Themiscyra History

There are many different accounts of the history of the Amazons. Here are a few of the ones Themiscrya draws its history from.

You can read Themiscryan History at our Scrolls.

From "101 Amazons"

(The site closed, so I removed the link. Sorry! Below is the history of Lysippe from that site).

Lysippe. Queen of the Amazons. Her reign predates the reign of the Queens of Themiskyra.

She ruled in an area north of the Black Sea, where flowed the Amazon River. She had a son, Tanais, whose virginity and worship of Artemis offended Aphrodite, who found him very attractive. In revenge for his spurning of all her attempts to have him lose his prized virginity, she cursed him to know lust, for no one else but his own mother. Lysippe apparently had no time to learn of the problem, since Tanais promptly drowned himself in the Amazon River.

She renamed the river Tanais, and consulted her oracles who told her to leave the area, lest the ghost of Tanais return to her as an evil spirit. Lysippe at once picked up and marched her people around the enormous Black Sea to its south-central coastal area, where they found a river called Thermodon and settled on its banks. There, the nation split into three tribes, and each formed a separate city; Lysippe's tribe formed Themiskyra, and conquered the land all the way back to the Tanais.

With the spoils of war she built temples to Ares and Artemis Tauropolis, whose bloody worship she may have founded (Artemis Tauropolis being the Greek version of the goddess Taurica Dea who was worshipped with particularly bloody and brutal rituals of human and animal sacrifice on the island of Tauris in the Black Sea. Iphigenia, who had been saved by Artemis when her father Agamemnon attempted to sacrifice her for a favorable wind with which to reach Troy and take back Helen, became a favorite of Artemis, who made her a high priestess of this Tauropolitan cult of human sacrifice. The cult spread to Sparta via Artemis Orthia, where young people were flogged mercilessly as a form of worship. The worship carried to Aricia in Italy, and apparently Hippolytus, son of Theseus and Antiope/Hippolyte, attempted to revive it for Athens).

The history of our tribe of Themiscyra is based on the above tale of Lysippe. Our founder, Queen Celosia, and her Regent, Medea, were the daughters of Lysippe. When the great Queen died, the pair moved south along the Thermodon to it's current site.

You can read more about it at the Ria Istoria site. If you seek more knowledge about Amazons and their role in history and legend, try our Links page.

This brief history below was gathered from the website Aeolus's XENA: Warrior Princess Page. Many thanks.

Amazons originated from a region in the Caucasus Mountains. They moved to an area around the Thermadon River and founded their first city, Themiscyra. The females of the tribe dominated what males there were.

Greek mythology claims amazons to be the descendents of Ares, the God of War. They have been depicted as wielding silver axes and shields made of gold. They were feared warriors, and only the most brave and daring of Greek heroes, such as Hercules, Achilles, and Theseus, would attempt to fight them.

In governing the tribe, there have been accounts of two queens. One queen for defense and another for domestic affairs. In order for the Amazon race to survive, the warriors mated with the neighboring tribe of men. Any male children were either sent to their fathers or killed, and female offspring were kept as future Amazons.

Herodotus, the "father of history" and 5th century BC historian, tells of a battle between the Greeks and Amazons. The Amazons were defeated, and the Greeks took many Amazon captives aboard their ships to sell as slaves. On the voyage home, the Amazons overthrew their captors. However, a storm set the ship off course and on to the nearby shores, where the Amazons encountered a race known as the Scythians. After a period of fighting, the two armies made peace, and eventually their offspring came to be know as the Sarmatians.

From The Norton Book of Travel
Excerpt from Sir John Mandeville

Next to Chaldea is the land of Amazon, which we call the Maiden Land or the Land of Women; no man lives there, only women. This is not because, as some say, no man can live there, but because the women will not allow men to rule the kingdom.

There was once a king in the land called Colopheus, and there were once men living there as they do elsewhere. It so happened that this king went to war with the King of Scythia, and was slain with all his great men in battle with his enemy. And when the Queen and the other ladies of that land heard that the King and the lords were slain, they marshaled themselves with one accord and armed themselves well.

They took a great army of women and slaughtered all the men left among them. And since that time they will never let a man live with them more than seven days, will they allow a boy child to be brought up among them. But when they want to have the company of man, they go to that side of their country where their lovers live, stay with them eight or nine days and then go home again. If any of them bears a child and it is a son, they keep it until it can speak and walk and eat by itself and then they send it to the father -- or they kill it.

The queen is always chosen by election, for they choose the woman who is the best fighter. These women are noble and wise warriors; and therefore neighboring realms hire them to help in their wars.

The Norton Book of Travel Edited by Paul Fussell

From Edith Hamilton's Mythology

Aeschylus calls them "The warring Amazons, men-haters." They were a nation of women, all warriors. They were supposed to live around the Caucasus and their chief city was Themiscryra (yet another spelling). Curiously enough, they inspired artists to make statues and pictures of them far more than poets to write about them. Familiar though they are to us there are few stories about them. They invaded Lycia and were repulsed by Belerophon. the invaded Phrygia when Priam was young, and Attica when Theseus was King. He had carried off their Queen, Penthesilea, according to a story not in the Iliad, told by Pausanias. He says that she was killed by Achilles, who mourned for her as she lay dead, so young and so beautiful.

Xena Warrior Princess is  © Studios USA, Universal City Studios, Inc. Webset design and content ©2010 Crescent Designs for Themiscyra Amazon Nation. Many thanks to Mike's Xena Page for most of the captures.