The Inverted World of the Amazons: Aspects of a Persistent Myth in Early Modern Greek Literature
Kaplanis, Tassos A.
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The myth of the Amazons has been one of the most potent and popular of all Greek myths from its inception to the present day. In the first part of this paper, a presentation of its basic elements is attempted. This presentation takes into account the transformations of both the myth and the means by which it is presented (from ancient Greek narratives and depictions to present day comics and graphic novels), as comprehensively as possible. The second part focuses on major Amazon appearances in early modern Greek literature and provides an analysis, much indebted to feminist criticism and Bakhtin, of the inverted world of the Amazons in the Chapbook of Alexander (late 17th century), which constitutes its central theme. Additionally, it briefly examines the duel of the last epic hero of Greek literature, Digenis Akritis with the Amazon Maximou, as presented in the 15th-century Escorial version of the text.