As a daughter of ARES the War God you would be surprised to find her picking flowers or milking cows. No, she was definitely Queen of the Amazons material.
The Amazons were a race of fierce females who shunned men and went to war on their own terms. The first of the radical feminists, they not only burned their bras but cut their entire breasts off. However, this was not so much a political statement as a recognition that it’s very difficult to hurl a javelin when your boob is in the way.
The Amazons managed perfectly well with one breast each. Their left breasts were left intact for baby-raising purposes, and if you’re wondering where the babies came from in this all-female society, well, so are we. However, the Amazons invariably got what they wanted.
It was only when manly heroes such as THESEUS or HERACLES blundered onto the scene that things went pear-shaped...
The Labors of Heracles
Episode 9: The Girdle Of Hyppolyta
After the manly battle for the MARES-OF-DIOMEDES, this Labor seemed a bit peculiar. A girly Girdle? What did EURYSTHEUS want with that? Was he getting soft?
Not if it belonged to the Queen of the Amazons. Use that sort of language and you were in for a stomping. The Amazons were descendants of ARES but without his softer side. And the Girdle in question was a magic belt donated by ARES — a decidedly unfeminine fashion accessory.
HERACLES honed up his hatchet skills on the way, having bumped into fellow adventurer THESEUS. With involvement in various conflicts en-route, he arrived at Thermodon with a boat full of companions.
HIPPOLYTA actually came to greet him and thought for a mere man he was not too wimpy. He might even make good breeding material for daughters. So when he mentioned girdles, she offered him the Belt of ARES. Which was not quite what he was expecting.
HERA, still out to get him, was furious, and turned up in disguise. Spreading malicious rumors amongst the Amazons, she incited them to attack the ship and kill all the strangers. HERACLES assumed all this was treachery planned by HIPPOLYTA. So she got it in the neck first.
Herc took the Girdle and then had to decimate two more Amazon leaders before they desisted. The boat left in a hurry, taking HERACLES into many other adventures. He was in no particular hurry to return to EURYSTHEUS. When he finally did, he had many souvenirs and trophies to distribute amongst the Gods to win friends and enhance his reputation.
Incidentally, we don’t know if EURYSTHEUS actually tried on the Girdle. He gave it to his daughter. Perhaps he felt it didn’t suit him.
Next Episode: The Cattle Of GERYON...
Article last updated on 01 January 2013
by the Godchecker Team.
Editors: Peter J Allen, Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.
Cite this article:
Saunders, Chas, and Peter J. Allen, eds. "HIPPOLYTA: legendary mortal from Greek mythology." Godchecker. Godchecker/CID, 01 Jan. 2013. Web. 22 August 2014.