Class handout from my class taught at Highland war (Saturday, September 5, 2015)
Ok, here’s the part where we wax poetically about a topic that isn’t really of relevance, but might be of interest:
Kampfrau vs Trossfrau
The typical go to name of a German Landsknecht woman in the SCA is a Kampfrau, however essentially you are calling this woman a prostitute… ok, let me back up. In German, there are often two words for one English concept. For example studieren (to study) and lernen ( to learn) are concepts that are interchangeable in English, but not in German. You “lernen” a topic, but you “studieren” at a place… going back to SCA stuff, a Kampfrau is literally a camp woman (ie. a camp follower/prostitute). On the other hand, a Trossfrau is literally a bag woman, but not really in the modern sense. “Tross” is the German word for “baggage train”. Landknecht women were the keepers of the purse. After the men killed people on the battlefield, the women went and took the valuables from the dead and put them in their purse. When a Landsknecht man wanted money, he went to the woman.
Maybe it’s a little point of German grammar that doesn’t matter, but take pride in your German power ladies!