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Origins and Heritage

Paradise Island

The people who inhabit Paradise Island are reincarnated souls of women who were killed by men. The souls were used to create new life by five goddesses, Athena, Aphrodite, Artemis, Demeter, and Hestia. The Amazons were given traits from the goddesses mentioned above. Strength, Beauty, Wisdom, and Love. Hippolyta and Antiope who were both sisters and founded Themyscira. Ares who was an opponent of the Amazons pillaged Paradise Island and enslaved the Amazons, though they escaped. Antiope then led a group of Amazons to go after Hercules, and Hippolyta led the rest on a remote island, renaming it Themyscira, after their island after the pillage successfully executed by Ares.

The Amazons began their new lives, building monuments, buildings and becoming excellent warriors. For many years, they lived in a perfect society with peace, equality and tolerance, though the Lost Tribe of the Amazons weren't thought to be men and were called "policemen" until Diana explored Man's World. They based their life around ancient Greek customs, wearing togas and sandals and warrior armor much like the Greeks during 1200 BCE like armor covering their bodies, shields and helmets. They are also consecrated to religion deeply, worshipping their goddesses and also doing animal sacrifices. New life was created by the Nereides who would send infants washed up upon the shores of Paradise Island, where they were taught the ways of the Amazons and then sent back. Julia Kapatelis is an example of this.

The ancient Greeks tell of the Amazons as a race of women warriors whe who were the daughters of the war - god Ares and his devoted worshippers. But the Greeks were enemies of the Amazons and were often defeated by them in war. When Ares declared his warriors would rule with the sword, the greatest power in the world, Aphrodite replied she could create a race of women who would rule by love. With her own hands, the goddess of love shaped the female figures of clay, and these she brought to life as the Amazon race. Small wonder then, that they refer to each other as "sister" for in a sense they are all daughters of Aphrodite -in exactly the same way Wonder Woman is daughter of Hippolyta.

Stately Plaza

The Amazons were not again defeated until the great heroic age, when the greatest hero was Heracles (or Hercules). This son of Zeus was afflicted with fits of homicidal madness, during one of which he slew his own children. To atone for this, he agreed to serve king Eurystheus of Tiryns, in Argolis. It was in Eurystheus' service that he performed his famous twelve labours. It happened that Hippolyta had become Queen of the Amazons, and, as such, had been given a magic girdle that made her women unconquerable. Admete, daughter of Eurystheus, wanted that belt and Heracles was ordered to obtain it as one of his labors.

The hero gathered a group of mighty men to accompany him, the most notable of whom was his kinsman Theseus. At Themiscyra, Hippolyta welcomed them. She could not give up her girdle, though she liked Hercules and would have helped him. Yet Ares stirred up the Amazons with a rumour that Hercules was carrying off their Queen. They attacked the Greeks, and a number of deaths occurred on both sides before peace was restored - for while she wore the girdle, Hippolyta was unbeatable.

Hercules now resorted to his charm, which had worked on many women. He asked to be allowed to hold the belt, to which Hippolyta foolishly agreed. Once he had it, Hercules and his men quickly overcame the Amazons and carried a number of them off into slavery, Hippolyta and her sister Antiope among them. Some, however, were left behind, including Hippolyta's other sisters Melanippe and Penthesilia.

In Greece, Admete took the girdle and Theseus married Antiope, for the two had fallen in love. Antiope bore him a son named Hippolytus, after his aunt. Hippolyta prayed to Aphrodite who agreed to help her, but decreed that the Amazons must henceforth wear the bracelets that had been their chains, as a folly of submitting to male domination. The enslaved women now broke free, and Hippolyta retrieved her girdle from Admete, and beat Hercules in fair combat. Now the angry Amazons marched on Athens, thinking to liberate Antiope. But during the battle, they were astonished to find themselves opposed by Antiope herself, at the side of her beloved mate. Tragically, she was slain and the Amazons and the Athenians made peace, sealed with a treaty.

Next, Aphrodite ordered the Amazons to take to the sea. They were to sail to a new home far out in the sea, Paradise Island. Those Amazons left behind did not fare well. Deprived of the protection of Aphrodite's girdle, they were no longer unbeatable. Penthesilia, during a stag hunt, accidentally killed another Amazon (possibly Melanippe) and was banished. When the Trojan war had been raging for 9 years, Penthesilia led a troop of Amazons on the side of Troy. They slew many mighty Greeks, and seemed about to wipe them out when Achilles and Ajax, who had been mourning a fallen comrade, heard the din and joined the fray. Ajax preferred to fight the Trojans, but Achilles pitted his strength against the fierce Amazons, cutting down many, including Penthesilia. The hero did honor the fallen queen, both for her beauty and her valor. It is said, though, that this tribe of Amazons survived at least until the time of Alexander the Great, who met the woman who was then his queen.

But Hippolyta's Amazons were safe in their new home, in what is now known as the Bermuda Triangle. Magical mists protected them from discovery by the inhabitants of man's world, as they came to call it. Here, they built a new and peaceful civilization, pursuing the arts and sciences until they had far surpassed the greatest minds of the outer world. Yet they did not neglect their defenses, for they were on guard against invasion at all times, from this planet or another. Those at the observatory were always on watch, and the Amazons kept a standing army and navy on the alert.

The temple of Aphrodite occupied the highest point of the Island. Within Hippolyta's palace was the Magic Sphere, in which one could view the past, present and probable future. Other deities were also worshipped, notably; Pallas Athene, goddess of wisdom and just war; Artemis (Diana) patron of the hunt; and Hera, queen of gods. There was a fountain of eternal youth there, which would only give its gift to Amazons. A variety of Kangaroo was bred here, very large beasts which Amazons favored as steeds instead of horses.

Three other Islands are near the main one. Reform Island (sometimes called Transformation Island), was the Amazon Prison where many female wrongdoers were reformed. Forbidden Island, with its menacing life forms, was where the Amazons obtained the wonderful sun-swords used in their defense. Finally there is an island dedicated to healing where men could set foot without penalty.

The Amazons developed scientific advances not known in Man's World. Two examples of Amazonian scientific developments included the Memory Chair, with its ability to stimulate or erase memories. And Wonder Woman herself invented the Purple Healing Ray, which can, in some cases, even revive the dead.

New Themyscira

During the Our Worlds at War storyline, Themyscira had been destroyed. It was rebuilt and relocated again to the Bermuda Triangle. It was designed by a team of Julia Kapatelis, Martian Manhunter, Steve Trevor, Jean Claude Tibet and Kaleeza Fashed with the help of alien technology. This time, their religion consisted of Greek gods as well as Egyptian ones. Also, the island is governed by both tribes of the Amazons. Hera almost destroyed Themyscira, the islands being unable to lift themselves and they returned to their joined islands once again.

Destruction...Again

Destroyed

When Wonder Woman finds Paradise Island destroyed, she herself becomes hunted and pursued. What will Wonder Woman do when she finds those responsible for destroying everything she loves?

Where no man shall set foot

Throughout the publication history of Paradise Island, a constant of the island is that no man is allowed to set foot there. This has been often poorly defined and the repercussions of doing so have also been poorly defined. In the golden and silver age this took on the form of a plot device specific to an issue or story arc.

Thus man stepping foot on the island might kill him instantly, make all the Amazons lose their powers, evoke the wrath of the gods, or make all the Amazons fall instantly in love with him. With the 1986 reboot this became no longer a punishable offense, rather a rule which the Amazons adhered to after they were betrayed by Heracles. Afterwards men are welcome though not trusted on the island. In the Justice League animated series when men visited the island, the Amazons were shown to have a great level of annoyance, though nothing would happen to either the men or the local inhabitants.

Other media

Wonder Woman

Paradise city

During Wonder Woman animated film, Themyscira is depicted as moon-shaped island located in the Aegean, that was given to Amazons by Hera and Zeus after Queen Hippolyta killed Thrax and defeated Ares in an ancient war. The island is a paradise free of time effects and isolated from humanity, it has large forests an in its center stands the amazon´s city with a huge temple and monuments, its buildings its clearly inspired by Greek.

Blinded by the effects of god of war, the president of United States sends a nuclear missile to destroy the island, but it is stopped by Steve Trevor using the invisible jet.

Videogames

Mortal Kombat vs DC universe

Amazons palace

Themyscira is a fighting arena halfway merged between Wonder Woman's homeland and Shang Tsung's palace in Outworld.

In Wonder Woman ending, she returns and finds three artifacts scattered in the island: Ashrah´s sword, Shinnok´s amulet and a Dragon shield.