Aella (Ancient Greek: Ἄελλα) was one of Hippolyte's Amazons in Greek mythology. She was one of the warriors who fought Heracles when he came for Hippolyta's Girdle. She was known for fighting well with a double-axe.
Amazons, being the daughters of Ares and Harmonia, are a mythical elite group of women warriors who are brute, aggressive, and whose main purpose in life is war. Historians are not able to definitively place where the home of the Amazons is located.
The Labors of Herakles are what brought Herakles and Aella together. His ninth labor was to acquire the Girdle of Hippolyta for Eurystheus’s, Herakles cousin, daughter Admete, a priestess of Hera. Herakles sailed to the home of the Amazons, in persistence of the girdle. Hippolyte welcomed him and fell in love with the stories of his heroism. She promised him her girdle as a love token. Hera, disguised as a warrior, spread whispers that Herakles was planning on kidnapping Hippolyte. When the Amazons, including Aella, charged, Herakles killed Hippolyte and took the girdle. This is only one of the stories on how Herakles actually got of the girdle. Then full details of the events are unclear and have various storylines. What is clear is Herakles, wearing the Nemean lion skin from his first labor, was not able to be harmed, causing defeat from the Amazons near impossible.
Aella's weapon of choice was a double-axe, a common symbol used in the Minoan culture. The double-axe, also known as a Labrys, was only ever depicted with a woman carrying it. It isn't until 600-400 BC, after the decline of the Minoan civilization, where Greek representation begins of bearded male gods claiming the labyris and trident for their own.
- "Amazon Warriors Did Indeed Fight and Die Like Men". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "Minoan Culture". Retrieved 20 March 2018.