Real amazons

Discussion in 'History Talk' started by Rhonda Tharp, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Rhonda Tharp

    Rhonda Tharp Active Member

    Check out the link for info about real Amazonian women. Saw the show a few years ago, and I still find it fascinating.

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/previous_seasons/case_amazon/index.html

    I had read that the Greeks called them Amazos or Amazons because "a" with "mazos" meant without breasts. Some translators stated that the women really didn't have one or both breasts, whereas others stated that the girls were raised on lizards, insects and snakes (no breast milk)... I had also read that Amazonian women only kept their female babies, but if the mother cried out in pain during childbirth, the female baby was put to death. Yikes!!!

    What do you know about the Amazons? Do you think they really existed?
  2. Chintai

    Chintai Member

    I love the idea of this tribe of warrior women but part of me suspects it is a myth, likely connected to male fantasies about being used as slaves to fierce women's lustful desires! Still, it is a good subject to read about and they provide great role models for what women can achieve.
  3. Camma

    Camma New Member

    In Kazakhstan there are graves of female warriors. They were buried with weapons between 600BC and 200BC - each grace having bows, about 100 arrowheads and warrior's jewelry. Interestingly, some of the genetic evidence found linked some Mongolian familes, who usually have black hair, with proof that some females of the tribe were blond - which is a characteristic of an Amazon.
  4. Delilah

    Delilah New Member

    I was contracted to write a novella based on the Amazons. I chose to base my story's "history" on the theory that the myth of the Amazons originated from the women of Scythia, who fought beside their men in battle, and sometimes were left behind to protect their herds. They dressed as men and were often honored with warrior's burials. Evidence has been found in their burial Kurgans that this was actual fact.
  5. Alejandro

    Alejandro Active Member

    There doesn't seem to exist any artwork or actual myth which suggests that the Greeks really did represent the Amazons as breastless or partly mutilated. In fact just about all ancient art featuring these women depicts them possessing the same qualities of visible femininity defined by any other women depicted by Greek artists, and deviating from these qualities only as far as their goddess Artemis did, so much so that one could easily mistake a statue of an Amazon for one of Artemis, or vice versa.


    An alternate etymology for the name of this tribe/nation of women is that one of their most ancient ancestors was a son of Ephesos [Ephesus] called Amazo. Ephesos was a son of the Lydian River Kaystros [Cayster] who gave his name to the city of Ephesos, where some time later the Amazon queen and mother-goddess Otrere founded the celebrated shrine of Artemis Ephesia, which was extremely popular down into Biblical times. As it happens, this Artemis Ephesia from Asia Minor was a many-breasted mother-goddess quite different from the more Hellenic maiden Artemis from Greece.

    According to a legendary biography of Alexander the Great of Macedon, during his conquest of Asia, the reigning queen of the Amazons was a certain Thalestris, who brought three hundred of her women to him in order to breed a race of children as strong and intelligent as he. According to the legend, she stayed with the Macedonian king for thirteen days and nights in the hope that the great warrior would father a daughter by her. According to Plutarch, after the king's death, one of Alexander's naval commanders, a certain Onesicritus, once was reading the Amazon passage of his Alexander history to King Lysimachus of Thrace, who happened to have been on the original expedition through Asia with Alexander. Upon hearing the story Lysimachus scoffed in disbelief and, smiling, he asked Onesicritus, "So where was I when this was happening, then?" Most of Alexander's ancient biographers (including King Ptolemy I of Egypt, who may have been Alexander's half-brother) took the story to be pure fiction but a few, like Onesicritus, actually believed it.

    I think that it is unlikely but not impossible that the Amazons of Greek mythology existed. And there are and have indeed been severalthough perhaps not very prominent or warlikematriarchal societies on Earth.
    Myrddin likes this.

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