In this Book

summary

Amazons—fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world—were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Heracles and Achilles displayed their valor in duels with Amazon queens, and the Athenians reveled in their victory over a powerful Amazon army. In historical times, Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great, and the Roman general Pompey tangled with Amazons.

But just who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback who gloried in fighting, hunting, and sexual freedom? Were Amazons real? In this deeply researched, wide-ranging, and lavishly illustrated book, National Book Award finalist Adrienne Mayor presents the Amazons as they have never been seen before. This is the first comprehensive account of warrior women in myth and history across the ancient world, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Great Wall of China.

Mayor tells how amazing new archaeological discoveries of battle-scarred female skeletons buried with their weapons prove that women warriors were not merely figments of the Greek imagination. Combining classical myth and art, nomad traditions, and scientific archaeology, she reveals intimate, surprising details and original insights about the lives and legends of the women known as Amazons. Provocatively arguing that a timeless search for a balance between the sexes explains the allure of the Amazons, Mayor reminds us that there were as many Amazon love stories as there were war stories. The Greeks were not the only people enchanted by Amazons—Mayor shows that warlike women of nomadic cultures inspired exciting tales in ancient Egypt, Persia, India, Central Asia, and China.

Driven by a detective’s curiosity, Mayor unearths long-buried evidence and sifts fact from fiction to show how flesh-and-blood women of the Eurasian steppes were mythologized as Amazons, the equals of men. The result is likely to become a classic.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xvi
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  1. Prologue: Atalanta, the Greek Amazon
  2. pp. 1-14
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  1. PART 1 Who were the Amazons?
  2. pp. 15-16
  1. 1 Ancient Puzzles and Modern Myths
  2. pp. 17-33
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  1. 2 Scythia, Amazon Homeland
  2. pp. 34-51
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  1. 3 Sarmatians, a Love Story
  2. pp. 52-60
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  1. PART 2 Historical Women Warriors and Classical Traditions
  2. pp. 61-62
  1. 4 Bones: Archaeology of Amazons
  2. pp. 63-83
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  1. 5 Breasts: One or Two?
  2. pp. 84-94
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  1. 6 Skin: Tattooed Amazons
  2. pp. 95-116
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  1. 7 Naked Amazons
  2. pp. 117-136
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  1. 8 Sex and Love
  2. pp. 137-149
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  1. 9 Drugs, Dance, and Music
  2. pp. 150-162
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  1. 10 The Amazon Way
  2. pp. 163-177
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  1. 11 Horses, Dogs, and Eagles
  2. pp. 178-198
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  1. 12 Who Invented Trousers?
  2. pp. 199-216
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  1. 13 Armed and Dangerous: Weapons and Warfare
  2. pp. 217-241
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  1. 14 Amazon Languages and Names
  2. pp. 242-254
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  1. PART 3 Amazons in Greek and Roman Myth, Legend, and History
  2. pp. 255-256
  1. 15 Hippolyte and Heracles
  2. pp. 257-266
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  1. 16 Antiope and Theseus
  2. pp. 267-278
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  1. 17 Battle for Athens
  2. pp. 279-294
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  1. 18 Penthesilea and Achilles at Troy
  2. pp. 295-312
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  1. 19 Amazons at Sea
  2. pp. 313-326
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  1. 20 Thalestris and Alexander the Great
  2. pp. 327-346
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  1. 21 Hypsicratea, King Mithradates, and Pompey’s Amazons
  2. pp. 347-362
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  1. PART 4 Beyond the Greek World
  2. pp. 363-364
  1. 22 Caucasia, Crossroads of Eurasia
  2. pp. 365-384
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  1. 23 Persia, Egypt, North Africa, Arabia
  2. pp. 385-402
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  1. 24 Amazonistan: Central Asia
  2. pp. 403-418
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  1. 25 China
  2. pp. 419-438
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  1. Appendix: Names of Amazons and Warrior Women in Ancient Literature and Art from the Mediterranean to China
  2. pp. 439-446
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 447-492
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 493-510
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 511-528
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400865130
Related ISBN
9780691147208
MARC Record
OCLC
887802877
Pages
536
Launched on MUSE
2014-12-16
Language
English
Open Access
No
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