2 Responses to “More on the construction of Polyxena”

  1. Cindy Says:

    I found the chapters on the Amazons some of the most intriguing in the book. How much of their lifestyle and fighting style come from your research, and what part is poetic license on your part?

    • hallenger Says:

      Thanks, Cindy. As far as the Amazons’ dress, weaponry, the use of horses and customs, I relied on what the classical literature says about them. Penthesileia is the Amazon queen associated with the Trojan myth; however, Antiope was also one of their queens – mentioned in the stories about Theseus. I was perhaps more kind to them in their relationship with adjacent kingdoms than the myths suggest. They were said to have pacts with other kingdoms in securing mating partners, but are primarily known for being warlike and for the bond that most unified them: their loathing of men. In Penthesileia’s use of tactics and battlefield maneuvers, I relied more on my own knowledge and military experience. The name ‘Amazon’ means ‘breastless’ in Greek – they were said to sear off one of their breasts so that it did not interfere with shooting arrows with their bows. My description of the city of Themyscyra is my own creation, since no one knows what it looked like.

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