Sunday, February 9, 2020

W/W: The Women From Lemnos, Apollodorus, Lib. I.IX.17

TRIGGER WARNING: human trafficking, murder, rape

Haec insula tum viris omnibus orbata Hypsipyles Thoantis filiae imperio regebatur, cuius rei causam hanc fuisse legimus. Lemniae mulieres Venerem nihili faciebant, quae ea de causa teterrimum illis graveolentiae virus iniecit. Et viri e Thacia Lemno proxima, abductis captivis mulierculis, cum iis concumbebant. Tum Lemniae quod a coniugibus spernerentur, non modo patres Ipsos, sed et viros, suum quemque iugularunt, una tamen omnium Hypsipyle Thoantem patrem absconditum servavit illaesum. 

--Apollodorus, Bibliothekes I.IX.17,  translated into Latin by Thomas Gale (1675)


The island of Lemnos was ruled by Queen Hypsipyle. At that time, the island was completely free of men, for the following reason:
Because the Lemnian women did not value sex (Venerem nihili faciebant), Venus cursed them with a terrible smell. Their husbands then took captives from nearby Thrace as their concubines to service their needs. Dishonored by their husbands,  the Lemnian women murdered each and every man on the island: not only their husbands, but even their fathers as well. Hypsipyle alone saved her father Thoas by hiding him and keeping him safe.

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