Tuesday, 26 April 2011


Greek myths describe an all female culture known as the Amazons. Amazon women were known for their great skill in battle. They had strength equal, or superior to, that of men. They lived in a separate independent society, the exact location of which is uncertain. They would mate with strangers or travellers to preserve their race, but they did not permit men of and standing in their society. Men could only be servants, doing the most menial of tasks.

There are conflicting stories of what the Amazons would do with male children. Some stories suggest that they would give the boys away to travellers. Others suggest they were abandoned. It is certain the female children were raised to be warriors. Some even suggest that they took their warrior status so far as to remove the right breast so it did no interfere with them shooting arrows.

Their patron god was Ares, the god of war. They worshipped him because they were a warrior culture. In addition, Ares had fathered one of their more famous queens. They also worshipped Artemis because she symbolized a strong independent huntress.

The Amazons were involved in several wars. They joined on the side of Troy in the Trojan War. The most famous war for them was known as the Amazonomachy against the Greeks. Ancient Greek art often depicted the Amazonomachy and other battles between the Amazons and the Greeks.(LINK)

Amazonomachia (fight between Greeks and Amazons), relief of a sarcophagus (ca. 180 BC), found in Salonica, 1836. Location: Louvre, Department of Greek Antiquities (Ma 2119)


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