Ἀμαζών

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Ancient Greek[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The Greeks claimed that the word derives from ἀ- (a-, not) + μαζός (mazós, breast), in reference to the belief that Amazons cut off their right breast so that it might not hinder their ability to fire a bow or throw a spear. However, this is almost certainly a folk etymology; in art, Amazons are always shown with two intact breasts. The word is likely of foreign origin, perhaps an Ionian Greek pronunciation of the Old Persian word *hamazan (fight as a group), as the Amazon women were known warriors. Ionians did not aspirate the first syllable, and the word became "amazon" to the Greeks in general. It could also be native Greek, such as from a Proto-Indo-European *n̥-mn̥gʷ-i̯on-es 'manless, husbandless', from Proto-Indo-European *mongʷi̯o (man) (compare Russian муж (muž)). Numerous other etymologies have been proposed, generally tracing the word back to Iranian, Greek or (West/East) Caucasian languages.

Pronunciation[edit]

 

Noun[edit]

Ἀμαζών (Amazṓnf (genitive Ἀμαζόνος); third declension

  1. (chiefly in the plural) Amazons, a nation of female warriors from western Scythia.

Inflection[edit]

References[edit]