Adrienne Mayor is a research scholar in Classics and History of Science at Stanford University; her book The Poison King, a biography of Mithradates, was National Book Award nonfiction finalist in 2009.
Mayor's latest book is The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World.
From her Q & A at the Princeton University Press website:
What was the most interesting thing you learned from writing this book?Learn more about The Amazons at the Princeton University Press website.
Thanks to modern DNA testing, we now know that a significant number of battle-scarred skeletons buried with weapons in ancient steppe nomad graves belonged to women, the real-life models for Greek myths about Amazons. So Amazons were not just a figment of the Greek imagination, brought to life in exciting myths only to be killed off by Greek heroes. But even more surprising, it turns out that the Greeks were not the only people of antiquity to spin tales about heroic warrior women. And the non-Greek stories of warlike women differ radically from the dark mythic script demanding death for all Amazons. Instead, legendary heroes of Persia, Egypt, and Asia were so impressed with the valor of their female foes that they desired the women as companions in love and war. We are used to thinking of Amazon myths in terms of violence against uppity women, but the ancient evidence also reveals a vision of...[read on]
The Page 99 Test: The Amazons.