Re: [tied] AMAZONS: legend or history?

From: Ito
Message: 4143
Date: 2000-10-04

Hello! more folk etymology:

A Byzantine scholiast, Methodius, wrote in a comment on Homer that they
were called Amazones either because they burned one of their breasts,
or, because they didn't eat(or know) "maza"(a dough or cake of
barley-flour) but instead "tortoises, lizards and snakes". Aeschylus
also portraits them as "(raw-)meat eating" and in this view the Amazones
were an uncivilized people who didn't even know the benefits of

Others explain it to come from [ama-zosai], "living-together" or the
already mentioned [ama-zonais], "with girdles". It's also said they had
an ancestor by the name of Amazo, a priestess of Artemis.

Some 'modern' explanations that I read, suggest it is related with ;

Kalmuk "aeme" and "tzaine" (women and excellent),
Tserkessian(Circassian?) "maza" (moon),
Iranian "ha-mazan" (warrior),
Hebrew "zouneh" (fallen woman) or "amatsah" (the strong),
Kaukasian "amaze" (young man),
Hittite "Mazaka" (name of a city),
Berber "(T-)Amazigh" (as the Berber call themselves).

best regards,

Italo Cucaro

João Simões Lopes Filho schreef:
> But I think "a-mazos" was clearly a folk etymology. The suffix -zo:n seems
> to me connected to IE root *gwenH- "woman", through some Satem language,
> Thracia, Phrygian, Armenian or alike.
> Joao SL
> Rio
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Christopher Straughn <cstraughn@...>
> To: <>
> Sent: Wednesday, October 04, 2000 2:01 AM
> Subject: Re: [tied] AMAZONS: legend or history?
> > I've always understood that Amazon came from Greek "a-mazos", meaning
> > without breasts, because Amazon women were purported to have cut off their
> > right breasts in order to make it easier to use a bow and javelin. At any
> > rate, that's what Webster gives as the etymology.
> >
> > >1) AMAZO:NES (akin to Armenian Amis-Zon "Moon Woman" ?)
> > >They've ever apperead in Greek myths as adversaries of heroes, Theseus,
> > >Herakles and Bellerophontes. Myrina (Bathyaia)'s tomb is cited at Iliad.
> > >Diodorus Siculus mentioned euhemerist tales envolving Lybian Amazons,
> > >Atlants and Gorgons.
> > >
> > P.S. Thanks for the info on Dalmatian and Sardinian.
> > Chris
> >
> >
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