Amage – 2nd Century BCE – Scythia

Ancient Scythia


Queen Amage was fed up.

Her husband, the Samaritan king Medosaccus, was a lazy, useless ruler. He was more interested in spending their money than running his kingdom on the coast of the Black Sea. So Amage took over.

She headed the government, exercised judgment in legal matters and involved herself in the defense of her Kingdom.

Queen Amage wasScythia-Parthia_100_BC so successful in her leadership that she was famous throughout Scythia (modern day Eastern Europe and central Asia). So famous was her strong army and powerful reach, that the Chersonese people (whose territory covered parts of modern day Russia and Ukraine) appealed to her for assistance.

The Chersonese were being harassed by the Crimean Scythian king and hoped that Amage would intervene on their behalf. The queen wrote to the Scythian prince, politely asking him to leave the people of Chersonesus alone.

When the prince refused and insulted the queen, Amage gathered one hundred and twenty of her best warriors and marched against the Scythian prince. She provided each of her warriors with three horses, meaning that they were able to cover a vast amount of land very quickly and took the palace by surprise.

Taken off guard, the inhabitants of the palace and the palace guard were all killed. Amage insisted on kilingl the prince personally.

A just ruler (by the standards of the time, anyway) Amage allowed the prince’s son to live and rule the kingdom on the condition that he not repeat his father’s mistakes.


Polyaenus: Stratagems – Book 8, Chapters 26-71, chapter 56. Translation by Andrew Smith, Adapted from the translation by R.Shepherd (1793)

The Role of Women in the Altaic World, edited by Veronika Veit, 2007, p.261

The Amage Story Studies in the History and Language of the Sarmatians – J. Harmatta

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Image sources:

Scythia-Parthia 100 BC” by Dbachmann. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons