Amazons and Horses

Amazons are the first to mount horses.
(Lysias, Funeral Oration 4)

Naturally the horse is the totem animal of the Amazons.

Athenian comedy, true to its mental level, always adopted a snickering attitude when there was talk of Amazons and their horses, suggesting that stallions replaced the men in Amazons tribes.  Once a year, the Amazons had an orgiastic feast of dedication.  At first, it used to take place on a granite rock in the Caucasus; later, on the reedy Ares Isle in the Black Sea.  In highly secret rites, a milky white stallion was sacrificed.

Amazon babies never drank out of their mother's breasts but suckled on the breasts of their totem mothers, the mares.

The Amazons felt a profound magic connection for the horse.  The transliteration of many of their Scythian names often contains the word hippos, which is Greek for horse.


The Amazons were so skilled with a bow that they could hit an enemy at full gallop.

They rode horses or drove them hitched to swift chariots.  Their prowess as excellent horsewomen was known throughout the region; performing equestrian feats was a everyday thing to them.  They would dance on horseback, stand up at a full gallop, jump from one horse to another, and leap bareback across a roaring fire.


February 25, 1997

          Ancient Graves of Warrior Women Offer
          Hints of Amazons


 And certain women,
          perhaps the elite of the tribe, appeared to be trained from an early age to be warriors on horseback.

As history usually links Amazons with steeds and horses, more work might be necessary to uncover the relation to myths of the all-powerful horse Goddesses who can beget children without men.

                                                      B. Weinbaun

Their command of horse was superb; they rode bareback, usually with no other trapping tha a simple bridle.  Some say they introduced cavalry into Asia Minor.  Certainly they rode as no other army ever rode till Genghis Khan and hi Mongol hordes swept from the bleak steppes and trampled Europe in the Middle Ages.

Their equestrianship, implementing their strength and instincts, made them well-nigh invincible.  In an emergency, they used their spears as poles to vault upon horseback, and at full gallop they could arm their bows ans shoot as steadily and accurately as on foot.
Sometimes, while ensnaring an enemy by feigning retreat, they spun around so that they sat facing their mount's tail.  From this remarkable position they continued to let fly unremitting arrows.

Amazons from childhood have enjoyed ruthless fight on charging steeds, and all the hardships of men they endure, and the spirit of the war-god thrills through them.  They do not fall short of men in anything.  their bodies are hardened for all achievement, and their knees never tremble nor faint.

                                              D. Sobol

Some Amazon graves show that Amazons were sometimes buried with their horses.

Horses were sacred to the moon, because their hooves make a moon-shaped mark.


In Amazonian myths, the Goddess was often worshipped as a mare.  The only deity shown in Scythian art was the Great Goddess whom the Greeks called Artemis, or Hestia, or Gaea (the Earth).


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