Egee

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by Sam Yelton

Egee (c. 1200 BCE) From the Greek Aegea.[1]  Although traditionally placed by Herodotus and others in the vicinity of the Black Sea, there are variations of the Amazon myth which located the tribe of female in Scythia and in northern .[2]

Diodorus Siculus records a story of a warrior queen leading these Libyan Amazons in a campaign of conquest that overwhelmed both mythical peoples such as the Atlanteans and Gorgons, as well as the inhabitants of Egypt, Arabia, and Asia Minor, although he refers to this ruler as Myrina.[3]  Myrina or Aegea was regarded as the founder of several cities, including most prominently Mitylene on the island of Lesbos, purportedly named after her sister.[4]  Eventually the Amazons were defeated and forced to withdraw back to Libya by a coalition consisting of Troy, Phrygia, and Thrace, possibly led by Priam of Troy or his father Laomedon.[5]

Sextus Pompeius Festus’ Lexicon makes Aegea the namesake of the Aegean Sea, the body of water in which she drowned along with her army while returning to after her campaigns.[6] However, it was common in Greek myth to invent stories to account for place-names; the Aegean Sea was more commonly thought to have been named after Aegeus, the father of Theseus or the Macedonian city of Aegae. [7] [Sam Yelton]

 

 

[1] Ian Plant, “Egee’,” Mary Hays, Female Biography; or, Memoirs of Illustrious and Celebrated Women, of All Ages and Countries (1803). Chawton House Library Series: Women’s Memoirs, ed. Gina Luria Walker, Memoirs of Women Writers Part II (Pickering & Chatto: London, 2013), vol. 8, 70, editorial notes, 530.

[2] Plant, “Egee’,” vol. 8, 70, editorial notes, 530.

[3] Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History, Vol II. Translated by C.H. Oldfather. Loeb Classical Library. Cambriged, MA: Harvard University Press, 1933. III.54.

[4] Siculus, The Library of History, III. 55.

[5] “Priam 1.” Accessed January 30, 2014, http://www.maicar.com/GML/Priam1.html.

[6] Plant, “Egee’,” vol. 8, 70, editorial notes, 530.

[7] Plant, “Egee’,” vol. 8, 70, editorial notes, 530; Hyginus, Fabulae, 43; and Strabo, Geography, 9.7.4.

 

 

Resources:

Brooklyn Museum
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Egee
https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/dinner_party/heritage_floor/egee.php

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