Also Seen: Amazon Women

A feature over at Smithsonian Magazine … not sure if someone should mention specifying ‘women’ in regards to the Amazons is somewhat redundant, but then again, it might be necessary for search engine purposes:

If you want a bit more depth, check out Adrienne Mayor’s posts over at Wonders and Marvels (and I think she has an Amazon book coming out soon):

… and if you have access to academia edu:


Also Seen: Amazons as Sailors?

Adrienne Mayor pens (keyboards?) an interesting item over at Wonders and Marvels … here’s a tease:

The Amazon strides along, dressed in a tunic and leather boots, carrying her crescent shield and trusty battle-axe. At first glance the image on the ancient coin looks like a typical ancient Amazon, those mythical warrior women modeled on nomadic archers of Scythia, the immense territory stretching from southern Russia to Mongolia. But hold on—what is that object in her right hand? A ship’s anchor! What could be more incongruous? The Amazons were horsewomen galloping over the vast plains, not sailors on the “wine dark seas.” […]

Amazon and Scythian Words on Greek Vases?

This is yet another one which I could have sworn I had posted, but which I can’t find when I look for it. A very interesting article by Adrienne Mayor (and several others … it’s a pdf):

… to which we can add some commentary by languagehat:

Citanda: The Deadly Styx River and the Death of Alexander

I don’t think we mentioned that, subsequent to all the news coverage about the possible poisoning of Alexander, Adrienne Mayor’s ‘working paper’ on the subject became available at the Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics site:

Here’s the abstract:

Plutarch, Arrian, Diodorus, Justin, and other ancient historians report that rumors of
poisoning arose after the death of Alexander in Babylon in 323 BC. Alexander’s close
friends suspected a legendary poison gathered from the River Styx in Arcadia, so
corrosive that only the hoof of a horse could contain it. It’s impossible to know the real
cause of Alexander’s death, but a recent toxicological discovery may help explain why
some ancient observers believed that Alexander was murdered with Styx poison. We
propose that the river harbored a killer bacterium that can occur on limestone rock
deposits. This paper elaborates on our Poster presentation, Toxicological History Room,
XII International Congress of Toxicology, Barcelona, 19-23 July 2010, and Society of
Toxicology Annual Meeting, Washington DC, March 2011.