One day a ship with Athenian markings sailed into Themiscyra. Hippolyte, as usual, went to greet it, hoping that it would be bringing her fiance back. Instead, she found two great heroes: Theseus of Athens and Heracles. They explained that as part of Heracles' Twelve Labors, King Eurystheus had ordered the hero to obtain Hippolyte's girdle, the symbol of her high rank.

Hippolyte of course refused politely, but to honor her guests, she had artesians start work on a copy. The Greek heroes and their retenue were treated royally: they were given feasts, were challenged to participate in competitions, and were treated with new songs about their fantastic feats.

Theseus thought it all a colossal joke. He was famed for his consideration for other men, but he did not think women were worth the trouble. Heracles, on the other hand, grew enamored of the blonde warrior queen. He had had a mortal wife and children, but had killed them in one of his fits which were sent as a curse by Hera. In Hippolyte Heracles saw beauty, genitility, and a strength that could stand up to Heracles' temper. He set about to woo her.

Hippolyte was flattered by his attention and though she knew she loved Theno, found herself softening bit by bit toward Heracles. Theseus watched and chuckled at the woman's weakness. Then he glimpsed Antiope, freshly arrived form Macedon. Theseus saw her grace through her business-like demeanor and travel-worn clothes, and the contrast to the sedate women of Athens excited him.

Antiope had been on a rare trip away from Amazonia, scouting the lands north of Hellas. A huge war was starting, she reported, with Macedonians massacring smaller tribes. The Amazons would be needed to stop the war before it got any larger. Hippolyte assented, and sent both Oreithyia and Melanippe with a large Amazon force to the area, not knowing that she was repeating a dangerous mistake.

For as soon as they departed, Theseus told the queens that he would like to have a feast in their honor. He arranged a sumptuous banquet and hired many dancers and singers; he also bought rich wines. The night of the feast arrived. Heracles became royally drunk, as was his wont, and even Antiope was a bt tipsy. Hippolyte never drank, for she had trained herself to keep her mind clear at all times. She wondered to herself at Theseus' modest drinking this night, and suspicious, followed him when he left the feasting chamber.

The palace guards had for the most part been lured to drink by Theseus' men, and the Amazons lay in stupors on the palace steps while the Athenians grouped themselves around the palace. Hippolyte summoned Drusilla and sent a message to Thelono for help. Theseus spotted her. Suddenly Heracles came stumbling out of the main chamber, looking for his lost love and shouting her name. With Hippolyte distracted, Theseus crept up behind her and struck with his sword. Hippolyte dodged at the last instant. It missed her heart -- barely -- and she fell against Heracles. Theseus ran to the feast chamber and returned, carrying the unconscious Antiope.

"Run!" he cried to Heracles, and trotted down the palace steps to the docks. Heracles looked down drunkenly at Hipppolyte, whose blood now stained the marble floor, and in an instant of panic, grabbed her girdle and ran after Theseus. The rising shouts of Amazons in the distance hurried after him.

All Amazonia was in confusion! Hera added to the state by disguising herself as an Amazon and spreading a rumor that Hippolyte was dead. In fact Hippolyte was near death; if she had been a true mortal she would have died. Instead she lay bleeding and helpless on the palace steps as a fierce battle took place at the Themiscyra docks.

Taking advantage of the confusion, Theseus managed to cast off with most of his men and his prize: Antiope. That would have been enough for him but Ares came to him disguised as one of his men. The Amazons would be even more confused after they left, he said. Theseus listened to his plan and realized tha the god of war was with him. He agreed to do as Ares said.

Theseus' ships circled the point of land Themiscyra lay on. The men left their ships and came around to the other side of the city. Themiscyra was taken easily and the Amazons bound in chains.

Luckily Thelono, Mala and Drusilla had found Hippolyte and bound her wounds as best they could. Thelono took grease and dirtied her golden hair. When Theseus' soldiers took them, their story that this was just another wounded Amazon went unquestioned.

Ares placed a spell on the Amazons: whenever a man bound them, they were robbed of their strength. Only through this spell could he circumvent Bellona's orignial strength spell and prevent the Amazons from escaping. Ares was furious that Hippolyte's body was not found, but he reassured himself that she had not been seen, and returned to Olympus. Theseus returned to Athens with Antiope after a few months. Heracles was gone, having disappered the night that Amazonia had been taken.



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