270px-Amazon trousers BM VaseB673

" Of the Stampeding Horse," or "She Who Unleashes the Horses". Sister of Antiope and Penthesilea.

The most famous of Amazon queens, Hippolyta is best known for possesing a magical girdle, given to her by her father Ares, that Heracles needed to complete his twelve labors.

Heracles was received warmly by the queen and her tribe and Hippolyta was more than willing to give him the girdle, possibly because she was impressed by his strength and because he was going to give it to the war priestess Admete, but Hera, who hated Heracles, disguised herself as an Amazon and spread word that Heracles was plotting to kidnap the queen. The Amazons retaliated and Heracles came to believe that Hippolyta had betrayed him. He raped Hippolyta, then killed her, ripped the girdle from her body, then jumped ship. He also killed Celaeno, another Amazon. Another version says that Hippolyta refused to give up the girdle and declared war on Heracles. In battle, Hippolyta's horse threw her to the ground and Heracles offered her mercy but the proud warrior queen refused to give in. Heracles then bashed her in the head.

A completely different story has Hippolyta married to King Theseus with a son, though many believe that her sister Antiope actually married Theseus. Another tale says that Hippolyta never encountered Theseus or Heracles but may have been seen by the Argonauts on their famous voyage.