One of the more intriguing stories in our historical traditions on Alexander the Great is the king's alleged sexual encounter with an Amazonian queen. The historicity of this tale was doubted even in antiquity and in modern times is often dismissed, understandably enough, as plain silly; for instance, in a recent paper, Elizabeth Carney facetiously remarks, 'we are not . . .really tempted to believe that Alexander got chummy with any Amazons!' Carney's essay addresses two prominent themes in the Alexander traditions: the series of exchanges between Alexander and Parmenion, and the occasions when the Macedonian king shut himself away in his tent to sulk like Achilles. She explores the complex relationship between fact, reported fact, and literary embellishment, and clearly for Carney the Amazon tale represents a polar end of the spectrum, which can be safely classified as 'fiction'. But what is often passed over is why the Amazons should feature in the historical accounts of Alexander at all, and, equally, why they are as well represented as they are and at different times during the king's reign. The Amazons appear, in one context or another, in all our main Alexander sources, from the Alexander Romance (where one might most likely expect to find them) to the sober Arrian. The sole exception is the Metz Epitome-and here we cannot be completely sure that they were not in the original text, but were mentioned just before the point where our extant text begins, or were edited out in some stage of the epitome's compilation.