Aug 1, 2019
The ancient Greeks told lots of stories about the Amazons: the mythic bands of warrior women that Hellanikos of Lesbos described as “a host of golden-shielded, silver-axed, man-loving, boy-killing females.” They made up fantastic stories about both loving and subduing these women who were bold, violent, promiscuous, and independent: everything a good Greek wife wasn’t supposed to be. To many they were a fantasy, equal parts exciting and terrifying. And for a long time, scholars thought that was all they were: a figment of the Greek imagination. But the ancient world saw its fair share of warrior women, living on the move, hunting and fighting, living and dying on their own terms. It turns out the Amazons were very real. Who were these women the Greeks saw in their pleasant dreams and worst nightmares? Let’s go hunting beyond the myths and legends to try and find them.
To hear the amazing music featured in this episode (The Sack of Troy, Ancient Lyre Strings, and Procession of the Olympians), all composed on recreated lyres of antiquity, check out Michael Levy.