The Amazon Penthesilea killed by Achilles (a love story). Athenian Cup from Vulci, around 460 BC
Munich / Germany, Antikensammlungen 2688. Penthesilea in a Greek dress (due to her emotional bond with Achilles), while the other Amazon is shown with a non-Greek dress.


In Greek mythology, Penthesilea (also spelled "Penthesilia") was an Amazonian queen, daughter of Ares and Otrera, sister of Hippolyte. Penthesilea killed Hippolyte with a spear when they were hunting deer. According to many accounts, this accident caused Penthesilea so much grief that she wished only to die, but, as a warrior and an Amazon, she must do so honorably and in battle. She therefore was easily convinced to join in the Trojan War, fighting on the side of the city's defenders.

Penthesilea offering aid to Priam

She is said to have been killed by Achilles (or vice-versa, in rarer accounts) in battle. After her death, Achilles found himself awe-struck by her beauty, and when one of the Greek soldiers, Thersites, laughed at him for this, Achilles killed him. After that, more Greeks wanted Achilles to throw Penthesilea's remains into a river, and he eventually had to give way.

Diomedes, the relative of Thersites, in revenge for his death, dragged the dead body of the Amazon out of the camp, and threw it into the Scamander. Other accounts say that Achilles buried it on the banks of the Xanthus (Tzetz. ad Lyc.997).

Alongside Penthesilea were twelve other Amazons, including Antibrote, Ainia, and Cleite, who was going to go to Troy with them but never made it.

She was succeeded as Queen of the Amazons by Antianara.

Pausanias describes a painting of Penthesilea at Olympia (Paus. 5.11.6) and as part of the the painting of Polygnotus in the Lesche of the Cnidians in Delphi (Paus. 10.31.8).

Achilles and Penthesilea, BM B209

Death of Penthesilea, J. H. Tischbein

Detail Penthesilea in Battle of the Amazons Anselm Feuerbach. Agains the tradition Feuerbach shows Penthesilea with the right breast exposed.

Penthesilea, Ernst Wenck


Terracotta votive shield. Achilleus and Penthesileia, Tiryns around 7th century B.C. Archaeological Museum of Nauplion

Ainia | Anaea | Anaxilea | Cleite | Hippolyte (Penthesilea) | Melanippe | Otrera | Pantariste | Thebe |

Amazons of Andromache
Alcinoe | Alkaia | Androdameia | Andromeda | Antimache | Areximacha | Kleoptoleme | Kydoime | Lykopis | Okypous | Pisto | Scyleia | Teisipyte | Telepyleia | Thraso | Toxaris | Toxis | Toxophile |

Amazons of Antianara

Amazons of Hipp

Amazons of Hippolyte
Aello | Ainippe | Alcippe | Asteria | Celaneo | Deianeira | Eriobea | Eurybe | Hypsipyle | Iphito | Marpe | Philippis | Phoebe | Prothoe | Tecmessa | Areto |

Amazons of Lysippe

Amazons of Marpesia

Amazons of Oreithyia (daughter of Marpesia) and Antiope, Attic War Amazons
Amynomene | Androdameia | Antianeira | Antiopeia | Aristomache | Clyemne | Deinomache | Doris | Echephyle | Eumache | Euryleia | Hippomache | Kreousa | Laodoke | Melousa | Mimnousa | Molpadia | Okyale | Pyrgomache | Xanthippe |

Amazons of Penthesilea, Quintus Smyrnaeus's Posthomerica (book i)
Clonie | Polemusa | Derinoe | Evandre | Antandre | Bremusa | Hippothoe | Harmothoe | Alcibie | Derimacheia | Antibrote | Thermodosa

Amazons of Thalestris

Amazons of Valasca

Mythology Images

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