What was the function of the Amazons in Greek literature?


I need to write a 2000 max. word essay (including footnotes) for my Classics class.

I need to do one of these questions, you can pick whichever one is easier for you/whichever one you prefer (they are pretty similar).

1 What was the function of the Amazons in Greek literature?
2 What did the Amazons symbolise in Greek literature?

Could you please use about 20 sources (I trust your judgement on the exact amount).
I made a small list of books/articles that might be of help (if you can also include any other source that would be nice):

-> J. H. Blok, The Early Amazons. Modern and ancient perspectives on a persistent myth (Religion in the Graeco-Roman World, vol. 120: E.J. Brill: Leiden, 1995).

-> D. von Bothmer, Amazons in Greek Art (Oxford Monographs on Classical Archaeology: Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1957).

-> J. M. Bremer, The Amazons in the Imagination of the Greeks, Acta Ant. Hung. 40 (2000): 51-59.

-> D. C. Castriota, Feminizing the Barbarian and Barbarizing the Feminine: Amazons, Trojans and Persians in the Stoa Poikile, in J. Barringer and J. Hurwit, eds., Periklean Athens and its Legacy: Problems and Perspectives (University of Texas Press: Austin, 2006): 89-102.

-> K. Dowden, The Amazons: Development and Function, Rheinisches Museum fr Philologie 140.2 (1997): 97-128. Solid summary of the literary evidence.

-> Page duBois, Centaurs and Amazons: Women and the Pre-History of the Great Chain of Being (Women and Culture series: The University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor, 1982). (Early feminist interpretation).

-> L. Hardwick, Ancient Amazons: Heroes, Outsiders or Women? Greece and Rome 38 (1990): 14-36.

-> F. Hartog, The Mirror of Herodotus: The Representation of the Other in the Writing of History (University of California Press: Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, 1988): 212-259 (esp. 216-224).

-> J. Henderson, Timeo Danaos: Amazons in Early Greek Art and Pottery, in S. Goldhill and R. Osborne, eds. Art and Text in Ancient Greek Culture (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1994): 85-137.

-> H. Hoffmann and D. Metzler, Audiatur et altera pars: zur Doppeldeutigkeit einer griechischen Amazone aus dem Sudan, in Visible Religion. Annual for Religious Iconography 7 (1990): 173-198.

-> S. Langdon, Trial by Amazon: Thoughts on the First Amazons in Greek Art, C. Callaway, ed., Ancient journeys: a Festschrift in honour of Eugene Numa Lane. The Stoa: A Consortium for Electronic Publication in the Humanities (2002). Available online: online:

-> Loraux, N. Heracles: the super-male and the feminine, in D. Halperin, J. Winkler and F. Zeitlin, eds., Before Sexuality. The Construction of Erotic Experience in the Ancient Greek World (Princeton, 1990): 21-52.

-> C. Pelling, East is East and West is West: Or Are They? Histos 1 (1997), 51-66. Available online:

-> A Stewart, Imag(in)ing the Other: Amazons and Ethnicity in Fifth-Century Athens, Poetics Today 16 (1995): 571-596. R. Veness, Investing the Barbarian? The Dress of the Amazons in Athenian Art, in L. Llewellyn-Jones and S. Blundell, eds., Womens Dress in the Ancient Greek World (Classical Press of Wales: London, 2002): 95-110.

-> F. Zeitlin, Configurations of Rape in Greek Myth in S. Tomaselli and R. Porter, eds. Rape (Blackwell: Oxford, 1986): 122-151.

Could you also please use the Harvard citation format (with the main bibliography organised in alphabetical order). If you use/quote a particular translation of a classical author, could you please include a reference to that translation in the final bibliography (using the translators name as a lemma)

Thank you very much for your help.

No Comment.