Amazons


A legendary race of female warriors in Pontus (Asia Minor). Their capital was believed to be Themiscyra. The Amazons were ruled by a queen, and men were not allowed in their society, unless to secure the existence of the tribe. Only young girls were adopted into the tribe, while boys were either killed or sent back to their fathers. The Amazons removed their right breast to facilitate the use of a bow, hence their name, meaning "without breast" (a mazos).

The Amazons appear in many mythological works and both the heroes Theseus and Heracles had encounters with them. Heracles, as one of his twelve labors, had to steal Queen Hippolyte's girdle. The weapons of the Amazons were the bow, the double-bladed axe and a moon-shaped shield.