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dfg42

Governor
Your reasoning is not really convincing to me. Laying a battle ax in the grave of a girl or young woman even though she was not a fighter, just to show her social status, is the least convincing - jewelry and other valuable items would be much more obvious.
To push the Amazons completely into the mythical, early Greek world is only one possible explanation. Almost always there are real models, after all, Amazons are never portrayed together with centaurs or other purely mythical beings ... The encounter with Scythian women warriors on horses seems to me to be an obvious model. And if a grave from around 600 BC was found, the origins of a corresponding cult can be much earlier.
This does not rule out that depictions of the Amazons had a predominantly erotic-pornographic character much later, for example in Roman times...
Yes there is probably more which happened as what we will discover by historical studies. I think the missing female warriors is due to our own cultural bias, which is mirrored by the romans but not by the Celts (Boudicca!) or the germans. In modern times we had the funny thing, that the Russians had female soldiers the germans not (1941-1945), also in air battles and remarkably among sharp shooters. The best sharp shooter in WW2 is probably a female, Lyudmila Pavlichenko, there are now females of the Medes (you say Kurds) fighting today in syria. Screen-Shot-2019-01-31-at-12.19.06-AM.png
 

Marcius

Governor
Your reasoning is not really convincing to me. Laying a battle ax in the grave of a girl or young woman even though she was not a fighter, just to show her social status, is the least convincing - jewelry and other valuable items would be much more obvious.
To push the Amazons completely into the mythical, early Greek world is only one possible explanation. Almost always there are real models, after all, Amazons are never portrayed together with centaurs or other purely mythical beings ...
Unless it's Xena... :goofy: Seriously though, I'm not sure anyone has rifled through the whole Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum and every Greek relief to exclude any wild combination possible.
The encounter with Scythian women warriors on horses seems to me to be an obvious model. And if a grave from around 600 BC was found, the origins of a corresponding cult can be much earlier.
This does not rule out that depictions of the Amazons had a predominantly erotic-pornographic character much later, for example in Roman times...
There's the 'Amazonic historicity' line of scholarship with Adrienne Mayor as its most notable advocate, but it's very problematic. Here's a long review of its many weaknesses.
 

windar

Teller of Tales
Unless it's Xena... :goofy: Seriously though, I'm not sure anyone has rifled through the whole Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum and every Greek relief to exclude any wild combination possible.

There's the 'Amazonic historicity' line of scholarship with Adrienne Mayor as its most notable advocate, but it's very problematic. Here's a long review of its many weaknesses.
What about in China? Mulan and others http://www.socialstudies.org/sites/default/files/publications/se/5802/580201.html
 

Marcius

Governor
From the article:
However, similar to other societies, war in China has been primarily a masculine activity. Only occasionally have Chinese women been recorded as participants.

Nineteen historical women warriors are identi[fi]ed by Li (1992) for the ancient period. All nineteen are either commanders of armies or leaders of peasant uprisings.

Indeed, nineteen isn't a lot when we're talking Chinese history. We may be pretty certain that ancient Greeks knew nothing of them.
 

windar

Teller of Tales
Indeed, nineteen isn't a lot when we're talking Chinese history. We may be pretty certain that ancient Greeks knew nothing of them.
So, smart guy, where did their cell phones come from?:D

But there is some recent evidence of early contacts.
https://www.greecehighdefinition.co...marco-polo-and-may-have-built-terracotta-army

The fact that historians didn't write about it doesn't mean it didn't happen, though I am not really arguing that the Amazon myths came from China.
 
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Zungur

Magistrate
Your reasoning is not really convincing to me. Laying a battle ax in the grave of a girl or young woman even though she was not a fighter, just to show her social status, is the least convincing - jewelry and other valuable items would be much more obvious.
To push the Amazons completely into the mythical, early Greek world is only one possible explanation. Almost always there are real models, after all, Amazons are never portrayed together with centaurs or other purely mythical beings ... The encounter with Scythian women warriors on horses seems to me to be an obvious model. And if a grave from around 600 BC was found, the origins of a corresponding cult can be much earlier.
This does not rule out that depictions of the Amazons had a predominantly erotic-pornographic character much later, for example in Roman times...
I don't try to convince anybody and you are welcome to believe whatever you like (especially because fantasy can tell so much nicer stories than history).
Just let's say that what I tried to explain about the interpretation of burial gifts is not 'my reasoning' at all but the undisputed consensus in archaeological and historical sciences since at least 80 or 70 years.
 
From the article:




Indeed, nineteen isn't a lot when we're talking Chinese history. We may be pretty certain that ancient Greeks knew nothing of them.
But the Greeks certainly knew something about the Scythians, just think of the Argonaut legend. There were trade routes over considerable distances as early as the Stone Age, so one can find firelight blades from the Baltic Sea region in southern Germany. And in the Bronze Age at the latest, Europe-wide trade was necessary and continued into the Middle East, because there were only a few known sites for the coveted metal (made of copper and tin). The island of Cyprus even got its name from copper (Cuprum).
 

Zungur

Magistrate
And before things get mixed up even more: I never said that there were no women fighting.

This happened again and again, just recently in nagorny Karabagh or in Kurdistan (and how well the brave girls fought!).
I just wanted to clarify that the pictures of female gladiators (Rome 1st cent. AD) have nothing to do with the Greek myth of Amazons (mid. 1st mill BC!) and that there is no evidence whatsoever that a 'culture' or 'nation' or 'tribe' of Amazons ever existed anywhere.
 

Marcius

Governor
So, smart guy, where did their cell phones come from?:D
'Hippocleides doesn't care!' :hsughwiggle:
It doesn't look like anything Greek to me. :roto2nuse: Anyway, long-distance contacts in the times of Qin Shi Huang -- perhaps, yet it's much later than the birth of Amazon myths.
The fact that historians didn't write about it doesn't mean it didn't happen, though I am not really arguing that the Amazon myths came from China.
Yeah, there's archaeology and epigraphy -- that's how whole careers of Roman generals no historian deigned to mention come to light -- Quadratus Bassus, anyone? But those sciences haven't confimed a lot when dealing with the Amazon legend.
 

Marcius

Governor
But the Greeks certainly knew something about the Scythians, just think of the Argonaut legend. There were trade routes over considerable distances as early as the Stone Age, so one can find firelight blades from the Baltic Sea region in southern Germany. And in the Bronze Age at the latest, Europe-wide trade was necessary and continued into the Middle East, because there were only a few known sites for the coveted metal (made of copper and tin). The island of Cyprus even got its name from copper (Cuprum).
Sure they knew something about the Scythians and traded with them. Yet there isn't enough evidence to support the theory that Scythian women fought alongside men on a regular basis. Please have a look at the review of Mayor's book -- I've posted the link a few posts above.
 
I don't try to convince anybody and you are welcome to believe whatever you like (especially because fantasy can tell so much nicer stories than history).
Just let's say that what I tried to explain about the interpretation of burial gifts is not 'my reasoning' at all but the undisputed consensus in archaeological and historical sciences since at least 80 or 70 years.
New discoveries or new knowledges from old excavations have often shaken long-standing opinions in archeology. And with this in mind, I found the article and its assessment to the skythian graves as well as the cautious connections to the Amazons interesting at this point.
 

windar

Teller of Tales
Some very recent discoveries from the Andes and elsewhere in the Americas suggesting that women hunted big game (or even used some of those weapons in battle?)

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/01/...l?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Now, I'm not suggesting that the Greeks knew about what was going on in Peru, but something that happened in one place might have happened elsewhere as well...
I also think our point of view has been very one-sided for a long time! Modern European culture has strong roots in Greco-Roman antiquity as well as in the Old and New Testaments and it was exported worldwide ... And this culture had a a special image of women that did not exist in many other cultures, simply because it was disadvantageous for the tribes, societies and cultures not to use the full potential of their women ...

The early Greek culture also knows different ideas and rites, just think of Minoan Crete (2nd millennium BC): There were snake priestesses and girls who dare to jump above the bull together with young men (see pictures).
Minoan Snake Goddess or Priest_Crete 1600 BC.jpg Minoan Culture.jpg Bull_leaping_fresco_palace_Knossos_Crete.jpg
And even much later there were prominent women of antiquity who took part in wars. Just think of Artemisa, queen of Halicarnassus and satrap of the Persian king Xexes. She really went into the sea battle of Salamis for the Persian king and commanded her own small part of the fleet. And in the end Xerxes should exclaim: "Men fought like women and women like men" and by that he meant Artemisa! Unlike in the film '300: Rise of an Empire', she did not die in the battle, but was able to escape the encirclement by the Greek fleet through a clever deception maneuver. While Artemisa received the highest recognition from Xerxes, the Athenians were so angry with the brave woman commander that they offered a reward for her capture ... but they never got Artemisa. On the contrary, on Artemisa's advice, Xerxis broke off the whole war against Greece and the Greeks should be grateful to her!
Artemisa in rise of an empire.jpg Artemisia I modern drawing.jpg
 

Zungur

Magistrate
Outch!
Now you bring in another topic for which the views of professionals are extremely contradictionary, while the views of the wider public (thanks to BS like '300') is still another universe awy.
Please keep in mind that for the complete 'Persian Wars' there are nothing but Greek sources available. The Persians did not even bother to write anything about the whole affair.
What can be excluded for certain, is that the Persians wanted to conquer Greece and failed.
The Persian Empire was already much too big and there wuld have been no sense at all to expand somewhere into the wild uncivilzed West, where nothing of any interest was to be found.

The known facts are: Greek cities on the west coast of Anatolia, who were part of the Persian Empire, did not want to pay their taxes.
They employed mercenaries from Athens, who went from the coast to Sardis, the capital of the Persian Satrap (while he was busy elsewhere) and burned it down.
They left for home with their plunder and also left their employers to be disciplined by the returning Satrap.
So, the Athenians had burned down a Persian city and in return the Persians (using the same Greek cites that were the cause for all the trouble for providing the navy) went to Greece and burned down Athens and after a whilethey left.
And that's about what we know for sure.

All the other stories are ... well, stories.


And I really wouldn't call Minoan and Mycenaean cultures 'Greek'. We have no idea how these peoples called themselves, if ever they had a common name for themselves.
Homeros, when talking about these heroes of olden times, never uses the word 'Greeks' for them, but Danaens or Achaeans instead.

If I would speak about 'Neolithic Germans' there would be an outcry, and rightly so.
If somebody would speak about 'Chalcolithic Americans' or 'Palaeolithic Englishmen' there would be an outburst of laughter, and rightly so.
If somebody speaks about 'Bronze Age Greeks' ...
 
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