Categories

Archives

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

The Amazons

Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World

Reviewed by Joshua Rothman

Here’s a story, told by Herodotus, about the fierce female warriors known as Amazons. Many thousands of years ago, a group of Greek raiders ventured into what is now northern Turkey. Travelling across the steppe, they came across a group of warrior women. The Greeks kidnapped them, locked them in the holds of their ships, and set sail for home. But the Amazons escaped. They recovered their weapons and killed their captors. Because they were horsewomen, and didn’t know how to sail, the ships drifted far off course. Eventually, though, they landed in the Crimea. The Amazons went ashore and stole some horses. They started marauding, gathering loot, and building up their strength.

Nearby, there happened to be a settlement of Scythians. Most Scythians were nomadic, horse-riding people of the steppe. But these were Royal Scythians—wealthy traders who had settled in towns. To avoid being raided, the Royal Scythians sent out scouts, who discovered that the strange marauders were Amazons. The Scythians found this intriguing. They had planned to send soldiers to kill the marauders; instead, they assembled a party of nice young men. Life in town was luxurious, but it lacked a certain something: the Royal Scythian women mostly stayed indoors, doing chores and feeling bored. Maybe a few fearless, untamed Amazons could spice things up. The band of bachelors travelled out onto the steppe and found the horsewomen. They set up camp and hung around until, one afternoon, one of them encountered a single Amazon, walking alone. “Wordlessly he made advances and she responded,” Adrienne Mayor writes, in “The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World.” “They made love in the grass. Afterward, the Amazon gestured to indicate that he should return the next day to the same spot—and to bring a friend. She made it clear that she would bring a friend too.”

Read the full review

Comments are closed.