Amazons

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Were the ancient amazon women warriors real or is it all just made up? Most of what we know about them come from Greek myths, but what most people don’t realize is they have been depicted in myths and legends in Egypt, Persia, India, Central Asia and China. In historical times, Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great, and Pompey were said to have tangled with the Amazons. So who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback who glorified fighting , hunting, and sexual freedom?

The Amazons are mentioned all the time in ancient Greek myths and history all the way back to Homer in the eighth century BCE. They were described as formidable warriors who cut off one breast to be better archers, they lived in women only communities, they took lovers only once a year solely for the purpose of procreation and they were ferocious, independent goddess worshippers. The thing with Greek myths is the Amazons always fought and rode like male warriors, but in the end the Greeks always won. Where did the Greeks get all this crazy ideas about these women? Well the scribes love to use word play and the myth of the Amazons is no different.

Where did the cutting off of one breast come from? All the paintings and drawings I have seen always depict them with two full breasts. The patriarch Greeks took the word ‘mazon’ which meant ‘breast’ and ‘without’ and insisted that it meant they cut off one breast to shoot their bow. Another one the Greeks lied about was that the Amazons were man haters and enslaved them. The word Amazon actually translates to ‘equals of men’. The Greeks suppressed women severely. Of course they are going to say that. The Greeks thought that if women were strong and independent, then men must be weaklings and forced into submission. If women were wise, they were Medusa(see Medusa post). Let’s move away from Greek myths and check the other history and legends to see who these women really were.

Archeologists have uncovered graves of women warriors all over Eurasia. The women have battle wounds, were dressed in tunics and trousers and were buried with their weapons and horse gear. Some of them even had men and children as young as infants buried with them. Many legends are love stories of these women. They had families and very much-loved them, males included.

What does Herodotus, 5th century historian and the ”father of history”, have to say about the Amazons? He says they were Scythians. He reported that the Greeks had a whole ship of Amazon women captured and the Amazons took control of the ship. They killed all the Greeks, but didn’t know how to sail. They ran the ship aground where they encountered the Scythians. Here they mixed with Scythian men. A lot of them traveled north-east and became the Sarmatians. Herodotus wrote: The women of the Sauromatae have continued from that day to the present to observe their ancient customs, frequently hunting on horseback with their husbands.. in war taking the field and wearing the same dress as the men… Their marriage law lays it down, that no girl shall wed until she as killed a man in battle.

I personally think that Herodotus connected the Sarmatians to the Amazons. The Amazons are all matriarchal groups. The Sarmatians were a matriarchal group. In matriarchal groups women did go to war, but they were often needed to help protect the group’s home when most of the men were out campaigning. As I have shown before, the Greeks were a severe patriarchy that hated matriarchs. You have to get your head around this in order to understand why Lower Egypt (patriarch) hated Upper Egypt (matriarch) so bad. Most of the ancient Greeks came from Lower Egypt. The ancient Greeks loved to make myths to not only preserve history, but to make fun of certain civilizations and philosophers (See Cyclops). The Amazons were all the matriarchs all over the world. That is why there are legends and myths of them everywhere. The Amazon River was first named by Spanish Conquistador Vicente Yanez Pinzon and he called it Mar Dulce, which meant sweet sea. It was Francisco de Orellana in 1542 that named it Amazon. He said he was attacked by a bunch of Warrior Women or Amazons while sailing down the river. Because of the myth they named the whole area Amazon. It is known now that the indigenous people were all matriarchal. Just remember when you hear stories of Amazon Warrior Women, it was a matriarch that had men in their civilization. The patriarch’s said the civilization was all women because they saw calling a man a woman as the ultimate insult. Just like today when men really want to insult another man they call them one of many names for women. My how things stay the same.

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