Added: September 5, 2015 – Last updated: September 5, 2015


Author: Philippe ClancierTranslator: Ethan Rundell

Title: Warlike Men and Invisible Women

Subtitle: How Scribes in the Ancient Near East Represented Warfare

Journal: Clio: Women, Gender, History

Volume: -

Issue: 39

Year: 2014

Pages: 19-36

Language: French

Keywords: Ancient Near East | Types: Wartime Rape


Link: (Restricted Access)



Abstract: »The analysis of women’s place in wars in the Ancient Near East is determined to a great extent by the fact that there was no law of war. However, some laws existed to allow wives to remarry, if their husbands were made prisoners of war or were considered to have disappeared. Thus, one must turn to the practice of war, as described by scribes, to find more elements concerning women. The queens of Assyria, such as Sammuramat (Semiramis) or Naqi’a/Zakutu were sufficiently involved in affairs of state to have some say in military matters. This was certainly true of Sammuramat. Women appear more frequently in references to violence directed against women, but for the most part the scribes do not single them out from the rest of defeated populations, in their descriptions of massacres and deportations.« (Source: Clio)


  1. The law of war in the Ancient Near East
  2. A marginal documentary case: women “combatants”
  3. Violence against women
  4. Deportations

Original: Clancier, Philippe. »Hommes guerriers et femmes invisibles. Le choix des scribes dans le Proche-Orient ancien.« Clio No. 39 (2014): 19-36.

Wikipedia: Ancient Near East, Wartime sexual violence