In Hindu Mythology, Durga takes on an entire army of Demons, and slays them all singlehandedly at the last moment. She also takes on Mahishashur (Buffalo Demon) and slays him as well, earning her the title "Mahishashura Mardini". I was wondering if other mythologies have similiar stories about a warrior goddess?

  • Artemis and Athens from Greek mythology, Freya from Norse mythology and the Morrigan from Celtic mythology
    – user1385
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 4:44

3 Answers 3


Yes. A comment already mentioned Norse Freya, Celtic Morrigan, and Greek Artemis.

My personal favorite that wasn't mentioned is the West African Oya (aka: Oiá, Yansá or Iansá), who I see associated with all kinds of things depending on the source, but storms and destruction seem to be the most common. She's said to be invincible. I've seen her depicted with a whip and with a short sword (or machete).

The Latvians had Kara Mate, the Berbers Ifri, and the Chinese Jiutian Xuannü. The Hindus have several, most notably Kali.

This is just a sample, not the entire list. Here's a website that tries to do that, but I highly suspect its incomplete (compare with this site). Most likely it would be easier to list which mythos had no warrior goddess than which ones did.


Beyond what others listed, there's also Anat:

In a fragmentary passage from [the Epic of Baal], Anat appears as a fierce, wild and furious warrior in a battle, wading knee-deep in blood, striking off heads, cutting off hands, binding the heads to her torso and the hands in her sash, driving out the old men and townsfolk with her arrows, her heart filled with joy. "Her character in this passage anticipates her subsequent warlike role against the enemies of Baal".

There's a Cyprian inscription too that equates Anat with Athena, a well-known warrior goddess from the Greek tradition. Just look at this passage from the Iliad 4:

So, in the dirt they lay beside each other, among the host of dead, Peiros the Thracian general, and Diores leader of the bronze-clad Epeians. That was no skirmish to make light of, as some unwounded warrior might whom Pallas Athene led into battle, shielding him from the hail of missiles and all the sharp sword-thrusts, for a host of Greeks and Trojans lay there on that day, stretched out side by side, their faces in the dust.

As far as warrior women from mythology, you couldn't get any more famous than the Amazones. Their leader in the Trojan War, Penthesilea, was a preeminent figure who slew many Greeks before finally being taken down by Achilles. For sure check that link for Quintus Smyrnaeus' account of her prowess in battle.


In terms of stature, role and primal nature, the only deities from the Greek Pantheon I can think of are

They are older than the Olympians, and relentlessly pursue evildoers.

In terms of the concrete stories similar to Durga, that of the hero slaying monsters or demons in the role of benefactor to the gods or humans, I am hard pressed to find specific examples.

suggests the idea of a female destroyer/creator is not singular, and so the lack of detailed stories may be due to other factors.

may also fit into this category in the sense of creation/destruction being connected and which is the fundamental nature of Durga.


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