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The men fled to the coast with their meager
flocks. We had cut them off from the marshes
and mud of their homes; springing down from fir
hills and scrub oak tangles, carrying axes
and cow-hide shields. Bremusa and Aello
led us. The men had worshiped swamp phalli
and called warrior women a hollow
myth, our Amazonomachy a lie.
So we came down; cleft in the hills, the slope
between tree and tree. We called, O be swift,
drove them from their waddled huts and cast down
their gods, creatures of leaf-mold and earth. What hope
was there against those blessed with martial gifts
except to flee down to the coast and drown?

][][

notes:

In Greek mythology, Amazonomachy was the portrayal of the battle between the Greeks and the Amazons. Many of the stories and legends portrayed were that of Hercules’ 9th Labor, which was stealing the girdle from Queen Hippolyta; as well as Theseus’ later rape and kidnapping of Hippolyta. Another famous myth is that of Achilles’ battle against Queen Penthesilea during the Trojan war.

Aello was one of Hippolyte’s body guards. She was the first to attack Hercules when he came for her queen’s girdle. Unfortunately, Hercules wore the lion skin he had acquired during his 1st Labor, making him untouchable. Aello was thus killed by Hercules. Her name means “Mother Whirlwind.”

Bremusa was an Amazon who was one of Queen Penthesilea’s twelve companions at Troy, where she fell in battle. Her name means “Raging Female.”