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Adrienne Mayor Lecture

“Alexander the Great and the Amazon Queen”

Monday, April 3, 2017, 4:00pm

College Arts & Humanities Institute (1211 E Atwater Ave)

Ancient Studies Spring 2017 Distinguished Lecturer:

Adrienne Mayor, Stanford
April 3, 2017, 4:00 pm
College Arts and Humanities Institute
1211 E. Atwater Avenue

“Alexander the Great and the Amazon Queen”

Abstract: Amazons—fierce warrior women of eastern lands—were archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Great heroes of myth, Heracles and Achilles, battled Amazon queens. In historical times, Cyrus of Persia and Pompey of Rome tangled with real women warriors. One of the most fascinating legends about Alexander the Great is his affair with an Amazon queen. Their romance reportedly occurred in 330 BC, after Alexander’s conquest of Persia. Debated by historians in antiquity, the story still arouses controversy. Did the young world conqueror really enjoy thirteen nights of love with an Amazon? This talk analyzes the evidence for their notorious liaison, drawing on ancient literature, geography, historical accounts, and archaeology to separate fact from fiction.

Bio: Adrienne Mayor is a research scholar in the Classics Department and History of Science Program at Stanford University. Her most recent book is “The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World” (2014). Mayor’s biography of Mithradates VI of Pontus, “The Poison King” (2010) was a National Book Award nonfiction finalist. “The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times” (2000, 2011) opened a new field in the emerging discipline of Geomythology, and in “Greek Fire, Poison Arrows and Scorpion Bombs” (2009), Mayor uncovered the ancient roots of biological and chemical warfare. Her research has been featured on NPR and BBC, New York Times, Smithsonian, and National Geographic; her books are translated into twelve languages.