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Amazŏnes

Ἀμαζόνες) or Amazonĭdes (Ἀμαζονίδες). “Breastless.” A mythical race of warlike women, who are said to have come from the Caucasus, and to have settled in Asia Minor, about the river Thermodon, where they founded the city Themiscyra. They were governed by a queen, and the female children are said to have had their right breasts cut off that they might use the bow with more ease. They constantly occur in Greek mythology. One of the labours imposed upon Heracles was to take from Hippolyté, the queen of the Amazons, her girdle. (See Heracles.) In the reign of Theseus they invaded Attica. Towards the end of the Trojan War, they came, under

Amazon.

their queen, Penthesilea, to the assistance of Priam; but she was killed by Achilles. In works of art, the Amazons are always represented with two breasts, often on horseback, and in Scythian or Grecian dress, armed with shield, axe, spear, bow, quiver, etc. Phidias, Polyclitus, and Cresilas are among the famous artists in antiquity who made statues of them. The traditional derivation of the word, from priv. and μαζός, is doubtless fanciful, and is not even supported by ancient works of art, which usually show the breasts unmutilated.

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