First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

The Amazonian kingdom of the women had its origin (as they say) in the time of Regau (Reu) between Scythia and Albania. And these were Scythian women. They first lived by the river Tanais (Don), and later came to the river Termodonta;[The Thermodon, a river of Pontus, in the district of Themiscyra, the reputed country of the Amazons. It rises in a mountain called Amazonius (and still Mason Dagh) near Phanaroea, and falls into the sea about 30 miles east of the mouth of the Iris, after a short course, but with so large a volume of water that its breadth, according to Zenephon, was three plethra (more than 300 feet); and it was navigable. At its mouth was the city of Themiscyra Pontus, the most northeasterly district of Asia Minor, along the coast of the Euxine or Black Sea, having no specific name. It was spoken of as the country on the Pontus (Euxine), and so acquired the name Pontus.] and after them some have called this region Amazonia. They afterward moved forward and succeeded in subjugating a large part of Asia. Their first two queens were Marthesia and Lampedona, who said they were descended from Mars, the god of war. Now as they proceeded from Europe into Asia and conquered much Asiatic territory, they built Ephesus, Smyrna and many other cities. They neither associated nor intermingled with men until spring, when they cohabited with them until they found themselves pregnant. If the child was a boy, they killed it. If it was a girl, they seared and cut off the right breast, and brought her up and trained her in the art of war. From this custom they derived the name Amazons, for according to the Latin, this means without a breast. Hercules and Bellerophon, the king of Corinth, fought with these women and defeated them. Concerning this Justinus and Diodorus Siculus have written accounts.

Mythology describes the Amazons as a race or nation of female warriors on the northerly coast of Asia Minor, and with whom the Greeks repeatedly warred. Bellerophon, the Greek hero who slew the Chimera and perished in the attempt to scale heaven on the winged horse Pegasus, engaged the Amazons during his career. Hercules and Theseus each conducted battled with them; while Achilles slew their queen Penthesileia, when the Amazons came to the aid of the besieged Trojans. It is considered that the temple servants of the great Anatolian goddess may have originally been armed women and so have given rise to these Greek legends. Although the Amazons did not tolerate men among them, they were in touch with a neighboring tribe for the purpose of propagating their race. The boys who were born to them they killed or sent back to their fathers; the girls they retained. From these they removed the right breasts, as these interfered with the drawing of the bow and the hurling of the spear. In consequence the name Amazon ( a or ab [without] and mazos [breast]) is given to them in the mythology of the Greeks.

Justinus, whom the chronicler cites, is a historian, orf uncertain date, but who did not live later than the fourth or fifth century of our era. He is the author of an extant work, Historiarum Philippicarum Libri XLIV. It is taken from the Historiae Phillipicae of Trogus Pompeius, who lived in the time of Augustus. The title Phillipicae was given the work because its main object was to give the history of the Macedonian monarchy, with all its branches; but Trogus indulged in so many excursions that the work formed a kind of universal history. The work of Justinus is a selection of such parts of Trogus as seemed worthy of being generally known. The original work of Trogus, which was one of great value, is lost.

Diodorus Siculus, of Agyrium in Sicily, the chronicler’s second authority, was a contemporary of Julius Caesar and Augustus. He traveled over a great part of Europe and Asia, and spent thirty years upon his work entitled the Historical Library. It embraced the period from the earliest mythical ages to the beginning of Caesar’s Gallic wars. It was divided into three great sections and into forty books. It is constructed upon the plan of annals, the events of each year being placed one after the other without internal connection. The author simply collected what he found in his different authorities, resulting in a mixture of history, myth and fiction. He frequently misunderstood authorities, and often contradicts himself. However, the compilation is of great importance because of the great mass of materials he collected from writers whose works have perished.

Egypt had its beginning in the time of Regau (Reu). According to Eusebius its first king was Soros.[As Menes was the founder of the first Egyptian dynasty, and therefore its first king, this note probably refers to the mythological Horus (or Horos, here erroneously called Soros), the sun-god, from whom the historical kings of Egypt claim to have descended.] This country (as we read) was affected by manifold and various changes and uprisings, of which the Holy Scriptures make frequent mention. This continued to the time of Augustus Octavianus.[Born September 23, 63 BCE; died August 29, 14 CE, at the age of 76.] Mizraim, son of Ham, was the first to take up residence there. Egypt lies in Africa and derived its name (as some would be pleased to have it) from Aegyptus, the brother of Danaus.[Belus had two sons, the twin brothers Aegyptus and Danaüs. To the former he assigned Arabia; to the latter Libya. But Aegyptus subdued the country of the Melampodes, which he called Aegypt after his own name. Aegyptus by his several wives had 50 sons, and his brother Danaüs 50 daughters. Danaüs had reason to fear the sons of his brother and fled with his daughters to Argos in Peloponesus. There he was followed by the sons of Aegyptus, who demanded his daughters for their wives, and promised faithful alliance. Danaüs complied and distributed his daughters among them; but to each he gave a dagger with which to kill their husbands on the bridal night. All the sons of Aegyptus were thus murdered with the exception of Lynceus, who was saved by Hypermnestra. The Danaides buried the heads of their murdered husbands in Lerna, and their bodies outside the town, and were afterwards purified of their crime by Athena and Hermes at the command of Zeus. According to the poets the Danaides were punished in Hades by being compelled to everlastingly pour water into a sieve. From Danaüs the Argives (people of Argos or Argolis, as their country was called) were called Danai, which name like that of the Argives was often applied by the poets (especially Homer) to the collective Greeks.] According to Pliny it borders on Ethiopia on the south. To the north is the Egyptian [Mediterranean] Sea. It seldom rains there, but the land is watered and made productive by the river Nile, as has been earlier told.

The kingdom of Sicyonia had its beginning in Achata in the seventy-fourth year of the life of Nachor[Nahor, grandson of Reu and grandfather of Abraham (Genesis 11:21-26).] (as Eusebius states), and there Aegilaeus first ruled. After him it was called Aegilaea. It was afterward named Danaa, and later Achaia. In the same country was the highly renowned city of Corinth. The region (as Pliny states) abounds in oil orchards or oil vegetation. So also was Lycaonia called. Augustine writes that this country was very small once upon a time. Varro and other ancient writers have also said much about it. It was taken over by the Athenians, later by the Latins, the Romans, and finally by the Turks. It endured for a period of 826 years under twenty-five kings, to the time of Heli the priest.[Eli (1226-1128 BCE), a high priest and judge (1 Samuel 4, 13-18).] After him the priests were called Carni.[Sicyonia is a small district bounded on the east by the territory of Corinth, on the west by Achaia, on the south by the territory of Philius and Cleonae, and on the north by the Gulf of Corinth. The area was probably less than 100 square miles. The land was fertile and produced excellent oil. Its almonds and fish were also prized. Its chief town was Sicyon, one of the most ancient cities of Greece. It is said to have been originally called Aegialea or Aegiali after an ancient king, Aegialeus, and finally to have been named Sycion from an Athenian of this name.]