Main content

Penthesilea, Amazon Warrior Queen

Natalie Haynes tells of Penthesilea, Amazon warrior queen, in charge of ‘a bunch of golden-shielded, silver-axed, man-loving, boy-killing women.’
With Professor Edith Hall.

Natalie Haynes tells of Penthesilea, Amazon warrior queen, in charge of ‘a bunch of golden-shielded, silver-axed, man-loving, boy-killing women,’ with a natty line in ankle boots, and even trousers, a scandalous item of clothing at the time. These fighting women were respected as exceptional warriors and Penthesilea was given a hero's burial when she died in battle.

Unusually for women in antiquity, many Amazon's names are recorded (on vases) and they are excellent: 'She Who Lets the Dogs Out'; 'She Who Is Enthusiastic at Sex'; 'She Who Fights like a Man'. Although Amazons are regarded as mythological figures, there is strong evidence for the existence of nomadic fighting women from burial grounds in the Russian steppes.

In this locked down, more intimate version of her show, Natalie offers escape to a different realm: the mythological. As fresh and funny as ever, Natalie brings us new insights into the original girl gang, as well as gossipy erudition from a couple of thousand years of culture, with the help of Professor Edith Hall.

Available now

28 minutes

Broadcasts

  • Sun 24 May 2020 16:30
  • Saturday 23:30

Natalie Haynes's Classics Quiz

Natalie Haynes's Classics Quiz

Natalie Haynes challenges your knowledge of the classics with 15 fiendish questions.

Podcast