An Irish law from the year 697 forbids women to be soldiers—which means that women had been soldiers previously. Peoples who over the centuries have recruited female soldiers include Arabs, Berbers, Kurds, Rajputs, Chinese, Filipinos, Maoris, Papuans, Micronesians, and American Indians.
It was the Greeks who coined the term “Amazon.” The word literally means “without breast.” It is said that in order to facilitate the drawing of a bow, the female’s right breast was removed, either in early childhood or with a red-hot iron after she became an adult. Even though the Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen are said to have agreed that this operation would enhance the ability to use weapons, it is doubtful whether such operations were actually performed. Herein lies a linguistic riddle—whether the prefix “a-” in their language does indeed mean “without.” It has...
Swedish democracy is based on a single premise: the Right to Free Speech (RFS). This guarantees the inalienable right to say, think, and believe anything whatsoever. It embraces all Swedish citizens, from the crazy neo-Nazi living in the woods to the rock-throwing anarchist—and everyone in between. Every other basic right, such as the Formation of Government and the Right to Freedom of Organization, are simply practical extensions of the Right to Free Speech. On this law democracy stands or falls. All democracy has its limits, and the limits to the RFS are set by the Freedom of the Press regulation...