In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες Amazónes, singular Ἀμαζών Amazōn) were a tribe of women warriors related to Scythians and Sarmatians. Apollonius Rhodius, at Argonautica, mentions that Amazons were the daughters of Ares and Harmonia (a nymph of the Akmonian Wood). They were brutal and aggressive, and their main concern in life was war. Lysias, Isocrates, Philostratus the Elder also say that their father was Ares.
Herodotus and Strabo place them on the banks of the Thermodon River. According to Diodorus, giving the account of Dionysius of Mitylene (who in turn drew on Thymoetas), the Amazons inhabited Ancient Libya long before they settled along the Thermodon. Migrating from Libya, these Amazons passed through Egypt and Syria, and stopped at the Caïcus in Aeolis, near which they founded several cities. Later, Diodorus maintains, they established Mytilene a little way beyond the Caïcus. Aeschylus, in Prometheus Bound, places the original home of the Amazons in the country about Lake Maeotis, and from which they moved to Themiscyra on the Thermodon. Homer tells that the Amazons were sought and found somewhere near Lycia.
Notable queens of the Amazons are Penthesilea, who participated in the Trojan War, and her sister Hippolyta, whose magical girdle, given to her by her father Ares, was the object of one of the labours of Heracles. Diodorus mentions that the Amazons traveled from Libya under Queen Myrina. Amazon warriors were often depicted in battle with Greek warriors in amazonomachies in classical art.
Archaeological discoveries of burial sites with female warriors on the Eurasian steppes suggest that the Scythian women may have inspired the Amazon myth. From the early modern period, their name has become a term for female warriors in general. Amazons were said to have founded the cities and temples of Smyrna, Sinope, Cyme, Gryne, Ephesus, Pitania, Magnesia, Clete, Pygela, Latoreria and Amastris; according to legend, the Amazons also invented the cavalry.
Palaephatus, who was trying to rationalize the Greek myths in his On Unbelievable Tales (Ancient Greek: Περὶ ἀπίστων ἱστοριῶν), wrote that the Amazons were probably men, but their enemies mistook for women by because they wore clothing which reached their feet, tied up their hair in headbands and shaved their beards, and in addition, because they did not exist during his time, most probably they did nοt exist in the past either.
The origin of the word is uncertain. It may be derived from an Iranian ethnonym *ha-mazan- "warriors", a word attested indirectly through a derivation, a denominal verb in Hesychius of Alexandria's gloss "ἁμαζακάραν· πολεμεῖν. Πέρσαι" ("hamazakaran: 'to make war' in Persian"), where it appears together with the Indo-Iranian root *kar- "make" (from which Sanskrit karma is also derived).
It may also be derived from *ṇ-mṇ-gw-jon-es "manless, without husbands" (a- privative and a derivation of *man- also found in Slavic muzh) has been proposed, an explanation deemed "unlikely" by Hjalmar Frisk. 19th-century scholarship also connected the term to the ethnonym Amazigh. A further explanation proposes Iranian *ama-janah "virility-killing" as source.
The Hittite researcher Friedrich Cornelius assumes that there had been the land Azzi with the capital Chajasa in the area of the Thermodon-Iris Delta on the coast of the Black Sea. He brings its residents in direct relation to the Amazons, namely based on its name (woman of the land Azzi = 'Am'+ 'Azzi' = Amazon) and its customs (matriarchal custom of promiscuous sexual intercourse, even with blood relatives). The location of that land as well as his conclusions are controversial.— Gerhard Pollauer
Among Classical Greeks, amazon was given a folk etymology as originating from a- (ἀ-) and mazos (μαζός), "without breast", connected with an etiological tradition once claimed by Marcus Justinus who alleged that Amazons had their right breast cut off or burnt out. There is no indication of such a practice in ancient works of art, in which the Amazons are always represented with both breasts, although one is frequently covered. Adrienne Mayor suggests the origin of this myth was due to the word's etymology.
Greeks also used some descriptive phrases for them. Herodotus used the Androktones (Ἀνδροκτόνες, singular Ἀνδροκτόνα, Androktona) ("killers of men") and Androleteirai (Ἀνδρολέτειραι, singular Ἀνδρολέτειρα, Androleteira) ("destroyers of men, murderesses"), in the Iliad they are also called Antianeirai (Ἀντιάνειραι, singular Ἀντιάνειρα, Antianeira) ("against men") and Aeschylus, in his work Prometheus Bound, used styganor (στυγάνωρ) ("those who loathe all men").
Herodotus and Strabo placed them on the banks of the Thermodon and Themiscyra. Herodotus also mentions that some Amazons lived at Scythia because after the Greeks defeated the Amazons in battle, they sailed away carrying in three ships as many Amazons as they had been able to take alive, but out at sea the Amazons attacked the crews and killed them, then these Amazons landed at Scythian lands. Strabo writes that the original home of the Amazons was in Themiscyra and the plains about Thermodon and the mountains that lie above them, but were later driven out of these places, and during his time they were said to live in the mountains above Caucasian Albania (not to be confused with the modern Albania), but he also states that some others, among them Metrodorus of Scepsis and Hypsicrates, say that after Themiscyra, the Amazons traveled and lived on the borders of the Gargarians, in the northerly foothills of those parts of the Caucasian Mountains which are called Ceraunian. Diodorus giving the account of Dionysius of Mitylene, who, on his part, drew on Thymoetas states that before the Amazons of the Thermodon there were, much earlier in time, the Amazons of Libya. These Amazons started from Libya passed through Egypt and Syria, and stopped at the Caïcus in Aeolis, near which they founded several cities. Later, he says, they established Mitylene a little way beyond the Caïcus. Aeschylus, in Prometheus Bound, places the original home of the Amazons in the country about Lake Maeotis and they later moved to Themiscyra on the Thermodon. According to Pseudo-Plutarch, the Amazons lived in and about the Tanais (Greek: Τάναϊς) river (modern Don river), formerly called the Amazonian or Amazon (Greek: Ἀμαζόνιος) river, because the Amazons bathed themselves therein. The Amazons later moved to Themiscyra (speculated to be modern Terme, though no ruins exist) on the River Thermodon (the Terme river in northern Turkey). Plutarch mentions that the campaign(s) of Heracles and Theseus against the Amazons was at Euxine Sea (modern Black Sea). Homer tells that the Amazons were sought and found somewhere near Lycia.
The Amazons were supposed to have founded many towns, amongst them Smyrna, Ephesus, Cyme, Myrina, Sinope, Paphos, Mitylene. At Patmos there was a place called Amazonium. Also, on the island of Lemnos, there was another Myrina. The cities of Myrina had this name after the amazon Myrina.
Apollonius Rhodius, at Argonautica, mentions that at Thermodon the Amazons were not gathered together in one city, but scattered over the land, parted into three tribes. In one part dwelt the Themiscyreians (Θεμισκύρειαι), in another the Lycastians (Λυκάστιαι), and in another the Chadesians (Χαδήσιαι).
Greeks also used other descriptive phrases for them. Herodotus used the Androktones (Ἀνδροκτόνες, singular Ἀνδροκτόνα, Androktonα) ("killers/slayers of men") and Androleteirai (Ἀνδρολέτειραι, singular Ἀνδρολέτειρα, Androleteira) ("destroyers of men, murderesses"), in the Iliad they are also called Antianeirai (Ἀντιάνειραι, singular Ἀντιάνειρα, Antianeira) ("equivalent to men") and Aeschylus used the Styganor (Στυγάνωρ) ("those who loathe all men") in his work Prometheus Bound and in the Suppliant Maidens he called them "...τὰς ἀνάνδρους κρεοβόρους τ᾽ Ἀμαζόνας" ("the unwed, flesh-devouring Amazons"). In Hippolytus play, Phaedra calls Hippolytus, "the son of the horse-loving Amazon" (...τῆς φιλίππου παῖς Ἀμαζόνος βοᾷ Ἱππόλυτος...). Nonnus at Dionysiaca call the Amazons of Dionysus Androphonus (Ἀνδροφόνους) ("men slaying").
In some versions of the myth, no men were permitted to have sexual encounters or reside in Amazon country; but once a year, in order to prevent their race from dying out, they visited the Gargareans, a neighbouring tribe.
Strabo, giving credits to Metrodorus of Scepsis and Hypsicrates, mentions that at his time the Amazons were believed to live on the borders of the Gargareans. There were two special months in the spring in which they would go up into the neighboring mountain which separates them and the Gargareans. The Gargareans also, in accordance with an ancient custom, would go there to offer sacrifice with the Amazons and also to have intercourse with them for the sake of begetting children. They did this in secrecy and darkness, any Gargareans at random with any Amazon, and after making them pregnant they would send them away. Any females that were born are retained by the Amazons themselves, but the males would be taken to the Gargareans to be brought up; and each Gargarean to whom a child is brought would adopt the child as his own, regarding the child as his son because of his uncertainty. He also stated that the Gargareans went up from Themiscyra into this region with the Amazons, then, in company with some Thracians and Euboeans who had wandered thus far, waged war against them. They later ended the war against the Amazons and made a compact that they should have dealings with one another only in the matter of children, and that each people should live independent of the other. In addition, he states that the right breasts of all Amazons are seared when they are infants, so that they can easily use their right arm for every needed purpose, and especially that of throwing the javelin and use the bow.
Herodotus mentions that when Greeks defeated the Amazons at war, they sailed away carrying in three ships as many Amazons as they had been able to take alive, but out at sea the Amazons attacked the crews and killed them. But the Amazons knew nothing about ships so they were driven about by waves and winds and they were disembarked at the land of the Scythians, there they met first with a troop of horses feeding, they seized them and mounted upon these they plundered the property of the Scythians. The Scythians were not able to understand them because they did not know either their speech or their dress or the race to which they belonged, and they thought that they were men. Scythians fought a battle against them, and after the battle the Scythians got possession of the bodies of the dead, and thus they discovered that they were women. After the battle Scythians sent young men and told them to encamp near the Amazons and to do whatsoever they should do. If the women should come after them, they were not to fight but to retire before them, and when the women stopped, they were to approach near and encamp. This plan was adopted by the Scythians because they desired to have children born from them. When the Amazons perceived that they had not come to do them any harm, they let them alone; and the two camps approached nearer to one another every day: and the young men, like the Amazons, had nothing except their arms and their horses and got their living, as the Amazons did, by hunting and by taking booty. One day a Scythian and an Amazon came close. They could not speak to each other because they were speaking different languages but the Amazon made signs to him with her hand to come. Later the young Scythians and the Amazons joined their camps and lived together, each man having for his wife her with whom he had had dealings at first. The men were not able to learn the language of the Amazons, but the women learned Scythian.
Apollonius Rhodius, at Argonautica, mentions that Amazons were the daughters of Ares and Harmonia (a nymph of the Akmonian Wood). They were brutal and aggressive, and their main concern in life was war. According to him, the Amazons were not gathered together in one city, but scattered over the land, parted into three tribes. In one part dwelt the Themiscyreians (Θεμισκύρειαι), in another the Lycastians (Λυκάστιαι), and in another the Chadesians (Χαδήσιαι). Also, he mention that on an island, the Queens of the Amazons, Otrere (Ὀτρηρή) and Antiope (Ἀντιόπη), built a marble temple of Ares. On this desert island there were ravening birds, which in countless numbers haunt it. The island mentioned is the Aretias. Argonauts passed by Themiscyra on their journey to Colchis. Zeus sent Boreas (the North Wind), and with his help the Argonauts stood out from the shore near Themiscyra where the Themiscyreian Amazons were arming for battle.
The Amazons appear in Greek art of the Archaic period and in connection with several Greek legends. The tomb of Myrine is mentioned in the Iliad; later interpretation made of her an Amazon: according to Diodorus,
According to Diodorus, the Amazons under the rule of Queen Myrina, invaded the lands of the Atlantians. Amazons defeated the army of the Atlantian city of Cerne, treated the captives savagely, killed all the men, led into slavery the children and women, and razed the city. When the terrible fate of the inhabitants of Cerne became known among the other Atlantians, they were struck with terror, surrendered their cities on terms of capitulation and announced that they would do whatever should be commanded them. Queen Myrina bearing herself honourably towards the Atlantians, established friendship with them and founded a city to bear her name in place of the city of Cerne which had been razed; and in it she settled both the captives and any native who so desired. Atlantians presented her with magnificent presents and by public decree voted to her notable honours, and she in return accepted their courtesy and in addition promised that she would show kindness to their nation. Diodorus also mentions that the Amazons of Queen Myrina used the skins of gigantic snakes, from Libya, to protect themselves at battle. Later Queen Myrine led her Amazons to victory against the Gorgons. After the battle against the Gorgons, Myrina accorded a funeral to her fallen comrades on three pyres and raised up three great heaps of earth as tombs, which are called "Amazon Mounds" (Greek: Ἀμαζόνων σωρούς).
One of the tasks imposed upon Hercules by Eurystheus was to obtain possession of the girdle of the Amazonian queen Hippolyta. He was accompanied by his friend Theseus, who carried off the princess Antiope, sister of Hippolyta, an incident which led to a retaliatory invasion of Attica, in which Antiope perished fighting by the side of Theseus. In some versions, however, Theseus marries Hippolyta and in others, he marries Antiope and she does not die; by this marriage with the Amazon Theseus had a son Hippolytus. In another version of this myth, Theseus made this voyage on his own account, after the time of Heracles. The battle between the Athenians and Amazons is often commemorated in an entire genre of art, amazonomachy, in marble bas-reliefs such as from the Parthenon or the sculptures of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
Amazons attacked the Phrygians, who were assisted by Priam, then a young man. In his later years, however, towards the end of the Trojan War, his old opponents took his side against the Greeks under their queen Penthesilea "of Thracian birth", who was slain by Achilles.
The god Dionysus and his entourage fought the amazons at Ephesus, the Amazons fled to Samos, but Dionysus pursued them and at Samos he killed a great number of them on a spot which was, from that occurrence, called Panaema (Πάναιμα), which means blood-soaked field. In another myth Dionysus united with the Amazons to fight against Cronus and the Titans. Polyaenus writes that after Dionysus had subdued the Indians, he formed an alliance with them and the Amazons, and took them into his service. He later used them in his campaign against the Bactria. In addition, Nonnus at Dionysiaca writes about the Amazons of the Dionysus, but he say that they were not from Thermodon.
The Amazons are also said to have undertaken an expedition against the island of Leuke, at the mouth of the Danube, where the ashes of Achilles had been deposited by Thetis. The ghost of the dead hero appeared and so terrified the horses, that they threw and trampled upon the invaders, who were forced to retire. Pompey is said to have found them in the army of Mithridates.
They are heard of in the time of Alexander, when some of the king's biographers make mention of Amazon Queen Thalestris visiting him and becoming a mother by him (the story is known from the Alexander Romance). However, several other biographers of Alexander dispute the claim, including the highly regarded secondary source, Plutarch. In his writing he makes mention of a moment when Alexander's secondary naval commander, Onesicritus, was reading the Amazon passage of his Alexander history to King Lysimachus of Thrace who was on the original expedition: the king smiled at him and said "And where was I, then?"
Jordanes' Getica (c. 560), purporting to give the earliest history of the Goths, relates that the Goths' ancestors, descendants of Magog, originally dwelt within Scythia, on the Sea of Azov between the Dnieper and Don Rivers. After a few centuries, following an incident where the Goths' women successfully fended off a raid by a neighboring tribe, while the menfolk were off campaigning against Pharaoh Vesosis, the women formed their own army under Marpesia and crossed the Don, invading Asia. Her sister Lampedo remained in Europe to guard the homeland. They procreated with men once a year. These Amazons conquered Armenia, Syria, and all of Asia Minor, even reaching Ionia and Aeolia, holding this vast territory for 100 years. Jordanes also mentions that they fought with Hercules, and in the Trojan War, and that a smaller contingent of them endured in the Caucasus Mountains until the time of Alexander. He mentions by name the Queens Menalippe, Hippolyta, and Penthesilea.
In the Grottaferrata Version of Digenes Akritas, the twelfth century medieval epic of Basil, the Greek-Syrian knight of the Byzantine frontier, the hero battles with and kills the female warrior Maximo.
There are several (conflicting) lists of names of Amazons.
Other names of Amazons from various sources include:
According to ancient sources (Plutarch, Theseus, Pausanias), Amazon tombs could be found frequently throughout what was once known as the ancient Greek world. Some are found in Megara, Athens, Chaeronea, Chalcis, Thessaly at Skotousa, in Cynoscephalae, and statues of Amazons are all over Greece. Stephanus of Byzantium, quoting Ephorus, mention that the tomb of the amazon Anaea (Ἀναία) was at the city of Anaea (Ἄναια), which also has this name after the amazon.
At both Chalcis and Athens, Plutarch tells us that there was an Amazoneum or shrine of Amazons that implied the presence of both tombs and cult. At the entrance of Athens there was a monument to the Amazon Antiope. On the day before the Thesea at Athens there were annual sacrifices to the Amazons. In historical times Greek maidens of Ephesus performed an annual circular dance with weapons and shields that had been established by Hippolyta and her Amazons. They had initially set up wooden statues of Artemis, a bretas (Pausanias, (fl. c. AD 160): Description of Greece, Book I: Attica).
In works of art, battles between Amazons and Greeks are placed on the same level as – and often associated with – battles of Greeks and centaurs. The belief in their existence, however, having been once accepted and introduced into the national poetry and art, it became necessary to surround them as far as possible with the appearance of natural beings. Amazons were therefore depicted in the manner of Scythian or Sarmatian horsemen. Their occupation was hunting and war; their arms the bow, spear, axe, a half shield, nearly in the shape of a crescent, called pelta, and in early art a helmet. The model in the Greek mind had apparently been the goddess Athena. In later art they approach the model of Artemis, wearing a thin dress, girt high for speed; while on the later painted vases their dress is often peculiarly Persian – that is, close-fitting trousers and a high cap called the kidaris. They were usually on horseback but sometimes on foot. This depiction of Amazons demonstrates just how closely, in the Greek mind, the Amazons were linked to the Scythians. Their manner of dress has been noted to bear a striking similarity to the traditional dress of nomadic peoples from the Crimea to Mongolia. Amazons were described by Herodotus as wearing trousers and having tall stiff caps. The double-sided axe was the most emblematic of their weapons. Amazons can also be identified in vase paintings by the fact that they are wearing one earring. The battle between Theseus and the Amazons (Amazonomachy) is a favourite subject on the friezes of temples (e.g. the reliefs from the frieze of the Temple of Apollo at Bassae, now in the British Museum), vases and sarcophagus reliefs; at Athens it was represented on the shield of the statue of Athena Parthenos, on wall-paintings in the Theseum and in the Stoa Poikile. There were also three standard Amazon statue types.
In the Essays in Portraiture, Lucian of Samosata ask Polystratos which, he think, is the best work of Phidias and Polystratos respond "The Lemnian Athene, which bears the artist's own signature; and of course the Amazon leaning on her spear."
Later in the Renaissance, as Amazon myth evolved, artists started to depict warrior women in a new light. Queen Elizabeth was often thought of as an Amazon-like warrior during her reign and was sometimes depicted as such. Though, as explained in Divinia Viagro by Winfried Schleiner, Celeste T. Wright "has given a detailed account of the bad press Amazons had in the Renaissance (with respect to their unwomanly conduct and Scythian cruelty). She notes that she has not found any Elizabethans comparing the queen directly to an Amazon, and suggests that they might have hesitated to do so because of the association of Amazons with enfranchisement of women, which was considered contemptible."
Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel depicted the Battle of the Amazons around 1598, showing many attributes of Renaissance-styled paintings. Amazons also appear in the Rococo period in another painting titled Battle of the Amazons by Johann Georg Platzer. As a part of the Romantic period revival, German artist Anselm Feuerbach painted the Amazons as well. His paintings “engendered all the aspirations of the Romantics: their desire to transcend the boundaries of the ego and of the known world; their interest in the occult in nature and in the soul; their search for a national identity, and the ensuing search for the mythic origins of the Germanic nation; finally, their wish to escape the harsh realities of the present through immersion in an idealized past.”
Herodotus reported that the Sarmatians were descendants of Amazons and Scythians, and that their wives observed their ancient maternal customs, "frequently hunting on horseback with their husbands; in war taking the field; and wearing the very same dress as the men". Moreover, said Herodotus, "No girl shall wed till she has killed a man in battle". In the story related by Herodotus, a group of Amazons was blown across the Maeotian Lake (the Sea of Azov) into Scythia near the cliff region (today's southeastern Crimea). After learning the Scythian language, they agreed to marry Scythian men, on the condition that they not be required to follow the customs of Scythian women. According to Herodotus, this band moved toward the northeast, settling beyond the Tanais (Don) river, and became the ancestors of the Sauromatians. According to Herodotus, the Sarmatians fought with the Scythians against Darius the Great in the 5th century BC.
Hippocrates describes them as: "They have no right breasts...for while they are yet babies their mothers make red-hot a bronze instrument constructed for this very purpose and apply it to the right breast and cauterize it, so that its growth is arrested, and all its strength and bulk are diverted to the right shoulder and right arm."
Amazons came to play a role in Roman historiography. Caesar reminded the Senate of the conquest of large parts of Asia by Semiramis and the Amazons. Successful Amazon raids against Lycia and Cilicia contrasted with effective resistance by Lydian cavalry against the invaders (Strabo 5.504; Nicholas Damascenus). Gnaeus Pompeius Trogus pays particularly detailed attention to the Amazons. The story of the Amazons as deriving from a Cappadocian colony of two Scythian princes Ylinos and Scolopetos is due to him. Pliny the Elder records some surprising facts pointing to the valley of the Terme River as possibly being their home: a mountain named for them (the modern Mason Dagi), as well as a settlement Amazonium; Herodotus (VI.86) first mentions their capital Themiscyra, which Pliny locates near the Terme. Philostratus places the Amazons in the Taurus Mountains. Ammianus places them east of Tanais, as neighbouring the Alans. Procopius places them in the Caucasus. Diodorus Siculus (Bibliotheca historica III, chapter 52) mentioned that besides Pontus Amazons existed much older race (at that time entirely disappeared) of Amazons from western Libya, and retells their mythological story which includes Atlantis and Greek mythology.
Although Strabo shows skepticism as to their historicity, the Amazons in general continue to be taken as historical throughout Late Antiquity. Several Church Fathers speak of the Amazons as of a real people. Solinus embraces the account of Pliny. Under Aurelianus, captured Gothic women were identified as Amazons (Claudianus). The account of Justinus was influential, and was used as a source by Orosius who continued to be read during the European Middle Ages. Medieval authors thus continue the tradition of locating the Amazons in the North, Adam of Bremen placing them at the Baltic Sea and Paulus Diaconus in the heart of Germania.
Amazons continued to be discussed by authors of the European Renaissance, and with the Age of Exploration, they were located in ever more remote areas. In 1542, Francisco de Orellana reached the Amazon River (Amazonas in Spanish), naming it after a tribe of warlike women he claimed to have encountered and fought on the Nhamundá River, a tributary of the Amazon. Afterwards the whole basin and region of the Amazon (Amazônia in Portuguese, Amazonía in Spanish) were named after the river. Amazons also figure in the accounts of both Christopher Columbus and Walter Raleigh. Famous medieval traveller John Mandeville mentions them in his book:
Beside the land of Chaldea is the land of Amazonia, that is the land of Feminye. And in that realm is all woman and no man; not as some may say, that men may not live there, but for because that the women will not suffer no men amongst them to be their sovereigns.
Medieval and Renaissance authors credit the Amazons with the invention of the battle-axe. This is probably related to the sagaris, an axe-like weapon associated with both Amazons and Scythian tribes by Greek authors (see also Thracian tomb of Aleksandrovo kurgan). Paulus Hector Mair expresses astonishment that such a "manly weapon" should have been invented by a "tribe of women", but he accepts the attribution out of respect for his authority, Johannes Aventinus.
Ariosto's Orlando Furioso contains a country of warrior women, ruled by Queen Orontea; the epic describes an origin much like that in Greek myth, in that the women, abandoned by a band of warriors and unfaithful lovers, rallied together to form a nation from which men were severely reduced, to prevent them from regaining power. The Amazons and Queen Hippolyta are also referenced in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in "The Knight's Tale".
Classicist Peter Walcot wrote, "Wherever the Amazons are located by the Greeks, whether it is somewhere along the Black Sea in the distant north-east, or in Libya in the furthest south, it is always beyond the confines of the civilized world. The Amazons exist outside the range of normal human experience."
Nevertheless, there are various proposals for a historical nucleus of the Amazons of Greek historiography, the most obvious candidates being historical Scythia and Sarmatia in line with the account by Herodotus, but some authors prefer a comparison to cultures of Asia Minor or even Minoan Crete.
Speculation that the idea of Amazons contains a core of reality is based on archaeological findings from burials, pointing to the possibility that some Sarmatian women may have participated in battle. These findings have led scholars to suggest that the Amazonian legend in Greek mythology may have been "inspired by real warrior women".
Evidence of high-ranking warrior women comes from kurgans in southern Ukraine and Russia. David Anthony notes, "About 20% of Scythian-Sarmatian 'warrior graves' on the lower Don and lower Volga contained women dressed for battle similar to how men dress, a phenomenon that probably inspired the Greek tales about the Amazons."
Up to 25% of military burials were of armed Sarmatian women usually including bows. Russian archaeologist Vera Kovalevskaya points out that when Scythian men were away fighting or hunting, nomadic women would have to be able to defend themselves, their animals and pasture-grounds competently. During the time that the Scythians advanced into Asia and achieved near-hegemony in the Near East, there was a period of twenty-eight years when the men would have been away on campaigns for long periods. During this time the women would not only have had to defend themselves, but to reproduce, and this could well be the origin of the idea that Amazons mated once a year with their neighbours, if Herodotus actually based his accounts on fact.
Before modern archaeology uncovered some of the Scythian burials of warrior-maidens entombed under kurgans in the region of Altai Mountains and Sarmatia,  giving concrete form at last to the Greek tales, the origin of the Amazon story had been the subject of speculation among classics scholars. In the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica speculation ranged along the following lines:
While some regard the Amazons as a purely mythical people, others assume an historical foundation for them. The deities worshipped by them were Ares (who is consistently assigned to them as a god of war, and as a god of Thracian and generally northern origin) and Artemis, not the usual Greek goddess of that name, but an Asiatic deity in some respects her equivalent. It is conjectured that the Amazons were originally the temple-servants and priestesses (hierodulae) of this goddess; and that the removal of the breast corresponded with the self-mutilation of the god Attis and the galli, Roman priests of Rhea Cybele. Another theory is that, as the knowledge of geography extended, travellers brought back reports of tribes ruled entirely by women, who carried out the duties which elsewhere were regarded as peculiar to man, in whom alone the rights of nobility and inheritance were vested, and who had the supreme control of affairs. Hence arose the belief in the Amazons as a nation of female warriors, organized and governed entirely by women. According to J. Viirtheim (De Ajacis origine, 1907), the Amazons were of Greek origin [...] It has been suggested that the fact of the conquest of the Amazons being assigned to the two famous heroes of Greek mythology, Heracles and Theseus [...] shows that they were mythical illustrations of the dangers which beset the Greeks on the coasts of Asia Minor; rather perhaps, it may be intended to represent the conflict between the Greek culture of the colonies on the Euxine and the barbarism of the native inhabitants.
When Minoan archeology was still in its infancy, nevertheless, a theory raised in an essay regarding the Amazons contributed by Lewis Richard Farnell and John Myres to Robert Ranulph Marett's Anthropology and the Classics (1908), placed their possible origins in Minoan civilization, drawing attention to overlooked similarities between the two cultures. According to Myres, the tradition interpreted in the light of evidence furnished by supposed Amazon cults seems to have been very similar and may have even originated in Minoan culture.
The city of Samsun in modern-day Turkey features a recently constructed "Amazon Village" museum, created to bring attention to the legacy of the Amazons and to generate both academic interest and popular tourism. A festival is also held every year in the Terme district of Samsun Province to celebrate the Amazons.
Amazons became an important subject of the fine arts around 1900, especially in the work of the Munich painter and sculptor Franz Stuck (1863–1928).
In Nazi-Germany open air events called "Nacht der Amazonen" (Night of the Amazons) were performed at Nymphenburg Palace in Munich between 1936 and 1939. These revues with bare-breasted girls presented an allegedly emancipated female role as part of the „new race“ intended to be realized by racial fanatics.
In Greek mythology, Amazonomachy (English translation: "Amazon battle"; plural, Amazonomachiai (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζονομαχίαι) or Amazonomachies) was one of various mythical battles between the Ancient Greeks and the Amazons, a nation of all-female warriors. Many of the myths portrayed were that of Heracles' ninth labor, which was the retrieval of the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, and of Theseus' abduction of Hippolyta, whom he claimed as his wife. Another famous scene portrayed is that of Achilles' victorious battle against Penthesilea during the Trojan war.
The subject was popular in ancient Greek art and Roman art.Amazons (DC Comics)
The Amazons of DC Comics are a race of warrior women who exist as part of Greek mythology. They live on Paradise Island (also known as Themyscira), an isolated location in the middle of the ocean where they are hidden from Man's World (rest of the world).
Depending on the origin story, they are the creation of Aphrodite or were created from clay by a coterie of Olympian gods over three thousand years ago to serve as their messengers to the world in the name of peace and justice. For centuries the women thrived in safety and security apart from a hostile, male-dominated world. As long as Amazons remain on Themyscira they do not age. Circumstances involving the unexpected arrival of Steve Trevor forced their existence to be revealed to the modern world.There have been numerous incarnations of these Amazons after Marston's original depictions: Robert Kanigher's revised depiction (highlighted by the change of Queen Hippolyta's hair from brunette to blonde), George Pérez's reworking following the Crisis, and changes subsequent to Infinite Crisis and The New 52. What these groups have in common is that they are the people from which came DC Comics' superheroine Wonder Woman.Amazons Attack!
Amazons Attack! is a six-issue comic book limited series that was published by DC Comics. Written by Will Pfeifer and pencilled by Pete Woods, the first issue was released April 25, 2007.Antiope (comics)
Antiope is a fictional comic book character appearing in books published by the American publisher DC Comics, usually as a supporting character in stories featuring Wonder Woman and the Amazons of Paradise Island/Themyscira. Created by writer Dan Mishkin and visualized by artist Don Heck, she first appeared in Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #312 (February 1984), and is based on the mythological Antiope, one of the mythological Amazons.
In most incarnations Antiope is depicted as the sister of Wonder Woman's mother, Queen Hippolyta. In the continuity of DC Comics' 2011 reboot, The New 52, she is also known as Alcippe, an incarnation that establishes her as Hippolyta's mother and the founding leader of the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall, who is worshiped by them as a sacred ancestor.
In the 2017 live-action feature film Wonder Woman, she is portrayed by Robin Wright.Artemis of Bana-Mighdall
Artemis of Bana-Mighdall is a fictional Amazon superheroine, a comic book character published by DC Comics.Attic War
In Greek mythology, the Attic War is the conflict between the Amazons and the Athenians, led by Theseus or Heracles. The Amazons fought to free Antiope or her sister Hippolyta from captivity. Per some Greek myths, Heracles abducted Hippolyta during his ninth labor and later gave her to Theseus. Per other myths, Hippolyta was killed during the ninth labor and Theseus, who had joined Hercules during his expedition, abducted Hippolyta's sister Antiope. In all the myths, the Amazons then went to war against the Athenians and were defeated.Donna Troy
Donna Troy is a comic book superheroine published by DC Comics. She first appeared in The Brave and the Bold vol. 1 #60 (July 1965), and was created by Bob Haney and Bruno Premiani. She has been known as the original Wonder Girl, and Troia.
In May 2011, Donna Troy placed 93rd on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time.
Donna Troy has appeared in numerous cartoon television shows and films. She appeared in her first live adaptation on the Titans television series for the new DC Universe streaming service played by Conor Leslie.Harmonia
In Greek mythology, Harmonia (; Ancient Greek: Ἁρμονία) is the immortal goddess of harmony and concord. Her Roman counterpart is Concordia. Her Greek opposite is Eris, whose Roman counterpart is Discordia.
There was also a nymph called Harmonia. According to Apollonius of Rhodes, she was a naiad of the Akmonian Wood who was a lover of Ares and mother of the Amazons.Hippolyta
In Classical Greek mythology, Hippolyta (; Greek: Ἱππολύτη Hippolyte) was the Amazonian queen who possessed a magical girdle that was given to her by her father, Ares, the god of war. The girdle was a waist belt that signified her authority as queen of the Amazons. She figures prominently in the myths of both Heracles and Theseus. The myths about her are varied enough that they may therefore be about several different women.The name Hippolyta comes from Greek roots meaning 'horse' and 'let loose'.Hippolyta (DC Comics)
Queen Hippolyta is a fictional DC Comics superhero, based on the Amazon queen Hippolyta from Greek mythology. Introduced in 1941 during the Golden Age of Comic Books, she is the queen of the Amazons of Themyscira, the mother of Wonder Woman, and in some continuities, the adopted mother of Donna Troy.
Hippolyta made her cinematic debut in the 2017 film Wonder Woman, played by Connie Nielsen. She later appeared in the 2017 film Justice League.Hippolyta (Marvel Comics)
Hippolyta is a fictional Amazon character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.Justice Leagues
"Justice Leagues" was a storyline which ran through six one-shot comics published in 2001 by DC Comics, which introduced a revamped Justice League of America.
In the arc, alien invaders, working through a human-seeming agent known as the "Advance Man", used Hector Hammond, a telepathic supervillain, to cause the world to forget the existence of the Justice League of America. When Hammond discovered the Advance Man's true motives, he attempted to reverse the process, but was only able to transmit the partial phrase "Justice League of A--" before being incapacitated by the alien emissary. It was found that the individual members of the Justice League were instinctively creating new crime-fighting organizations beginning with the "Justice League of A" to fill the void.
Each issue was supposedly the first of a new series featuring one of the alternate teams, although they were just one-offs.
Featured Justice League of As were the "Justice League of Aliens", led by Superman and the Martian Manhunter; the "Justice League of Amazons", led by Wonder Woman; the "Justice League of Arkham", led by Batman; and the "Justice League of Atlantis", led by Aquaman.
Cameo appearances were made by the "Justice League of Adventure", led by the Flash (Wally West); the "Justice League of Air", led by Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner); the "Justice League of Anarchy", led by Plastic Man; and the "Justice League of Apostles", led by the angel Zauriel.Kamen Rider Amazons
Kamen Rider Amazons (仮面ライダーアマゾンズ, Kamen Raidā Amazonzu), known in the overseas market as Amazon Riders, is a 2016 Japanese tokusatsu web series. It is a darker and more mature reimagining of the 1974 television series Kamen Rider Amazon, and part of Toei's Super Hero Year, celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Kamen Rider Series (and the 40th anniversary of Super Sentai). Amazon Riders was originally exclusively released through Amazon Video in Japan starting April 1, 2016. It was also broadcast on television on BS Asahi (TV Asahi's broadcast satellite channel) starting July 3, 2016, and Tokyo MX starting July 6, 2016.The second season was announced on May 31, 2016, that it will be released in spring 2017 on Amazon Prime. The second season is titled Kamen Rider Amazons Season 2 (仮面ライダーアマゾンズ Season 2, Kamen Raidā Amazonzu Shīzun Tsū) and was exclusively released through Amazon Video in Japan starting April 7, 2017.Plans to release season one in international markets such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany were announced in 2016. An English subtitled version of the first season launched on Amazon Prime on April 19, 2018 with Season 2 launching on September 21, 2018.Penthesilea
Penthesilea (Greek: Πενθεσίλεια, Penthesileia) was an Amazonian queen in Greek mythology, the daughter of Ares and Otrera and the sister of Hippolyta, Antiope and Melanippe. She assisted Troy in the Trojan War, during which she was killed by Achilles.Swallows and Amazons
Swallows and Amazons is the first book in the Swallows and Amazons series by English author Arthur Ransome; it was first published in 1930, with the action taking place in the summer of 1929 in the Lake District. The book introduces central protagonists John, Susan, Titty and Roger Walker (Swallows), their mother, their baby sister (Bridget), as well as Nancy and Peggy Blackett (Amazons) and their uncle Jim, commonly referred to as Captain Flint.
At the time, Ransome had been working as a journalist with the Manchester Guardian, but decided to become a full-time author rather than go abroad as a foreign correspondent. He did continue to write part-time for the press, however.
The book was inspired by a summer spent by Ransome teaching the children of his friends, the Altounyans, to sail. Three of the Altounyan children's names are adopted directly for the Walker family. Ransome and Ernest Altounyan bought two small dinghies called Swallow and Mavis. Ransome kept Swallow until he sold it a number of years later, while Mavis remained in the Altounyan family and is now on permanent display in the Ruskin Museum. However, later in life Ransome tried to downplay the Altounyan connections, changing the initial dedication of Swallows and Amazons and writing a new foreword which gave other sources. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 57 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.Tarzan and the Amazons
Tarzan and the Amazons (1945) is an adventure film starring Johnny Weissmuller in his ninth outing as Tarzan. Brenda Joyce plays Jane, in the first of her five appearances in the role, and Johnny Sheffield makes his sixth appearance as Boy. Henry Stephenson and Maria Ouspenskaya co-star.
The film was produced by Sol Lesser and Kurt Neumann, written by John Jacoby and Marjorie L. Pfaelzer (based on characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs) and directed by Kurt Neumann. It was released on April 29, 1945.Themiscyra (Pontus)
Themiscyra (; Greek: Θεμίσκυρα Themiskyra) was an ancient Greek town in northeastern Anatolia; it was situated on the southern coast of the Black Sea, near the mouth of the Thermodon.
According to Greek mythology, it was the capital city of the Amazons.Themyscira (DC Comics)
Themyscira () is a fictional unitary sovereign city-state and archipelagic island nation appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Previously known Paradise Island and the Amazon Isles, it first appeared in All Star Comics #8 (December 1941).
Themyscira was created by William Moulton Marston to allegorize the safety and security of the home where women thrived apart from the hostile, male-dominated work place. Regarded as a utopia, it is governed by Aphrodite's Law, which declared that the Amazons would be immortal as long as no man set foot on their island.
Themyscira is the theocracy and capital city that serves as the Amazonians' government and place of origin for Wonder Woman. The name for the entire archipelago became "The Paradise Islands", when the city was renamed "Themyscira" with the character's February 1987 relaunch in Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #1. Both the island and city are named after the mythological city of Themiscyra, the capital of the Amazons in Greek mythology.
|Classical religious forms|
and sacred mysteries
|Rites and practices|
|Modern offshoot religions|
|Modern popular culture|