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The Amazons

The Amazons

Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World

Book - 2014
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"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."--Publisher's description.
Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2014]
ISBN: 9780691147208
0691147205
Call Number: 398.352 M4736a 2014
Characteristics: xiv, 519 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

When battle-scarred women were discovered buried with weapons and horses in the Eurasian steppes, assumptions were shattered. Were these the Amazons of ancient myth? Includes chapters on the warrior women of the Middle East, North Africa and China as well as Scythia and Central Asia.

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