Sunday, February 9, 2020

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

TRIGGER WARNING: human trafficking, murder, rape

One of the first adventures that Jason & the Argonauts had to face was the inhabitants of the island of Lemnos:

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. 

ἔτυχε δὲ ἡ Λῆμνος ἀνδρῶν τότε οὖσα ἔρημος, βασιλευομένη δὲ ὑπὸ Ὑψιπύλης τῆς Θόαντος δι᾽ αἰτίαν τήνδε. αἱ Λήμνιαι τὴν Ἀφροδίτην οὐκ ἐτίμων: ἡ δὲ αὐταῖς ἐμβάλλει δυσοσμίαν, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο οἱ γήμαντες αὐτὰς ἐκ τῆς πλησίον Θρᾴκης λαβόντες αἰχμαλωτίδας συνευνάζοντο αὐταῖς. ἀτιμαζόμεναι δὲ αἱ Λήμνιαι τούς τε πατέρας καὶ τοὺς ἄνδρας φονεύουσι: μόνη δὲ ἔσωσεν Ὑψιπύλη τὸν ἑαυτῆς πατέρα κρύψασα Θόαντα

--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.

Date:  1st – 2nd c. CE
Works:  Bibliotheca

Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans

 The Bibliotheca is a collection of Greek myths written between the 1st and 2nd century CE. Although originally thought to be written by the Athenian author Apollodorus (2nd c. BCE), it is now thought to be an epitome of a larger work written centuries later.
ARCHAIC: (through 6th c. BCE); GOLDEN AGE: (5th - 4th c. BCE); ALEXANDRIAN: (4th c. BCE - 1st c. BCE); ROMAN: (1st c. BCE - 4th c. CE); POST CONSTANTINOPLE: (4th c. CE - 8th c. CE); BYZANTINE: (post 8th c CE)