Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey

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9781849041089: Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey

Amazons of Black Sparta The only thoroughly documented Amazons in world history are the women warriors of Dahomey, an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Western African kingdom. Once dubbed a 'small black Sparta, ' residents of Dahomey shared with the Spartans an intense militarism and sense of collectivism. Moreover, the women of both kingdoms prided themselves on bodies hardened from childhood by rigorous physical exer... Full description

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Présentation de l'éditeur :

History is rife with tales of fighting women. More often than not, these stories prove more legend than history. Dating back to the Amazons of ancient Asia Minor, myths of fierce, autonomous women of martial excellence abound. The only thoroughly documented amazons in world history are those who fought for the West African kingdom of Dahomey in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Yet no book had appeared about them in English until Stanley Alpern filled that surprising and deplorable gap with Amazons of Black Sparta, a fact-filled narrative. Originally palace guards, the Dahomean amazons evolved into royal bodyguards and, by the 1760s or 70s, into professional troops armed mainly with muskets, machetes and clubs. Theoretically wives of the king and quartered in his palaces, they were sworn to celibacy. In compensation they enjoyed a semi-sacred status and numerous privileges, including their own slaves. In the 1840s, the number of amazons swelled from hundreds to as many as 6,000 as Dahomey sought to offset a huge manpower advantage held by its chief trading rivals, the Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria. Under Gezo, Dahomey s greatest king (1818-58), the previously topless women warriors were dressed in uniforms and became the frontline shock troops of the army, a role they would perform with distinction until the kingdom's final defeat by France in 1892. They served in their own units under their own women officers, with their own marching bands, flags and insignia. Intensively trained, they outdrilled, outshot and outfought their more numerous male comrades. Renowned for their ferocity and fearlessness, they terrified neighboring peoples, and proved the martial potential of women in general. The product of meticulous archival research, Amazons of Black Sparta is defined by Alpern's gift for narrative and will stand as the most comprehensive and accessible account of the woman warriors of Dahomey.

Revue de presse :

'...and today they [the Amazons] exist as no more than footnotes to history. Only one scholarly work has been written about these women, Amazons of Black Sparta by Stanley B. Alpern.' --Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

'Alpern does very well in assembling most of the evidence about these intimidating women whose courage impressed even the Foreign Legion. He produces a very detailed picture from a wide variety of European and African sources. He provides a readable narrative of Dahoman military history from the state's origins to its defeat by France in 1892, as well as providing a mass of information on what these women wore, ate and sang, how they were recruited, trained and mobilised.' --The Times

Alpern has written an impressively comprehensive study covering all aspects of this extraordinary military force - he describes them in fascinating detail - Altogether he has made an important scholarly contribution to the history of nineteenth-century West Africa in which the Amazon achievement has until now been scarcely mentioned.' --Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History

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Stanley B. Alpern
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Stanley B. Alpern
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Description du livre C Hurst Co Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. État : New. 2nd. 212 x 134 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. History is rife with tales of fighting women. More often than not, these stories prove more legend than history. Dating back to the Amazons of ancient Asia Minor, myths of fierce, autonomous women of martial excellence abound. And yet, the only thoroughly documented Amazons in world history are the women warriors of Dahomey, an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Western African kingdom. Once dubbed a small black Sparta, residents of Dahomey shared with the Spartans an intense militarism and sense of collectivism. Moreover, the women of both kingdoms prided themselves on bodies hardened from childhood by rigorous physical exercise. But Spartan women kept in shape to breed male warriors, Dahomean Amazons to kill them. Originally palace guards, the Amazons had evolved by the 1760s into professional troops armed mainly with muskets, machetes and clubs. Theoretically wives of the king and quartered in his palaces, they were sworn to celibacy on pain of death. In compensation they enjoyed a semi-sacred status and numerous privileges, including the right to own slaves. By the 1840s their numbers had grown to 6,000. The Amazons served under female officers and had their own bands, flags and insignia: they outdrilled, outshot and outfought men, became frontline troops and fought tenaciously and with great valour till the kingdom s defeat by France in 1892. The product of meticulous archival research, Amazons of Black Sparta is defined by Alpern s gift for narrative and will stand as the most comprehensive and accessible account of the woman warriors of Dahomey. N° de réf. du libraire AA79781849041089

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Stanley B. Alpern
Edité par C Hurst Co Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom (2011)
ISBN 10 : 1849041083 ISBN 13 : 9781849041089
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Description du livre C Hurst Co Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. État : New. 2nd. 212 x 134 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. History is rife with tales of fighting women. More often than not, these stories prove more legend than history. Dating back to the Amazons of ancient Asia Minor, myths of fierce, autonomous women of martial excellence abound. And yet, the only thoroughly documented Amazons in world history are the women warriors of Dahomey, an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Western African kingdom. Once dubbed a small black Sparta, residents of Dahomey shared with the Spartans an intense militarism and sense of collectivism. Moreover, the women of both kingdoms prided themselves on bodies hardened from childhood by rigorous physical exercise. But Spartan women kept in shape to breed male warriors, Dahomean Amazons to kill them. Originally palace guards, the Amazons had evolved by the 1760s into professional troops armed mainly with muskets, machetes and clubs. Theoretically wives of the king and quartered in his palaces, they were sworn to celibacy on pain of death. In compensation they enjoyed a semi-sacred status and numerous privileges, including the right to own slaves. By the 1840s their numbers had grown to 6,000. The Amazons served under female officers and had their own bands, flags and insignia: they outdrilled, outshot and outfought men, became frontline troops and fought tenaciously and with great valour till the kingdom s defeat by France in 1892. The product of meticulous archival research, Amazons of Black Sparta is defined by Alpern s gift for narrative and will stand as the most comprehensive and accessible account of the woman warriors of Dahomey. N° de réf. du libraire AA79781849041089

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Description du livre C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd. Paperback. État : new. BRAND NEW, Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey (2nd), Stanley B. Alpern, History is rife with tales of fighting women. More often than not, these stories prove more legend than history. Dating back to the Amazons of ancient Asia Minor, myths of fierce, autonomous women of martial excellence abound. And yet, the only thoroughly documented Amazons in world history are the women warriors of Dahomey, an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Western African kingdom. Once dubbed a "small black Sparta," residents of Dahomey shared with the Spartans an intense militarism and sense of collectivism. Moreover, the women of both kingdoms prided themselves on bodies hardened from childhood by rigorous physical exercise. But Spartan women kept in shape to breed male warriors, Dahomean Amazons to kill them. Originally palace guards, the Amazons had evolved by the 1760s into professional troops armed mainly with muskets, machetes and clubs. Theoretically wives of the king and quartered in his palaces, they were sworn to celibacy on pain of death. In compensation they enjoyed a semi-sacred status and numerous privileges, including the right to own slaves. By the 1840s their numbers had grown to 6,000. The Amazons served under female officers and had their own bands, flags and insignia: they outdrilled, outshot and outfought men, became frontline troops and fought tenaciously and with great valour till the kingdom's defeat by France in 1892. The product of meticulous archival research, Amazons of Black Sparta is defined by Alpern's gift for narrative and will stand as the most comprehensive and accessible account of the woman warriors of Dahomey. N° de réf. du libraire B9781849041089

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Description du livre Paperback. État : New. Not Signed; History is rife with tales of fighting women. More often than not, these stories prove more legend than history. Dating back to the Amazons of ancient Asia Minor, myths of fierce, autonomous women of martial excellence abound. And yet, the only thoroughly documented Amazons in world history are the. book. N° de réf. du libraire ria9781849041089_rkm

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Description du livre Hurst & Co., 2011. État : New. 2011. 2nd. Paperback. This volume examines the "Amazons", whose existence has been verified via documents and eye-witness accounts from battles for the West African kingdom of Dahomey in the 18th and 19th centuries. Num Pages: 304 pages, Illustrations, maps, ports. BIC Classification: 1HFDB; 3JF; 3JH; HBJH; HBLL; JFSJ1. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 215 x 141 x 18. Weight in Grams: 390. . . . . . . N° de réf. du libraire V9781849041089

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Description du livre Hurst & Co. État : New. 2011. 2nd. Paperback. This volume examines the "Amazons", whose existence has been verified via documents and eye-witness accounts from battles for the West African kingdom of Dahomey in the 18th and 19th centuries. Num Pages: 304 pages, Illustrations, maps, ports. BIC Classification: 1HFDB; 3JF; 3JH; HBJH; HBLL; JFSJ1. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 215 x 141 x 18. Weight in Grams: 390. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. N° de réf. du libraire V9781849041089

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Description du livre C Hurst and Co Publishers Ltd, 2011. PAP. État : New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. N° de réf. du libraire GB-9781849041089

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Description du livre CHRIS HURST, 2011. Paperback. État : Brand New. 304 pages. 8.35x5.28x0.87 inches. In Stock. N° de réf. du libraire __1849041083

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