Mythic, known in ancient Greece, beginning circa 1200 B.C.E.
Hippolyte (Hippolyta) was the queen of the Amazons, a mythic race of warrior women. Her father, Ares the war god, gave her his magical girdle, a belt that endowed the wearer with superhuman strength. A battle between the Amazons and the Athenians was launched by the Greek hero Herakles in his quest to steal the girdle, one of the twelve labors assigned by Hera. There are several versions of this myth. In one, Herakles takes the girdle and kills Hippolyte. In another, he captures the girdle while his warrior companion, Theseus, carries off Hippolyte’s sister, Antiope. Yet another version has Theseus abducting Hippolyte. The Amazons then invade Athens to rescue their queen but are defeated, an event celebrated in a genre of ancient Greek art called Amazonomachy.