Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Punished, then Rewarded, for his Asexuality: Hippolytus' Tale in Vat. Myth. II.151

Trigger Warning: false rape accusation, suicide

Theseus, Egei et Etre filius, mortua Hippolite, Phaedram Minois et Pasiphae filiam superduxit Hippolito, qui cum de stupro illam interpellantem contempsisset, ab illa falso accusatus est apud patrem quod vim et voluisset inferre. Theseus autem Egeum patrem tunc marinum deum rogavit ut se ulcisceretur, qui agitanti currus Hippolito immisit focam in littore, qua equi territi eum curru proiectum discerpserunt. Sed Hippolito interempto Phaedra amoris impatientia laqueo vitam finivit. Diana autem castitate Hipppoliti commota revocavit eum in vitam per Aesculapium filium Apollonis et Coronidis filiae Phlegie natum exsecto matris ventre. ..Sed Diana Hippolitum revocatum ab inferis in Aricia nyphae commendavit Egerie et eum “Virbium quasi bis virum iussit vocari. Sed haec fabulosa sunt, nam hic cum castus ubique introductus sit et solus semper habitaverat, habuisse tamen filium dicitur. ... Variantur autem a poetis fabulae, nam Virgilius perhibet Hippolitum ab inferis esse revocatum, Horatius econtra: neque enim Diana pudicum Liberat Hippolitum (Horace, Odes IV.7.25)


--Vatican Mythographers II.151

After [Hippolytus' Amazon mother] Hippolyta died, Theseus put [his son] Hippolytus in the care of [his new wife] Phaedra. When Hippolytus rejected Phaedra’s sexual advances, she falsely accused him of rape. Theseus beseeched his own father Egeus (at that time a sea god)* for vengeance, who sent a seal [sea monster?] into Hippolytus’ path as he was driving his chariot on the shore. This terrified Hippolytus' horses; and after he was ejected from his chariot, he was trampled to death.  

Once Hippolytus was killed, Phaedra could not longer endure her love [for him] and hanged herself.

Moved by Hippolytus’ chastity, Diana brought him back to life with the help of Asclepius, (a man born via C-section)…

Once he was brought back to life, Diana put him into the care of the nymph Egeria in Aricia. She ordered him to be renamed “Virbius” [“twice-a man,” i.e., “reborn”].

But the following is nonsense: although Hippolytus is always depicted as chaste and always lives alone, he nevertheless is generally thought to have a son.

There are some variations of this myth: in Virgil’s version, Hippolytus was allowed to come back from the dead, but Horace says the opposite: “Diana couldn’t free the chaste Hippolytus [from death].”

* Theseus canonically has one mother (Aethra) and two fathers: a human father Egeus and a godly father Neptune. This myth conflates both parents. 

VATICAN MYTHOGRAPHERS

MAP:

Name:  ???

Date:  10th c. CE (?)

Works:  Mythographi Vaticani*

 

REGION  UNKNOWN

Map of Roman Empire Divided into Regions


BIO:

Timeline:

Little is known about the author or origin of the collection of myths known as the Vatican Mythographers, but the work’s first editor Angelo Mai found the collection on a manuscript dating back to the 10th century CE. This volume is a collection of three different mythographers who have assembled various Greco-Roman myths; although many of these myths are basic summaries in Latin, some of them are either analyzed as allegories or compared to Christian thought. 

 LATE LATIN (10th c. CE ?)

Timeline of Roman Literature with "Byzantine  / Late Latin" era highlighted


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