Title: De Amazonibus Dissertatio.
Publication: Amstelodami [Amsterdam]: apud Johannem Wolters et Ysbrandum Haringa, 1687
Description: 12mo. pp. , 398,  + 1 folding map of the Mediterranean. Engraved titlepage with portrait of amazon, numerous small engravings of amazons or ancient coins and medals portraying amazons or their weapons. Engraved title a little dusty at margins, small hole (paper flaw) to outer blank margin of title, slight yellowing. Contermpoary Netherlandish vellum, yapp edges, title inked to spine. Modern bookplate of Robert J. Hayhurst to front pastedown.
A very good, clean copy of the second edition of this curious treatise on the existence of Amazons, first published in 1685 by the French physician Pierre Petit (b. 1617). The first scholarly work entirely devoted to a subject which had elicited the interest of the likes of Thévet and Mercuriale, it boasts a painstaking amount of information on all accessible evidence and observations from ancient and more recent sources. It discusses the nature of the Amazons' commonwealth, suggested identifications (e.g., with Scythian women), their territories and religion, the custom that Amazons should have their right-hand breast removed, and so on. The engraved statues, coins and medals provide a novel comparative stance of the iconography of Amazons - although some of the items portrayed were actually antique-style fakes. The work also features fascinating debates on the nature of men and women.
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