Theseus and the Amazons

Theseus ruled wisely in Athens. But he did not live quietly in Athens; he often left them in order to take part in the exploits of the heroes of Greece. So, Theseus participated in the Calydonian hunt, in the Argonauts' campaign for the golden Fleece and in the campaign Hercules against the Amazons. When the Amazon city of Themyscira was taken, Theseus took the queen of the Amazons with him to Athens as a reward for bravery Antiope. In Athens, Antiope became the wife of Theseus. The hero magnificently celebrated his wedding with the queen of the Amazons.

Battle with Amazons
Battle with Amazons.
(Drawing on a vase.)
The Amazons plotted to take revenge on the Greeks for the destruction of their city and decided to free Queen Antiope from what they thought was a heavy captivity at Theseus. A large army of Amazons invaded Attica. The Athenians were forced to take refuge from the onslaught of the militant Amazons behind the city walls. The Amazons even broke into the city itself and forced the inhabitants to hide behind the impregnable Acropolis. The Amazons set up their camp on the hill of the Areopagus and besieged the Athenians. Athenians made sorties several times, trying to expel the formidable warriors. Finally, a decisive battle took place.

Antiope herself fought alongside Theseus against the very Amazons she had commanded before. Antiope did not want to leave the hero-husband, whom she loved dearly. In this formidable battle, death awaited Antiope. A spear thrown by one of the Amazons flashed in the air, its deadly point pierced the chest of Antiope, and she fell dead at the feet of her husband. Both troops looked in horror at Antiope, who had been slain to death. Theseus bent over his wife's body in grief. The bloody battle was interrupted. Full of sorrow, the Amazons and Athenians buried the young queen. The Amazons left Attica and returned to their distant homeland. For a long time there was sadness in Athens for the beautiful Antiope who died prematurely.