians, and they include her there:

... Catalina de Erauso (1592-1650), a former nun who wrote an autobiography of her years soldiering for the Crown, initially disguised as a man and later openly as a woman..

well, actually she wasn't a nun, but one of those girls placed into a convent as a small kid by her parents and who escaped at age 15 without taking vows, (i.e. a "novice") but never mind. After her escape, she dressed as a man and had many adventures, which she related in her autobiography...or what was reported to be her autobiography, since although she existed a lot of the facts seem to be exaggerated.

Wikipedia article here

and a racier version is found on the rejectedprincesses site, which admits: She was not a very nice person.

In fact, it was through her usage of the church as a “get out of jail free” card that her secret came out. After killing several more cops (at this point it’s hard to even keep track of why) and taking sanctuary again, she realized she was in deep trouble this time. So she confessed to the bishop that she was actually a woman, and gave him a somewhat sanitized account of her life. Somewhat skeptical, the bishop called in some old women to, uh, verify her claims. Not only did they do so – but they reported back that she was still a virgin.
This was, evidently, a big deal. Erauso’s intact hymen somehow wiped clean the previous two decades of murder, and the 35-year-old was declared a blessed individual, provided she devote herself to god. She did so, eventually even making her way to Pope Urban VIII, who gave her special leave to pursue her life in mens’ clothing. He did, however, chide her to not harm anyone else, taking special time to remind her of the Do Not Kill commandment.

Whether she was transgender or merely a lesbian is another question.

since she is reported as ugly and large, one wonders if she had PCO or another medical cause of hyperandrogenism, either from the ovary or her adrenal gland.

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