I'm writing a novel and would appreciate it if someone would tell me how the Amazons (Mythical woman warriors) lived.

Like, what were their practices and what their culture was.


Take this answer in the spirit of "teaching a person to fish" (as opposed to giving them a single fish.) The subject you ask about has been much analyzed, researched, and discussed, so it's an excellent subject for a creative endeavor. But in the same light, as an author, going as deep as possible yourself will yield the best results.

First off, I'd highly recommend reading Mary Renault's mytho-historical novels. The Bull from the Sea recounts Theseus' relationship with the Amazon Queen Hippolyta. Also worth reading is Robert Graves' The Golden Fleece (also titled Hercules my Shipmate), which touches on the Amazons' territory, and involves Medea, who comes from a nearby region.

The Amazon wiki is decent, and should provide a good starting point for more serious research. [Look at the citations for any given info, and go to the source material.]

  • Herotodus would be a great place to start, specifically Herodotus Book 4: Melpomene.

  • Pausanias, likewise, will be useful. For instance, his mention of the Artemis at Ephesus, and recounting of the description of Hippolyta's death.

  • Plutarch writes about them in Pompey "The Amazons inhabit the parts of the Caucasus mountains that reach down to the Hyrcanian Sea, and they do not border on the Albani, but Gelae and Leges dwell between. With these peoples, who meet them by the river Thermodon, [the Amazons] consort for two months every year; then they go away and live by themselves."

-Pseudo-Plutarch, De fluviis has a nice mention in XIV. Tanais

  • This lexical entry for Ἀμαζών (Amazown) mentions the legendary single-mastectomy, utilized by the Amazons to facilitate use of the bow.

The Iliad also mentions the Amazons in many places, and, because this is a work of fiction, and modern or post-modern, you definitely want to pick up a copy of Robert Graves' The Greek Myths, which has an index entry for the Amazons, a comprehensive survey of their mentions in the canon, robust citations to the source material, and wonderful, creative speculation on the meaning of symbols in the spirit of Frazer.

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    @AspentheArtistandAuthor The advantage to going to the source material is that instead of someone interpreting it for you, you can interpret the meanings and implications yourself. Hopefully you will find these links useful too! – DukeZhou Jan 17 '18 at 22:00

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