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

Amazonia, the country that lies partly in Asia and partly in Europe, near Albania, was so called after the Amazons. These were the wives of the Goths who came out of lower Sircia (as Isidore states)[Isidore. There were a number of men of learning by this name. Isidorus of Aegae, a Greek poet who wrote epigrams; Isidorus of Charox, a geographical writer, who probably lived under the early Roman emperors; Isidorus of Gaza, a neo-Platonic philosopher; Isidorus of Pelusium, a Christian exegetical writer, a native of Alexandria, who died about 450 CE; Isidorus of Miletus, the elder and the younger, eminent architects in the reign of Justinian. But the chronicler probably refers to Isidorus (better known in English as Isidore), Bishop of Hispalis (Seville), from 600 to 636 CE, one of the most learned men of his age, and an ardent cultivator of ancient literature. A great number of his works are still extant, but by far the most important is his . It is an encyclopedia of Arts of Sciences, and treats of all subjects in literature, science and religion that were studied at that time. It was much used in the Middle Ages.] and were betrayed and put to death. The wives took up their husbands' arms in just revenge. They slew all male persons with the sword, kept the women, and divided the booty of the enemy. After taking counsel they decided to live without association with men, and as their husbands had been ruled by two kings, they now elected two women to rule over them, namely, Marsepia and Lampeta. The one took it upon herself to fight against the enemy with her troops, while the other looked after the general welfare at home. In a short space of time they became such powerful warriors that for almost one hun¬dred years they held in subjection and ruled over the greater part of Asia. And they allowed no male person to live among them. How¬ever, in order to bear children they selected men from a neighboring people. With these they had intercourse at certain times; and when they conceived, they forced the men to leave them. Boys which were born to them they put to death, or sent them to their fathers at the proper time. The girls they kept and reared to shoot and hunt. At the age of seven they seared off the right breast of the girls, so they would not be hindered in their military practices. Hercules, and later Achilles, tamed these women in their barbarous cruelties. But they accomplished this rather through friendship than by force, as may be learned from the histories of the Greeks and of these women. But Isidore states that through Alexander the Great they were completely wiped out. However, Alexander’s history does not say so, but states that when Alexander demanded tribute, the queens replied: O king, your wisdom in daring to strive with women is a matter of wonderment; for if luck is with us and we succeed in overcoming you, you will be justly debased as one defeated by women. But if the gods are unfavorable to us and we do not succeed in overcoming you, it will be small honor to you that you have prevailed over women etc. The high¬born king was amazed at this reply, and concluded that women are not to be won over by the sword and by wrath, but with love. Therefore he left them their liberty, and made them obedient to his wishes not by force but by friendship.

It is said that the Amazons once a year met the Gargareans in Mount Caucasus for the purpose of propagation. The Greeks believed in the existence of the Amazons as a real historical race down to the late period; and hence it is said that Thalestris, their queen, hastened to Alexander, in order to become a mother by the conqueror of Asia.

The following are the chief mythical adventures of the Amazons: They are said to have invaded Lycia in the reign of the Iobates, but were destroyed by Bellerophontes, who happened to be staying at the king’s court. They also invaded Phrygia, and fought with the Phrygians and Trojans when Priam was a young man. The ninth of the labors imposed upon Hercules was to take from Hippolyte, the queen of the Amazons, her girdle, the ensign of her kingly power, which she had received from Ares (Mars). In the reign of Theseus they invaded Attica. Toward the end of the Trojan War, the Amazons under their queen, Penthesileia, came to the assistance of Priam, but she was killed by Achilles. The Amazons and their battles are frequently represented in the remains of ancient Greek art.

(A) The Amazons (Size 3” x 4”).

A triple bust portrait of three of these women. Each wears a turban, but is otherwise clad in medieval armor. One bears a sword, another a battle-axe, the third a dagger. The central figure lifts a finger of warning. The expressions are serious but not warlike.

(B) Themiscyria (Size 5-7/16” x 8-11/16”):

Here, by suggestion of the text and a long stretch of the imagination we have the ancient city of the Amazons, located a short distance from the Black Sea, at the mouth of the Thermodon. Diodorus states that it was built by the founder of the Amazon kingdom. After the retreat of Mithridates from Cyzicus, Themiscyra was besieged by Lucullus. The inhabitants on that occasion defended themselves with great valor, and when the walls were undermined, they sent bears and other wild beasts, and even swarms of bees, against the workmen of Lucullus. Notwithstanding their gallant defense, the town seems to have perished on that occasion.