Women and Warfare in the Renaissance and Reformation

My bibliographic essay on “Women and Warfare” was recently published by Oxford Bibliographies in the Renaissance and Reformation subject area.

“Women and warfare is an emerging field in early modern history with a rapidly growing historiography. Art historians and cultural historians have been captivated by images of feminine martial power that deploy the figures of Athena, Minerva, Diana the Huntress, Judith, and Amazons. Much of the historical literature has focused on queens, regents, and female power in early modern royal states. Political and gender historians have examined powerful female rulers and regents such as Mary of Hungary, Margaret of Parma, and Infanta Isabella in the Habsburg Low Countries; Mary I Tudor and Elizabeth I Tudor in England; Marie de Guise and Mary Stuart in Scotland; Catherine de’ Medici, Maria de’ Medici, and Anne of Austria in France; and Amalia Elizabeth in Hesse—who all engaged in military planning and diplomacy. Historians and gender studies scholars are now setting these women warriors and powerful queens into a much broader context of women, gender, and war in early modern Europe. Noblewomen, city women, and peasant women were all swept up into the maelstrom of war in early modern Europe. This bibliographical essay brings together diverse historiographies of women’s history, gender history, history of sexuality, art history, literary history, history of violence, and war and society history. The essay includes sources on women, gender, and warfare in peasant revolts, urban revolts, noble revolts, civil wars, religious wars, and colonial wars, as well as in conventional interstate wars and coalition wars. …”

The essay considers historical studies of gender and war in the Renaissance and Reformation periods, aiming to provide guidance to advanced undergraduate and graduate students conducting research on issues of women, gender, and sexuality in the context of war and conflict in early modern Europe and the world. The essay explores the historical literature around the following themes:

General Overviews

Theoretical and Comparative Studies of Gender and War

Reference Works

Textbooks and Pedagogical Sources



Women, Power, and War in Early Modern Europe

Women and War in the Renaissance and Reformation (1450s-1550s)

Women and Gender in the European Wars of Religion (1550s-1650s)

Women, Gender, and Violence in Maritime Empires

Gender in Military Culture

Gender and Early Modern State Development (1640s-1700s)

Women and Atrocities in Early Modern Warfare

Here is the link to the full bibliographic essay on Oxford Bibliographies:


This entry was posted in Cultural History, Digital Humanities, Early Modern Europe, Early Modern France, Early Modern World, European History, European Wars of Religion, French Wars of Religion, Gender and Warfare, History of Violence, Italian History, Mediterranean World, Reformation History, Renaissance Art and History, War, Culture, and Society, Warfare in the Early Modern World, Women and Gender History. Bookmark the permalink.

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