History is rife with tales of fighting women. More often than not, these stories prove more legend than history. Dating back to the amazons of ancient Asia Minor, myths of fierce, autonomous women of martial excellence abound. And yet, the only thoroughly documented amazons in world history are the women warriors of Dahomy, an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Western African kingdom.
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History is rife with tales of fighting women. More often than not, these stories prove more legend than history. Dating back to the amazons of ancient Asia Minor, myths of fierce, autonomous women of martial excellence abound.
And yet, the only thoroughly documented amazons in world history are the women warriors of Dahomy, an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Western African kingdom.
Once dubbed a "small black Sparta," residents of Dahomy shared with the Spartans an intense militarism and sense of collectivism. Moreover, the women of both kingdoms prided themselves on bodies hardened from childhood by rigorous physical exercise. But Spartan women kept in shape to breed male warriors, Dahomean amazons to kill them. Originally a praetorian guard, the Dahomeans developed into a force 6, strong and were granted semi-sacred status.
They lusted for battle, fighting with fury and valor until the kingdom's final defeat by France in Stanley B. Alpern has chronicled this remarkable history in depth for the first time. The product of meticulous archival research, Amazons of Black Sparta is defined by Alpern's gift for narrative and will stand as the most comprehensive and accessible account of the woman warriors of Dahomy. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Read more Read less. No customer reviews. How does Amazon calculate star ratings? The machine learned model takes into account factors including: the age of a review, helpfulness votes by customers and whether the reviews are from verified purchases.
Review this product Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. Verified Purchase. I ordered this book to deepen my research on the Amazons of the ancient African kingdom known as Dahomey.
My earlier research barely scratched the surface of what this book reveals, and offers a look inside the lives of these women through the eyes of men who had traveled through Dahomey as well as some oral traditions passed down through generations. These women were fierce: strong, merciless, and according to the sources, stronger and braver than the men! While some of the terms used may feel offensive to a modern day woman, the reader must keep in mind that the sources quoted are white men that lived in the 18thth centuries.
Their views are prejudiced as well as sexist, but one must make allowances for the time in which these men existed. Most of them, while prejudiced, had to admit even grudgingly that these women were a force to be reckoned with.
Some even called them 'beautiful' and awe-inspiring. I definitely gleaned more than enough from this book for my research and have become inspired by the strength of these women and the mark they made on history. History in High School has lied to us about us. I was expecting a much more insightful, engaging read than it is. It was a compilation of comments from people who observed these women without much real depth.
This was an interesting historical book about an obscure group of fiercely proud African women warriors. It has convinced me that the "myth" of "Amazon" warriors is not really a myth at all. Go to Amazon. Back to top. Get to Know Us. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. DPReview Digital Photography.
It is noon on a humid Saturday in the fall of , and a missionary by the name of Francesco Borghero has been summoned to a parade ground in Abomey , the capital of the small West African state of Dahomey. The maneuvers begin in the face of a looming downpour, but King Glele is eager to show off the finest unit in his army to his European guest. As Father Borghero fans himself, 3, heavily armed soldiers march into the square and begin a mock assault on a series of defenses designed to represent an enemy capital. The Dahomean troops are a fearsome sight, barefoot and bristling with clubs and knives.
Dahomey’s Women Warriors
Stanley Bernard Alpern. History is rife with tales of fighting women. More often than not, these stories prove more legend than history. Dating back to the Amazons of ancient Asia Minor, myths of fierce, autonomous women of martial excellence abound. And yet, the only thoroughly documented Amazons in world history are the women warriors of Dahomey, an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Western African kingdom.