An Irish law from the year 697 forbids women to be soldiers–which means that women had been soldiers previously. People who over the centuries have recruited female soldiers include Arabs, Berbers, Kurds, Rajputs, Chinese, Filipinos, Maoris, Papuans, Micronesians, and American Indians. There is a wealth of legend about fearsome female warriors from ancient Greece. These tales speak of women who were trained in the art of war from childhood–in the use of weapons, and how to cope with physical privation. They lived apart from the men and went to war in their own regiments. The tales tell us that they conquered men on the field of battle. amazons occur in Greek literature in the Iliad of Homer, for example, in 600 BC. It was the Greeks who coined the term “Amazon.” The world literally means “without breasts.” It is said that in order to facilitate the drawing of a bow, the female’s right breast was removed, either in early childhood or with red-hot iron after she became an adult. Even though the Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen are said to have agreed that this operation would enhance the ability to use weapons, it is doubtful whether such operations were actually performed. Herein lies a linguistic riddle–whether the prefix “a-” in their language does indeed mean “without.” It has been suggested that it means the opposite–that an Amazon was a woman with especially large breasts. Nor is there a single example in any museum of a drawing, amulet, or statue of a woman without her right breast, which should have been common motif had the legend about breasts amputation been based on facts.