User:Patrick Pease/Amazonomachy Outline

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Amazonomachy[edit]

An `Amazonomachy` (Greek - Amazon battle; plural, `Amazonomachies` or `Amazonomachoi`) was a portrayal of legendary battles between Greeks and [| Amazons]. These foreign creatures succumbed in myth to the likes of Herakles and Theseus. This particular Amazonomachy symbolised the triumph of Greek or Macedonian civilization over the [| barbarian]. The Amazons were also defeated by others such as Bellerophon (depicted in the Iliad), and Achilles, who defeated the Amazonian queen [| Penthesilea] in the Trojan War.[1]. These battles were considered legendary due to the nature of Amazons themselves, being an all female race known for their great skill in battle with strength equal to, or superior to, that of men.[2].

Examples in History[edit]

The Amazonomachy of Odysseus[edit]

This Amazonomachy started with Herakles' [| ninth labor], which was to retrieve the girdle of Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons. He was treated warmly upon arrival at the Amazononian island. Hippolyta oblidged to Herakles' request in giving him her girdle. When [| Hera] (who was ill fond of Herakles) found out about this, she went down to the Amazons disguised as one of their own crying out that Herakles meant to kidnap their Queen. Herakles had thought Hippolyta had betrayed him, thus kissing her briefly on the lips and killing her.[3] This sparked a great war between Odysseus and the Greeks against the Amazons. After the Amazons were defeated, Odysseus set sail to leave the land with the girdle of Hippolyta in hand.[4]

The Amazonomachy of Athens[edit]

Many accounts exist discussing the war imposed on Athens by the Amazons. This story starts when Theseus, an Athenian hero, abducts the Amazon Queen Antiope (in some stories it is not actually Antiope Theseus abducts but Hippolyta herself, while accompanying Herakles in his quest against the Amazons)[5]. Theseus marries Antiope and takes her to Athens. Provoked and angry, the Amazons followed Theseus to his home and waged war on the city of Athens.[6] The fighting eventually ceased and the Amazons and Greeks made peace. Scholars debate what happened afterward. Some say Antiope died in battle, others believe that she lived on but was soon pushed aside by Theseus when he took a second wife, [| Pheadra]. This caused Antiope's and the Amazons call to arms against the Athenians, where the Amazons were now completely destroyed.[7]

Amazon preparing for battle
Amazon preparing for the battle (Queen Antiope or Armed Venus) - Pierre-Eugene-Emile Hebert 1860 - NG of Arts Wash DC rotated and cropped.jpg
Artist Pierre-Eugene-Emile Hebert
Year 1860
Type Sculpture
Location National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

References[edit]