by Conscious Reminder
When ‘Wonder Woman’ released last year, it was an instant, international hit. But the movie doesn’t really talk about its historical roots in the mysterious land of the Amazons.
So who were these wonder women?
There’s been plenty of scientific and historical argument over the Amazons and their lives. There are many records that tell us about their civilization. It was Apollonius Rhodius, a writer in 295 BC, who first wrote about a race of warrior women called the Amazons. He wrote that they were the offspring of Ares, the God of War, and Harmonia, an entity of direct contrast to him, as she was the goddess of peace and harmony, who lived in the Akmonian Wood. This place is close to Themiscyra, which was where the Black Sea is now.
The term ‘Amazons’ is supposed to refer to a person ‘without breast’. This is similar to the claim made by Marcus Justinus who famously wrote that these warriors would remove their right breasts. Hippocrates, widely regarded as the founder of modern medicine, wrote that the right breast was destroyed in order to strengthen that arm. Other writers have claimed that the term most likely comes from Sanskrit and actually means ‘daughters of the moon’, ‘warrior’ and so on. Some also called them ‘destroyers of man’.
The practices of the Moon’s children
It is well known that Amazons did not allow any males to live on their land. However, on the 1st of every may, they’d go to the Gargareans, another tribe, in order to be able to procreate. This was the night of Beltane and the rituals were done in the dark so most did not know who they’d mated with. They would leave the men behind as soon as they were confident that they had fallen pregnant.
Any male child born out of this union was sent back to the Gargareans where he would be adopted by one of them. Since most of the men had no idea who they had mated with, any one of them could choose to take the child. Girls were brought up by the Amazons. It is also believed that the Amazons took each other as sexual partners for the rest of the year. It is very much possible because homosexual activities weren’t considered taboo in those days.
Their most memorable victory
The historian Diodorus has left us an account of how Queen Myrina led the Amazons into battle against the Atlantians and defeated them. She was so impressed by their wonderful country that she treated them with honor and even built a new city there. She was given many precious gifts and both sides vowed to support the other in the future. The Atlanteans even bestowed great honors on her.
A nation greater than any other
There is also a Greek tale which tells us that an Amazon queen, Thalestris, visited the court of Alexander the Great in Macedonia. She took with her 300 of her warriors and proposed that they mate with the King and 299 of his strongest soldiers. The offspring born of this union would surely be superior to all others. Alexander accepted the offer allow them to remain there for almost a fortnight. It is said that the Queen took great pride in her beauty and would often walk around with her breast uncovered. She treated everyone with honor and maintained discipline at all times. Peter Walcot has written that no matter where the Amazons are placed geographically, they don’t live within civilization as we know it. Tales of their strength, bravery and wisdom have served to inspire women across the ages.
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