Amazon Queen

Ory Amitay

in From Alexander to Jesus

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780520266360
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948174 | DOI:
Amazon Queen

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One explicit example of Alexander the Great's live mythologization is the story of his meeting with the Queen of the Amazons, Thalestris. Alexander met Thalestris when he was campaigning in northern Iran (in the land then known as Hyrkania). The expeditions of the Amazons and the Thracians against Attica were conceived as both mythical counterpart of and historical precedent to the Persian wars. Isokrates unraveled the common thread running through the barbaric Asiatic nations, which tried in their hate of all Hellenes to spread their dominion over Europe. The political conclusion of his worldview was to try and foment war between Greece and Persia. All this was highly relevant to Alexander and his men. Setting out from Europe, the Macedonian King had championed the cause of Greece against Persia. The story of the Amazon Queen thus has a distinct political message. Unlike those of his great ancestors, Herakles and Achilles, the story of Alexander's meeting with the Amazon Queen does not feature confrontation and hostility, but rather cooperation and familiarity.

Keywords: Alexander the Great; Herakles; Amazon Queen; Thalestris; Amazons; Hyrkania; Thracians; Greece; Persia; cooperation

Chapter.  4646 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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