Matilda of Tuscany
Matilda was one of the few women of her era to be remembered for her military accomplishments during the Middle Ages. After the death of her parents, siblings, husband, and daughter, Matilda traveled with Pope Gregory VII, acting as his protector as he traveled north.
Emperor Henry IV attempted to intercept the pontiff, but Matilda fought fiercely. Ultimately, she negotiated a deal between Gregory and Henry that included Henry walking through the snow in repentance for his attack and being forced to stand in the cold for three days before seeing Gregory.
After Pope Gregory VII died in 1085, Matilda led an army to support the new Pope Victor III. She continued to experience threats from Henry IV, but her military prowess ultimately resulting in Henry's retreat from Italy entirely in 1097.
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