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The Amazons

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Amazons, formidable female warriors of classical myth.

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Amazons, a tribe of formidable female warriors first described in Greek literature. They appear in the Homeric epics and were described by Herodotus, and featured prominently in the decoration of Greek vases and public buildings. In later centuries, particularly in the Renaissance, the Amazons became a popular theme of literature and art. After the discovery of the New World, the largest river in South America was named the Amazon, since the warlike tribes inhabiting the river's margins reminded Spanish pioneers of the warriors of classical myth.


Paul Cartledge
A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University

Chiara Franceschini
Teaching Fellow at University College London and an Academic Assistant at the Warburg Institute

Caroline Vout
University Senior Lecturer in Classics and Fellow and Director of Studies at Christ's College, Cambridge.

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Available now

42 minutes

Last on

Thu 11 Apr 2013 21:30


Professor Paul Cartledge at the University of Cambridge


Dr Chiara Franceschini at the University of London


Dr Caroline Vout at the University of Cambridge


Amazons - Wikipedia





Stanley Alpern, Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey (C. Hurst & Co, 2011)


Josine Blok, The Early Amazons: Modern and Ancient Perspectives on a Persistent Myth (Brill, 1995)


Annette Dixon (ed.), Women Who Ruled: Queens, Goddesses, Amazons in Renaissance and Baroque Art (University of Michigan Museum of Art, 2002)


Page duBois, Centaurs and Amazons: Women and the Pre-History of the Great Chain of Being (University of Michigan Press, 1991)


Patrick J. Geary, Women at the Beginning: Origin Myths from the Amazons to the Virgin Mary (Princeton University Press, 2006)


Antonello Gerbi, Nature in the New World: From Christopher Columbus to Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1985)


Andrew Hadfield (ed.), Amazons, Savages and Machiavels: Travel and Colonial Writing in English, 1550-1630 (Oxford University Press, 2001)


William B. Tyrrell, Amazons: A Study in Athenian Mythmaking (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984)


Dietrich von Bothmer, Amazons in Greek Art (Clarendon Press, 1957)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Producer Thomas Morris
Producer Victoria Brignell
Interviewed Guest Paul Cartledge


  • Thu 11 Apr 2013 09:00
  • Thu 11 Apr 2013 21:30

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