Aphrodite was outraged! If she weren't so angry, she might have been fearful of the power Bellona had to display in order to counter Aphrodite's spell. Instead, her temper brought her screaming to Zeus' throne. Ares and Hera were quick to join her in her condemnations of Bellona.

Zeus considered the matter thoroughly. The three were the most powerful gods next to him -- and perhaps Bellona -- all demanding that Bellona be punished for (he saw through their arguments) being a threat to their power. Zeus sighed.

In Amazonia Bellona and Anteros oversaw the men's first meeting with the Amazons. They chortled heartily as the short-memoried men cursed Aphrodite and her "gifts." Zeus handed down his judgement: that Bellona had to serve as queen of the new nation and bring it to order. The Amazonian men were somewhat mollified, and perhaps just a little afraid.

Bellona had many ideas for her new nation, but her attention was not focused on it. She was a goddess in love and wanted to spend her time with that love. But she also busied herself setting up a new Amazonia. She formed an army composed of both men and the super-women. The strongest Amazon women, Thelono, Mala and Medusa, became her chief generals under Oreithyia and Melanippe. Antiope was her chief advisor. Bellona also had a personal messenger, Drusilla.

But General Medusa coveted Hippolyte's crown. Most of the men of Amazonia distrusted the Amazons and refused to associate with such strange women. A few harpies resented the Amazons' growing influence in their region. It was not hard for Medusa to find followers among these groups, but among the Amazons she could find only a few to follow her, Amazons whose strength of nature had grown too strong.

When Melanippe chose a fourth of the Amazonian forces to go with her to help out in a war in Hyrkania and Bellona's attention was elsewhere as usual, Medusa struck. Harpies, male Amazonians, Amazons and mercenaries from Hellas attacked the Amazons. Despite their strength, the Amazons were sorely outnumbered. But when Bellona discovered the revolt, she ran to the front lines and led the battle like the goddess she was. The cry went up: "For Hippolyte!" and the Amazons took to the battle as if they were fresh. The rebels fell back and back until Bellona held a whimpering Medusa by the hair above the heads of the Amazons.

The sky grew darker as Bellona asked her loyal Amazons, "What shall we do with her?" The goddess was troubled; she had loved Medusa like a daughter, and Medusa had betrayed her. Bellona saw Medusa's promise behind her treachery and was loathe to punish her too harshly.

The deciion was taken out of her hands. Ares appeared over the battlefield. "Bah!" he shouted. "Incompetents, all of them!" He waved his hands and instead of Medusa's hair, Hippolyte found herslef holding vipers; Ares had made Medusa the image of her namesake. A harsh west wind blew, blasting sand in the faces of the Amazons. When it died down and they could see again, the entire rebel force had vanished.* Hippolyte wept, for she saw that her father lay behind much of Medusa's hatred.

Green Lantern #82 But in addition to this, the sky darkened suddenly. A roll of thunder seemed to form into speech. "Bellona, daughter of Ares," it boomed, "I left you to rule this country and you have failed to hold it together. You must be punished. Be thou as mortal as these women hereafter!" A bolt of lightning crashed down upn the surprised goddess, leaving an unarmored Amazon in her place.

Oh, how Bellona cursed the Olympians! Anteros and Bellona's sisters appealed to Zeus to change his mind... to no avail. With heavy hearts, they returned to Amazonia.

Bellona, however, was making the best of her situation. And Bellona changed her name to befit her new status as a mortal. Since she dealt with women warriors, she chose a name to honor the most famous woman warrior of all time: Medusa, whose name Bellona's general had also chosen, and to show her own failure as well. Legend had it that Medusa -- and all Amazons -- had magic horse blood in their veins, else how had Medusa's blood turned her spirit into Pegasus when Perseus killed her?

"I shall never become a horse if I die," Bellona declared. "But I will rule these woman-horses while I live. I shall become the Horse Commander, the Horse Rider: Hippolyte." Thus it was that Hippolyte became an Amazon among Amazons.

With the horse their symbol and the newest war goddess in the heavens, the wise Athene, their protector, the Amazons built up their nation, pausing only to help other nations who were beseiged and helpless. Hippolyte was their war queen, while practical Antiope was queen of domestic affairs. A capital city was built, Themiscyra, on the Thermodon River. Though they were on the Black Sea, the Amazons never perfected the art of sailing, preferring their native mastery of horses for transportation.

The saddened coutnry set about trying to make a new start. Men came from other countries to see the strange women and sometimes to court them. The Argonauts almost landed at Themiscyra, but did not want to bother whom they thought to be violent women. One who had been rejected from the Argo's crew, Atalanta, visited Amazonia for a time to compete against the Amazons in games. There were minor wars.

Amazonia thrived, and Anteros watched in fascination. He had been taught that mortals were inferior to the gods, but Hippolyte seemed to be disproving that. With a great deal of courage and no little amount of apprehension, Anteros requested of Zeus that he, too, be tranformed into a mortal so he could live among the Amazonians. His wish was granted, and in Amazonia he was a great favorite. He was even adopted at a neighboring court in the kingdom of the harpies, a colony of the Ionian harpies. He was "Prince Theno" now, and he started to make arrangements with Hippolyte to be married.

A messenger arrived in Amazonia from Greece. He informed the queens and Theno that the Delphic Oracle had declared that Hippoyte might one day regain her godhood. The Amazons rejoiced; but when, they wondered, would that happen to their beloved queen? Theno announced that he would journey to Delphi and seek more information. The marriage would take place when he came back.

But Theno never returned.



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