Queen of the Massagetae Who Defeated Cyrus II

This week, Sara brings us the ancient warrior queen Tomyris! In 500 BCE Cyrus II conquers much of Asia to form the first Persian Empire, but his ego and greed are insatiable, and eventually he crosses swords with the wrong Queen; Tomyris and her fierce, nomadic horse warriors face off their attacker in a blaze of glory and sorrow to take revenge on the biggest bully in the world.

“You bloodthirsty Cyrus, pride not yourself on this poor success: it was the grape-juice—which, when you drink it, makes you so mad, and as you swallow it down brings up to your lips such bold and wicked words—it was this poison by which you ensnared my child, and so overcame him, not in fair open fight. Now hear what I advise, and be sure I advise you for your good. Restore my son to me and get you from the land unharmed, triumphant over a third part of the host of the Massagetai. Refuse, and I swear by the sun, the sovereign lord of the Massagetai, bloodthirsty as you are, I will give you your fill of blood.”

Tomyris (via Herodotus' account)

“I live and have conquered you in fight, and yet by you am I ruined, for you took my son with guile; but thus I make good my threat, and give you your fill of blood.”

Tomyris (via Herodotus' account)

The Renaissance Renditions of Tomyris