Authors: James A. Haught
Tags: #Fiction : Historical - General, #Historical
a novel by
James A. Haught
For spirited women, seekers of wisdom, opponents of war, and good couples everywhere.
Copyright 2007 James A. Haught
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced by any means without permission of the publisher, except for citations in book reviews or news articles.
Published in the United States by BookLocker.com, Inc.
KINDLE ISBN: 978609107109
PRINT ISBN: 9781601451590
Printed in the U.S.A.
Front cover picture: Amazon warrior by Franz von Stuck (1863-1928). Public domain image from Sacred Texts Archive.
Back cover picture: Greek-versus-Amazon battle carving on an ancient sarcophagus, Vatican Museum, Rome. Public domain image from FreeStockPhotos.com
Cover and interior art layout: Brenda Pinnell
Technical help: Jenny Lilly, Greg Wood
Previous books by James A. Haught
Holy Horrors: An Illustrated History of Religious Murder and Madness (1990)
Science in a Nanosecond: Answers to 100 Basic Science Questions (1990)
The Art of Lovemaking: An Illustrated Tribute (1992)
Holy Hatred: Religious Conflicts of the '90s (1995)
2,000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People With the Courage to Doubt (1996)
Honest Doubt: Essays on Atheism in a Believing Society (2007)
(all published by Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY)
One of many Greek-versus-Amazon battle friezes from the tomb of Mausolus at Halikarnassos, Greece, fourth century BCE, which ranked among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. (British Museum, London. Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.)
JACK HASTINGS and CAROLINA KING, young American archeologists who join an international dig in northern Greece.
DR. CHICHESTER, their craggy British director.
MELOS, a teen-age scribe who comes of age, sees violence as a noncombatant, suffers slavery, loses his virginity, falls in love, witnesses tragedy—and reaches wisdom, disdaining the warfare, religious sacrifices and slavery around him.
LITHA, a spirited young slave woman who stabs her oppressive owner and runs off to join the Amazons. She finds Melos, slave of the warrior women, and becomes his lover.
MITHA, older sister of Litha, who escapes with her. Both are blondish Slavs who were captured by Greeks and put into slavery.
OVERSEER, cousin of a rich family that owns the farm village of Melos and Litha.
RECTUS, best friend of Melos, son of the wealthy Overseer.
HIGH SCRIBE, Kavopolis official who trains Melos in writing.
DALIEN, aristocratic soldier wounded and captured along with Melos.
WAR QUEEN, Saria, chief of the Amazon fighting force.
HOME QUEEN, Hella, chief of other Amazon village functions.
EILA, sensual priestess of the Amazon colony.
LEEANTHA, tough woman warrior who screams during sex.
COMELLA, sturdy, funny, bawdy warrior.
ALETHA, temple prostitute turned Amazon.
RACHA, black Nubian from the Nile Valley who became an Amazon.
THEBA, daughter of a Thebes prince's concubine.
ASPASIA, descendant of a famed Athens courtesan.
OCTOS, one-legged male soldier-slave, a rogue and skeptic.
ANKUS, long-bearded male slave, keenly intelligent.
PENDILEE, young woman rescued from a Greek slave auction.
ARCTINUS, macho Greek ex-soldier and patriot.
PRINCESS XANTHIA, who is captured by Amazons and joins them.
ADMER, devout soldier-slave who prays and wears magical amulets.
AUGUR, sappy astrologer who gets everything wrong.
OLANDRA, battle-maimed Amazon who serves as lookout.
OONA, the smallest Amazon warrior, caught by a Greek patrol.
COMMANDER MALGON, Greek officer whose squad suffers a midnight Amazon raid.
COMMANDER PATROS, Greek officer who heads a search-and-destroy mission against the Amazon hideaway
Amazon Preparing for Battle
, by Pierre-Eugene-Emile Hebert, 1853. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Pepita Milmore Memorial Fund
Battle of the Amazons
, by Peter Paul Rubens, 1618. Alte Pinakothek museum, Munich, Germany
1 - A deadly Greek army attack on an Amazon hideout looms.
2 - American archeology student couple analyzes extreme subjugation of women in Ancient Greece, an odd contrast to the era's many paintings, sculptures and writings about fierce warrior women.
3 - The lover-archeologists join a Mediterranean dig and find the first written account of an Amazon clan.
4 - Melos tells of his village, boyhood, doubts, and his reaction to the flogging of the slave girl Litha.
5 - Melos becomes a teen-age scribe, later assigned to a military brigade.
6 - A midnight attack decimates the brigade. Melos, wounded, is taken by Amazon raiders to their hidden colony as a slave-concubine.
7 - Litha reappears and tells of an Underground Railroad guiding runaway females to the Amazon hideaway.
8 - An arrogant soldier-prisoner cites Aristotle on natural slaves and male dominance over women.
9 - Melos finds the joy of sex. The arrogant soldier is killed during an escape attempt.
10 - A wounded Amazon dies despite prayers and sacrifices. Melos begins teaching Amazons to read and write.
11 - Melos records the Amazon colony's history.
12 - Melos records Aletha, Racha, Theba, Olandra tales.
13 - Litha wants Melos. They become lovers.
14 - Melos is punished for letting girls read skeptical scrolls.
15 - Greek science breakthroughs. An Epicurus scroll is even worse sacrilege.
16 - Warrior trainee Mitha joins her first caravan raid.
17 - Princess Xanthia invents stirrups.
18 - Octos tells of his oracle caper.
19 - Amazons break a brothel siege.
20 - Aspasia's Amazon group is discovered.
21 - A slave market raid triggers a Greek attack on Aspasia's group.
22 - Pendilee's slave story.
23 - Human sacrifice horror.
24 - Arctinus plots revolt but Melos thwarts it.
25 - Mitha-Melos mess mangles monogamy.
26 - Ankus explains the Sacred Wars.
27 - Sex in a storm, followed by a flood rescue.
28 - Augur the astrologer bungles again.
29 - Admer loses his faith.
30 - Oona is executed. Amazons take revenge.
31 - Wheat harvest. More runaways arrive.
32 - Litha and Melos flee but are caught.
33 - A gory Greek attack strikes the Amazon colony.
34 - Melos and Litha live alone in the deserted village.
35 - The archeologist couple recounts Melos-Litha wisdom in book lectures.
Hercules killing an Amazon. Ancient Greek red-figure drinking bowl, c. 490 BCE. Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels, Belgium
"Sing out. Hup, ho. Roll her over in the clover. Make her laugh. Make her cry. Make a baby bye and bye."
The brawny Greek warriors chanted to liven their march in late-summer heat up the wide Thermodon Valley south of the Black Sea. They were an elite troop, deadly fighters, expert with sword, bow, ax, javelin and mace. Killing is the occupation of soldiers, and they were masters of their craft. They were battle-tested, hardened to shrieks of death, renowned for combat spirit. "Fire from Zeus," declared their platoon flag bearing a lightning bolt.