I loved Jennifer Snow's quote this week about how she handles the situation when self-doubt rears its ugly head. "I punch it in the face," she said, "and continue writing." She's obviously a distant relative of Diana, Princess of Themyscira and daughter of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazon women. (Known in the DC Comics created by psychologist and comic book writer, William Moulton Marston, as Diana Prince and Wonder Woman.) I am reading from the current Smithsonian magazine and an article written by Amanda Foreman who believes there is proof that Amazons existed. Wow.
According to 5th Century BC historian, Herodotus, the Amazonian capital of Themyscira is a fortified city on the banks of the Thermodon River near the coast of the Black Sea in what is now northern Turkey. The women pillaged as far away as Persia, but must have had a nesting side because they founded several famous towns - Smyrna, Ephesus, Sinope and Paphos. Procreation happened only once a year with a neighboring tribe. Boy babies were sent back to their fathers, and girls were raised to be warriors. It is said that Amazons cut or cauterized their right breasts in order to have better control of their bows.
A battle with the Greeks at Thermodon ended their idyllic existence. Three shiploads of captured Amazons ran aground near Scythia, on the southern coast of the Black Sea. The women were braced to fight, but ROMANCE conquered and love happened between the Amazons and the Scythians. They married and their descendants became nomads, crossing northeast into the steppes where they became known as the Sauromatians. The women hunted on horseback with their husbands, and took the field in battle.
In the 1990s, a joint team of U.S. and Russian archaeologists discovered 2000-year-old burial mounds outside of a remote Russian outpost near the Kazakhstan border. They found over 150 Sauromatian graves and among them were those of warrior women who had been buried with their weapons. One young female lay with an iron dagger on her left side and a quiver containing 40 bronze-tipped arrows on her right. Another female skeleton still had a bent arrowhead beneath her ribs. On average, the females measured 5 feet, six inches - exceptionally tall for their time.
I like to think there was a race of warrior women in our past who could handle abusive parents, child predators, or abusers of any kind without having to adhere to rules or political correctness. I like to think that if a woman must have a mastectomy, it will not only save her life, but make her better able to use her bow in battle. When I feel cowardly, I like the thought that way, way back in our history, there were women who feared nothing - not even romance.