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When Alexander returned to Hyrcania,1 there came to him the queen of the Amazons named Thallestris, who ruled all the country between the rivers Phasis and Thermodon. She was remarkable for beauty and for bodily strength, and was admired by her countrywomen for bravery. She had left the bulk of her army on the frontier of Hyrcania2 and had arrived with an escort of three hundred Amazons in full armour.

1 Plut. Alexander 46.1, has been generally taken to mean that the queen of the Amazons visited Alexander north of the Jaxartes, in spite of the considerations that this was an odd place for Alexander to linger, and a very long way from the traditional home of the Amazons. This is certainly wrong. In sect. 44, Alexander was in Hyrcania, and lost and recovered his horse. In sect. 45, Alexander advanced into Parthia, and experimented with Median dress. In sect. 46, the Amazons came. Sect. 47 deals again with his Medizing, and sect. 48 with the conspiracy exposed at Prophthasia in Drangiane. That is to say, Plutarch's narrative follows the actual route of Alexander, and the word "here" with which sect. 46 begins must mean Parthia. The reference to Alexander's flying expedition across the Jaxartes at the end of sect. 45, which has misled scholars, is a parenthesis, illustrating Alexander's indifference to physical discomfort.

2 If we are to accept that Thallestris and her Amazons existed and had heard of Alexander, there is no insuperable difficulty in supposing that they proceeded from Thermodon on the Black Sea through the valleys of the Phasis and Cyrus Rivers and along the coast of the Caspian Sea. They would have passed through the recently subdued country of the Mardi and overtaken Alexander in Hyrcania (or Parthia, as Plutarch). Cp. Strabo 11.5.4.

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