The Amazons (of Greek Mythology)

The Amazons (Amazones or Amazonides, “breastless ones”) of Greek mythology were a race of warrior women led by a queen. They fought against the Greeks, for instance, during the Trojan War. Procreation for them took place only by way of men from other races. Boy children were disposed of; girls had their right breasts removed so as not to impede the use of bows. The hero, Theseus, had significant relations with the Amazons.

There are many versions of these relations. The most popular involves his abduction of and marriage to the Amazon queen Hippolyta, who gave birth to his son Hippolytus. Some say that Theseus abducted Hippolyta’s sister Antiope and that he defeated the Amazon army led by Hippolyta, which invaded Attica in a rescue attempt. Some say that Hippolyta and Antiope are different names for the same Amazon. Still others say that Heracles killed Hippolyta during the course of his ninth labor, which involved the taking of her sacred belt or girdle.

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