Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Can I Forgive Him? The Afterlife of Hippolytus, Pausanias, Desc. Graec. II.xxvii.4

TRIGGER WARNING: murder, rejection of/by family 

Seorsum est ab aliis antiqua pila. In ea incisum, dicasse Aesculapio Hippolytum equos XX.  Huius pilae inscriptioni consentanea Aricini dicunt, discerptum ob Thesei imprecationes Hippolytu, in vitam ab Aesculapio revocatum: neque postea patri unquam ignoscere voluisse*; verum omni eius deprecatione spreta, in Italia venisse, ibique dicato Aricinae Dianae templo regnasse.

χωρὶς δὲ ἀπὸ τῶν ἄλλων [στῆλων] ἐστὶν ἀρχαία στήλη: ἵππους δὲ Ἱππόλυτον ἀναθεῖναι τῷ θεῷ φησιν εἴκοσι. ταύτης τῆς στήλης τῷ ἐπιγράμματι ὁμολογοῦντα λέγουσιν Ἀρικιεῖς, ὡς τεθνεῶτα Ἱππόλυτον ἐκ τῶν Θησέως ἀρῶν ἀνέστησεν Ἀσκληπιός: ὁ δὲ ὡς αὖθις ἐβίω, οὐκ ἠξίου νέμειν τῷ πατρὶ συγγνώμην, ἀλλὰ ὑπεριδὼν τὰς δεήσεις ἐς Ἰταλίαν ἔρχεται παρὰ τοὺς Ἀρικιεῖς, καὶ ἐβασίλευσέ τε αὐτόθι καὶ ἀνῆκε τῇ Ἀρτέμιδι τέμενος.

* According to myth, Theseus had his son Hippolytus condemned to death after believing the false rumor that he had raped his stepmother Phaedra. 

--Pausanias, Descriptio Graeciae, II.xxvii.4, Translated into Latin by Romulus Amaseus (1696)

[There are columns inscribed with the names of people healed]. Separate from these is an old column with an inscription stating that Hippolytus dedicated twenty horses to the god [Asclepius]. The Aricians say something similar to the story posted on this column: that after Hippolytus was killed by Theseus, Asclepius brought him back from the dead. As soon as Hippolytus was revived, he was unable to forgive his father, and instead rejected his apologies. Instead he went to Italy, where he ruled among the Aricians and dedicated a temple to Artemis.



Name:  Pausanias

Date:  110 – 180 CE

Works:  Description of Greece



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



 Pausanias was a Greek writer who lived during the era of the “Five Good Emperors.” His work, the Description of Greece, is an important source for geographical, historical, archaeological, and cultural information about ancient Greece.


ARCHAIC: (through 6th c. BCE); GOLDEN AGE: (5th - 4th c. BCE); HELLENISTIC: (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)

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