Orithyia and Antiope


A new Wednesday means, as usual, a new appointment with our weekly Women's Wednesday: our guests this time are Orithyia and Antiope, daughters of the Amazon queen Marpesia and later warrior queens themselves.

The figures of both Orithyia and Antiope seem to often be confused with that of their sister Hippolyte. According to legend, in fact, Hippolyte was the object of one of the twelve labors of Hercules, who was sent to capture her magical girdle. Other sources, however, indicate the girdle might have belonged to Orithyia herself. After having invaded the land of the Amazons, Hercules would have captured Hippolyte, the queens' sister, who was then taken by Theseus right after Hercules had obtained the magical girdle. Others, creating even further confusion around these mythical figures, state that it was Antiope herself to be kidnapped and later married Theseus.

“Orithyia and Antiope”, illumination from the manuscript “Cas des nobles hommes et femmes”, ms. Français 12420, f. 30v, 15h century, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Paris.

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