Antiope (Amazon)

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In Greek mythology, Antiope (/ænˈt.əpi/; Ancient Greek: Ἀντιόπη derived from αντι anti "against, compared to, like" and οψ ops "voice" or means "confronting"[1]) was an Amazon, daughter of Ares and sister to Melanippe, Hippolyta, Penthesilea and possibly Orithyia, queens of the Amazons.[2] She may have been the wife of Theseus and mother to his son Hippolytus, but differing sources claim this was Hippolyta.[3]


There are various accounts of the manner in which Theseus became possessed of her, and of her subsequent fortunes.

In one version, during Heracles' ninth labor, which was to obtain the Girdle of Hippolyta, when he captured the Amazons' capital of Themiscyra, his companion Theseus, king of Athens, abducted Antiope and brought her to his home[4][5] (or she was captured by Heracles and then given by him to Theseus[6]). According to Pausanias,[7] Antiope fell in love with Theseus and betrayed the Amazons of her own free will. They were eventually married and she gave birth to a son, Hippolytus, who was named after Antiope's sister. Soon after, the Amazons attacked Athens in an attempt to rescue Antiope and to take back Hippolyta's girdle; however, in a battle near the Areopagus they were defeated by Athenian forces under Theseus's leadership.[8] During this conflict, known as the Attic War, Antiope was accidentally shot dead by an Amazon named Molpadia, who, in turn, was killed by Theseus.[9] The tombs of both Antiope and Molpadia were shown in Athens, according to Pausanias.[10]

According to some sources, the cause for the Amazons' attack on Athens was the fact that Theseus had abandoned Antiope and planned to marry Phaedra. Antiope was furious about this and decided to attack them on their wedding day. She promised to kill every person in attendance; however, she was slain instead by Theseus himself, fulfilling an oracle's prophecy to that effect.[11] Ovid mentions that Theseus killed Antiope despite the fact that she was pregnant.[12]

An alternate version of the myth relates all of the facts concerning Antiope (abduction by Theseus, their marriage, birth of Hippolytus, her being left behind in favour of Phaedra) not of her, but of Hippolyte.[13][14][15] In various accounts of this version, the subsequent attack on Athens either does not occur at all or is led by Orithyia.[16]

Cultural depictions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Robert Graves (1960). The Greek Myths. Harmondsworth, London, England: Penguin Books. pp. s.v. Antiope. ISBN 978-0143106715.
  2. ^ Orosius, Historiae adversus paganos, I. 15
  3. ^ Leeming, David (2005). The Oxford Companion to World Mythology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195156690 – via Oxford Reference Online. According to some sources, either Antiope or Hippolyta was the mother, by Theseus, of the tragic Hippolytus.
  4. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, (Epitome of Book IV, 1. 16); this source also cites a rare version which makes Melanippe, not Antiope, the one captured by Theseus
  5. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica (Book IV, Ch. 16)
  6. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae, 30
  7. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece (Book 1, Section 2, 1)
  8. ^ Roman, L., & Roman, M. (2010). Encyclopedia of Greek and Roman mythology., p. 71, at Google Books
  9. ^ Plutarch, Life of Theseus (Ch. 26–27)
  10. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece (Book 1. 2. 1)
  11. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 241
  12. ^ Ovid, Heroides (Book 4, 117–120)
  13. ^ Simonides in Pseudo-Apollodorus' Bibliotheca (Epitome 1. 16)
  14. ^ Euripides, Hippolytus
  15. ^ Athenaeus, Banquet of the Learned, 13. 557 (where she is called "Hippe")
  16. ^ Justin's Epitome of Trogus Pompeius' History of the World, Book 2, part IV
  17. ^ "The Sword is Forged by Evangeline Walton". Kirkus Reviews. 1983. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  18. ^ Wonder Woman 312 (February 1984), DC Comics
  19. ^ Sperling, Nicole (March 24, 2016). "Wonder Woman exclusive: Meet the warrior women training Diana Prince". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  20. ^ Giovanni Boccaccio’s Famous Women translated by Virginia Brown (2001), p. 41-42; Cambridge and London, Harvard University Press; ISBN 0-674-01130-9;


  • Watson, John Selby. Justin, Cornelius Nepos, and Eutropius: Literally Translated, pp. 21–22, 547; Published 1853 H. G. Bohn, (Original in the New York Public Library).
  • Williams, Henry Smith. The Historians' History of the World: A Comprehensive Narrative of the Rise, v.2, pp. 440–441; Published 1904 The Outlook Company, New York Public Library.
  • Justinus. Epitoma Historiarum philippicarum Pompei Trogi, II.4.17-30.
  • Orosius. Historiae adversus paganos, I.15.7-9.

Preceded by
Queen of the Amazons Succeeded by