The Greeks weren't the only people to write Amazon "histories". Many post-Hellenistic explorers and scholars also told stories about their "encounters" with Amazonian women.
Spanish writer Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo's stories of Queen Califia, her warrior women and her griffins intrigued conquistadors into seeking the elusive land of California. Conquistadors who landed at South America came back with stories. Captain Francisco de Orellana and his men narrowly escaped a violent encounter with Indians in what is modern-day Manaus, Brazil. One crew member named Gaspar de Carvajal noticed one peculiar presence among these Indians:
"We saw women fighting in front of the men as women captains. These women are white and tall, with their hair braided and wound about their heads. They are robust and, with their bows and arrows in their hands, are doing as much fighting as ten men."
It's been said that by the time Orellana and his men came to the mouth of the river and sailed into the Atlantic Ocean, they were convinced that they had encountered the real-life Amazons of Greek legend. Thus the Amazon river was named and Orellana's stories resonated with the public so much, that cartographers added this newfound territory to their maps.
Before Montalvo and Orellana, writers like Niketas Choniates and Jaques de Vitry wrote about women warriors who fought on both sides of the Crusades.
Other Spanish explorers wrote of Amazons in other parts of the world: Columbus was told by the natives about an island (possibly modern-day Martinique) where the population was only female while Cortes was told about a group of Amazons living in a province known as Ciguatan. Juan de Grijalva was also told about Amazons during his 1518 expedition through the Tobasco region of Mexico. Nuno de Guzman had heard of a nation near the sea consisting of "white women worshipped by the natives" with access to untold riches.
German traveller and writer Johann Schiltberger wrote in 1440 about "giant Mongolian Tartar Amazons led by a vengeful princess."
However some scholars believe that the difference between these stories and those of the ancient Greeks, is that the ancient Greeks used the stories of the Amazons to teach Greek society about the consequences of female independence and disobedience to assigned societal roles, whereas the conquistadors and others looked upon the Amazon in sexual fascination and exploratory inspiration.