• by Adrienne Mayor
  • Narrated by Fran Tunno
  • 16 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Amazons - fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world - were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Heracles and Achilles displayed their valor in duels with Amazon queens, and the Athenians reveled in their victory over a powerful Amazon army. In historical times, Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great, and the Roman general Pompey tangled with Amazons.
But just who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback who gloried in fighting, hunting, and sexual freedom? Were Amazons real? In this deeply researched, wide-ranging book, National Book Award finalist Adrienne Mayor presents the Amazons as they have never been seen before. This is the first comprehensive account of warrior women in myth and history across the ancient world, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Great Wall of China.
Mayor tells how amazing new archaeological discoveries of battle-scarred female skeletons buried with their weapons prove that women warriors were not merely figments of the Greek imagination. Combining classical myth and art, nomad traditions, and scientific archaeology, she reveals intimate, surprising details and original insights about the lives and legends of the women known as Amazons. Provocatively arguing that a timeless search for a balance between the sexes explains the allure of the Amazons, Mayor reminds us that there were as many Amazon love stories as there were war stories. The Greeks were not the only people enchanted by Amazons - Mayor shows that warlike women of nomadic cultures inspired exciting tales in ancient Egypt, Persia, India, Central Asia, and China.
Driven by a detective's curiosity, Mayor unearths long-buried evidence and sifts fact from fiction to show how flesh-and-blood women of the Eurasian steppes were mythologized as Amazons, the equals of men. The result is likely to become a classic.


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Customer Reviews

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Warning: Images NOT Included

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This book references and gives detailed discussions of images throughout. There are MANY color plates, b/w images, and maps that are, unfortunately, NOT included for download. The verse surrounds the visuals, and they should be experienced in unison. It is difficult to fully comprehend without being able to see what is being referred to.

Otherwise, I LOVE this book... and really want to see the images. I submitted a request for a PDF file... Audible responded that my "feedback has been forwarded to the proper department so it can be reviewed and taken into consideration".

The book is $16 on kindle, $21 hardcover.

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- Linda

Into the Myths and Far Beyond Them

Adrienne Mayor impressed me with her book Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, & Scorpion Bombs. To have her tackle the subject of the Amazons, a subject of personal fascination to me... suffice it to say, I expected big things. And I got bigger things.

Beginning with the myths of Atalanta, this book quickly delves into the historical and often contradictory accounts behind the legends through critical examination of archaeological evidence, literature, and art. The scope of it is nothing less than astounding as the level of influence the Amazons had on the ancient and modern worlds becomes known. No stone is left unturned. The personalities are examined in as much detail as the clothes, the weapons, and the territories they staked out.

As narrator, Fran Tunno does a respectable job for the most part. However, she also joins a great many throughout modern culture who have difficulty pronouncing many of the names. She pronounces the "w" in "sword," so you can imagine how badly mangled some of the Amazonian names become by comparison. Some of these names will have different pronunciations, and it gets a little cartoonish at times. But if you can deal with that, the strength of her delivery is otherwise quite solid.

This is a book that will eventually see hardcover for my personal library. Part of that is due to the sheer amount of quality information, and part of that is because there are constant references to photos and illustrations that are not packaged with the audio.
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- Troy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-21-2014
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books