WOMEN’S POWER!

          1c1c531d53e142e99c43857f575d7254Tomyris, or Queen Tomiri, was a Massagetean ruler who reigned over the Massagetae, a Scythianpastoral-nomadic confederation of Central Asia east of the Caspian Sea, in parts of modern-day TurkmenistanAfghanistan, western Uzbekistan, and southern Kazakhstan. Tomyris led her armies to defend against an attack by Cyrus the Great of the Achaemenid Empire, and defeated and killed him in 530 BC (although this is debatable since Herodotus mentions that this was only one of many stories relating Cyrus the Great’s death).

According to the accounts of Greek historians, Cyrus was victorious in his initial assault on the Massagetae. His advisers suggested laying a trap for the pursuing Scythians: the Persians left behind them an apparently abandoned camp, containing a rich supply of wine. The pastoral Scythians were not used to drinking wine—”their favored intoxicants were hashish and fermented mare’s milk”—and they drank themselves into a stupor. The Persians attacked while their opponents were incapacitated, defeating the Massagetae forces, and capturing Tomyris’ son, Spargapises, the general of her army. Of the one third of the Massagetae forces that fought, there were more captured than killed. According to Herodotus, Spargagises coaxed Cyrus into removing his bonds, thus allowing him to commit suicide while in Persian captivity.

Tomyris sent a message to Cyrus denouncing his treachery, and with all her forces, images challenged him to a second battle. In the fight that ensued, the Massagetae got the upper hand, and the Persians were defeated with high casualties. According to Herodotus, Cyrus was killed and Tomyris had his corpse beheaded and then crucified, and shoved his head into a wineskin filled with human blood. She was reportedly quoted as saying, “I warned you that I would quench your thirst for blood, and so I shall”

       DO YOU JUSTIFY SUCH KILLING?

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