Monday, July 12, 2010

Amazingonians

I only realised the other day that the Amazonians were not from the Amazon at all, but Anatolia (that's Turkey to you). Plutarch tells us - well, he tells the guy who wrote the wikipedia article - that Athens and Chalcis (no me neither) both had an Amazoneum, a sort of shrine to the semi-mythical female warriors. Greek battles with the Amazons were known as Amazonomachy, which is a great name for something, either a club night or a cocktail. It turns out that Francisco de Orellana named the Amazon river after a tribe of female warriors who he claimed to have fought nearby, although some apparently believe that these were male warriors who happened to have long hair, and a penchant for Issey Miyake. Medieval scholars credited the Amazons with inventing the battle-axe, thus I suppose explaining the root of that particular little pet name. An all-female military unit of the West African Fon people were known as the Dahomey Amazons (by westerners at least, the Fon called them Mino, meaning "our mothers"). They fought the French in two wars, but they lost both.

All info culled from wikipedia, hence I cannot vouch for it

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