A demigod, Hippolyta was mostly famous for her magical belt (or girdle in some cases), which was given to her by her father, Ares, the god of war. The belt greatly increased Hippolyta's physical strength and prowess in battle, and served as a symbol of her authority as queen. The hero Hercules was sent to retrieve Hippolyta's belt for his ninth labor. Upon his arrival, Hippolyta received Hercules warmly, and upon hearing his request to take her belt, she agreed to give it to him. Hera, however, was not pleased that Hercules could accomplish yet another task so easily and came down from Olympus, disguised as one of the Amazons, crying that Hercules wanted to kidnap their queen. The Amazons then charged toward Hercules' ship to save Hippolyta. Hercules, fearing that she had betrayed him, killed Hippolyta and took her belt, escaping from the raging Amazons.
Before her death, Hippolyta had a son named Hippolytus by Theseus, king of Athens. His father killed him under the false assumption that Hippolytus assaulted his current wife Phaidra because of Aphrodite who sought to punish both of them for Hippolytus' aromantic asexuality. After being revived by Asclepius' Physician's Cure, Hippolytus joined the Hunters of Artemis.
- In some versions of the myths, Hippolyta is also a legacy of Ares through her mother, Otrera, who was also a daughter of Ares.
- William Shakespeare's comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, is about Hippolyta's relationship with Theseus.