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  1. This is fascinating! I also find it interesting that a lot of dangerous, powerful forces of nature are considered female (the sea, for example), particularly at a time when actual women didn’t have a lot of power. Or maybe this suggests that they did, just not as we would recognise it.

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    1. I think they may have had more power than we believe, but definitely differently than we see it. The things we value, such as individualism, are fairly new concepts (in the long history of human life on Earth), so the way we see the world is completely different than it was seen in the 14th century, for example.

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      1. Absolutely. Relative to us = not so much, but relative to the majority of men at the time = perhaps, which is an interesting thought from a feminist perspective. I don’t know enough about the period to really say, but am definitely inspired to do some digging!

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      1. You’re welcome! I hardly ever reblog posts from PTM because me and Diana are so entangled on the social media, doesn’t make much sense for us to reblog one another. But since this isn’t her post, and it REEAALY deserved a reblog, I figured I could get away with it this once.

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  2. Really interesting, and thoughtful question as to why the portrayal as a woman. On the other hand, the Grim Reaper – regularly depicted in English engravings of the Black Death, carrying plague-stricken people away with him – is portrayed or at least assumed to be a ‘he’.

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  3. I find the ways that very-real threats have been turned into creatures and monsters (to explain something that isn’t understood) to be so thoroughly interesting. I didn’t know about this one – thanks for sharing 🙂

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  4. Wow, this was interesting.
    Living in Europe myself, and studying european languages, I would have thought that it being the embodiment of a female might have something to do with language.
    For instance, when you refer to a table, a car, a house or a chair they are all female in French. Interestingly, the Sun is male.
    Great post.

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    1. That is an interesting and valid point. I just did a quick check and plague is female in many languages, including French and Polish, so it is highly plausible that may be the story behind why she is a maiden.

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  5. Maybe instead of being the bringer of death, she was in fact warning others of what was coming? Just a thought, but one that fits in with the connection to your other heroic polish women. Interesting post, and something I’ve not read about before.

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