Otrera

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In Greek mythology, Otrera /ˈtrɪərə, -ˈtrrə/ (Ancient Greek: Ὀτρήρη Otrērē) was the creator and first Queen of the Amazons. She was the daughter of Eurus (the east wind),[citation needed] consort of Ares, and mother of Hippolyta, Antiope, Melanippe, and Penthesilea.[1][2][3] She is credited with being the founder of the shrine of Artemis in Ephesus.

Mythology[edit]

Otrera is sometimes considered the mythological founder of the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus,[4] which was closely connected with Amazons.[5] She is also sometimes considered the founding mother of the Amazon nation and the first mortal woman to lure Ares off of Mount Olympus.[6]

She was possibly the unknown Amazon who was slain by Bellerophon in Lycia.[7]

Creation of the Amazons[edit]

Otrera was born north of modern-day Greece, parentage unknown. She was originally a housewife during the Bronze age in an arranged marriage. She was treated horribly by her husband and decided to train herself in secret and learn how to defend herself with a sword and a bow and arrow. Once confident in her abilities, she began to teach the housewives in her town to fight. Otrera taught the other women the hunting skills of Artemis, but they also prayed to Ares for strength.[8] One day, Otrera and her women rebelled and took over the entire town and eventually the surrounding towns. Otrera and her women would march into neighboring towns, liberate the women, and then slaughter and enslave the men. Otrera fled the country with her people and founded the capital city Sinope, where she trained her armies and gathered recruits while gradually expanding her territory. Otrera and her people became known as the Amazons. This name derives from the Greek word amazos, which means without a breast due to the rumor that the Amazons would remove their right breasts so they could more effectively fire an arrow or throw a spear.[9]

Otrera and Ares[edit]

Otrera attracted the attention of the god Ares through acts of war and praise for the god. Ares came down from Olympus and told Otrera to build him a temple surrounding a big rock that he made fall from the sky. Ares told Otrera to bring her Amazons to the temple every year and sacrifice their most important animals, and in return he would continue to bless them in battle.[10][11]

Ares and Otrera got married and from then on, she was known as the bride of Ares. Ares and Otrera would later have two daughters, Hippolyta and Penthesilelia, who would also later on become Amazon queens.

Otrera and the Temple of Artemis[edit]

Otrera built the temple for Ares, but she did not want to upset the god Artemis, from whom she had also received blessings, so Otrera decided to build another temple dedicated to Artemis in the city of Ephesus, close enough so that the Greek could visit. The temple was built on a high hill so that it could be seen from all over. A festival was held every year at this temple, and the Amazons would spend the whole day celebrating and perform war dances through the streets. The people would sacrifice jewelry to Artemis by draping it over her statue. The temple was destroyed and rebuilt twice and became one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.[12][13]

Otrera and Dionysus[edit]

Dionysus, the god of wine, was traveling through the mortal world with his followers known as the maenads. While on his way to invade India, he came upon the land of the Amazons. Upon meeting the Amazon scouts, he decided to add them to his group of followers. Otrera heard of his presence and despised the thought of her troops joining his forces, and so she ordered an attack against him. In this battle, Dionysus defeated the Amazons, since he was a god. The remaining Amazons fled to the Temple of Artemis.[14][15]


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bibliotheca, Epitome of Book IV, 5. 1
  2. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae, 30; 112
  3. ^ "Otrera". www.angelfire.com. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  4. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 223, 225
  5. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 2. 6
  6. ^ Jessica Amanda Salmonson, The Encyclopedia of Amazons: Women Warriors from Antiquity to the Modern Era (NY: Paragon House, 1991), 118 and 206. ISBN 1557784205, 9781557784209; and Robert E. Bell, Women of Classical Mythology: A Biographical Dictionary (Santa Barbara CA: ABC-CLIO, 1991), 246. ISBN 0874365813, 9780874365818
  7. ^ "OTRERA - Amazon Queen of Greek Mythology". www.theoi.com. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  8. ^ Riordan, Rick, author. (2017). Percy Jackson's Greek heroes. ISBN 978-1-338-18948-3. OCLC 1099797345.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "6. Skin: Tattooed Amazons", The Amazons, Princeton University Press, 2014-12-31, pp. 95–116, doi:10.1515/9781400865130-009, ISBN 978-1-4008-6513-0
  10. ^ "Otrera". www.angelfire.com. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  11. ^ Riordan, Rick, author. (2017). Percy Jackson's Greek heroes. ISBN 978-1-338-18948-3. OCLC 1099797345.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Riordan, Rick, author. (2017). Percy Jackson's Greek heroes. ISBN 978-1-338-18948-3. OCLC 1099797345.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ "Temple of Artemis at Ephesus". Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  14. ^ "10 Intriguing Stories About The Legendary Amazons". Listverse. 2015-11-14. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  15. ^ Riordan, Rick, author. (2017). Percy Jackson's Greek heroes. ISBN 978-1-338-18948-3. OCLC 1099797345.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
unknown
Queen of the Amazons Succeeded by
Hippolyta