penthesileia

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greek mythology fancast

↳ michelle yeoh as penthesileia

For a few years after the campaign of Heracles against them, they say, during the time of the Trojan War, Penthesileia, the queen of the surviving Amazons, who was a daughter of Ares and had slain one of her kindred, fled from her native land because of the sacrilege. And fighting as an ally of the Trojans after the death of Hector she slew many of the Greeks, and after gaining distinction in the struggle she ended her life heroically at the hands of Achilles.

Now they say that Penthesileia was the last of the Amazons to win distinction for bravery and that for the future the race diminished more and more and then lost all its strength; consequently in later times, whenever any writers recount their prowess, men consider the ancient stories about the Amazons to be fictitious tales.

diodorus siculus, library of history2.46.5-6 (x)

Salutations to you all, Lovers of Eleusis! May you enjoy a beautiful Zeus’ day!
Let us continue to gather evidences that may help people to come closer again to the true essence and value of the “Gifts of Demeter” - today, a ‘symbolic image’ which is very deep and meaningful…!!!

“The women beyond Penthesileia are carrying water in broken pitchers; one is depicted as in the bloom of youth, the other is already advanced in years. There is no separate inscription on either woman, but there is one common to the pair, which states that they are of the number of the uninitiated…There is also in the painting a jar, and an old man, with a boy and two women. One of these, who is young, is under the rock; the other is beside the old man and of a like age to his. The others are carrying water, but you will guess that the old woman’s water-jar is broken. All that remains of the water in the sherd she is pouring out again into the jar. We inferred that these people too were of those who had held of no account the rites at Eleusis. For the Hellenes of an earlier period looked upon the Eleusinian Mysteries as being as much higher than all other religious acts, as the cult dedicated to the Gods is higher than that dedicated to the Heroes.” (Paus. 10.31.9-11)


The poem opens shortly after the death of the Trojan hero Hector, with the arrival of the Amazon warrior Penthesileia who has come to support the Trojans. She has a moment of glory in battle, but Achilles kills her. The Greek warrior Thersites later taunts Achilles, claiming that he had been in love with her, and Achilles kills him too. Achilles is ritually purified for the murder of Thersites.

Next another Trojan ally arrives, Memnon, son of Eos and Tithonus, leading an Ethiopian contingent and wearing armour made by the god Hephaestus. In battle, Memnon kills Antilochus, a Greek warrior who was the son of Nestor and a great favourite of Achilles. Achilles then kills Memnon, and Zeus makes Memnon immortal at Eos’ request. But in his rage Achilles pursues the Trojans into the very gates of Troy, and at the Scaean Gates he is killed by an arrow shot by Paris, assisted by the god Apollo. Achilles’ body is rescued by Ajax and Odysseus.

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Aethiopis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I suppose it’s a bit of an understatement to say “it sucks” that this poem was lost. That said, would be interesting to see whether future adaptations on stage or film incorporate the Ethiopian warrior king, or the female Amazonian warriors!