Well, then, such were the grounds for the war of the Amazons, which seems to have been no trivial nor womanish enterprise for Theseus. For they would not have pitched their camp within the city, nor fought hand to hand battles in the neighborhood of the Pnyx and the Museum, had they not mastered the surrounding country and approached the city with impunity.
Whether, now, as Hellanicus writes, they came round by the Cimmerian Bosporus, which they crossed on the ice, may be doubted; but the fact that they encamped almost in the heart of the city is attested both by the names of the localities there and by the graves of those who fell in battle.
Now for a long time there was hesitation and delay on both sides in making the attack, but finally Theseus, after sacrificing to Fear, in obedience to an oracle, joined battle with the women.
This battle, then, was fought on the day of the month Boedromion on which, down to the present time, the Athenians celebrate the Boedromia. Cleidemus, who wishes to be minute, writes that the left wing of the Amazons extended to what is now called the Amazoneum, and that with their right they touched the Pnyx at Chrysa; that with this left wing the Athenians fought, engaging the Amazons from the Museum, and that the graves of those who fell are on either side of the street which leads to the gate by the chapel of Chalcodon, which is now called the Peiraic gate.
Here, he says. the Athenians were routed and driven back by the women as far as the shrine of the Eumenides, but those who attacked the invaders from the Palladium and Ardettus and the Lyceum, drove their right wing back as far as to their camp, and slew many of them. And after three months, he says, a treaty of peace was made through the agency of Hippolyta; for Hippolyta is the name which Cleidemus gives to the Amazon whom Theseus married, not Antiope.
But some say that the woman was slain with a javelin by Molpadia, while fighting at Theseus's side, and that the pillar which stands by the sanctuary of Olympian Earth was set up in her memory.
And it is not astonishing that history, when dealing with events of such great antiquity, should wander in uncertainty, indeed, we are also told that the wounded Amazons were secretly sent away to Chalcis by Antiope, and were nursed there, and some were buried there, near what is now called the Amazoneum. But that the war ended in a solemn treaty is attested not only by the naming of the place adjoining the Theseum, which is called Horcomosium,1
but also by the sacrifice which, in ancient times, was offered to the Amazons before the festival of Theseus.
And the Megarians, too, show a place in their country where Amazons were buried, on the way from the market-place to the place called Rhus2
, where the Rhomboid3
stands. And it is said, likewise, that others of them died near Chaeroneia, and were buried on the banks of the little stream which, in ancient times, as it seems, was called Thermodon, but nowadays, Haemon; concerning which names I have written in my Life of Demosthenes.4
It appears also that not even Thessaly was traversed by the Amazons without opposition, for Amazonian graves are to this day shown in the vicinity of Scotussa and Cynoscephalae.