Sunday, November 28, 2021

The Life and Afterlife of the Asexual Hippolytus, Vatican Mythographers I.46

Theseus, mortua Hippolyte, Phaedram Minois et Pasiphae filiam superduxit Hippolyto, qui cum de strupro illam interpellante contempsisset, falso delatus ad patrem est quod ei vi vellet inferre. Theseus Aegeum patrem [rogavit] ut se ulcisceretur, qui agitanti currus Hippolyto immisit focam in littore, qua equi territi eum distraxerunt. Tunc Diana eius castitate commota revocavit eum in vita per Aesculapium filium Apollinis et Coronidis, qui natus erat exsecto matris ventre...[Myth of Coronis follows]. Sed Diana Hippolytum revocatum ab inferis nymphae commendavit Egeriae et eum Virbium quasi "bis virum" iussit vocari.

--Vatican Mythographers I.46

When Hippolyte died, Theseus put Phaedra [the daughter of Minos and Pasiphae] in charge of Hippolytus. When Hippolytus rejected her sexual advances, he was falsely accused of rape and brought to his father for punishment.  Theseus asked his father Aegeus to avenge him, and he sent a monster [sea-dog] onto the shore where Hippolytus was driving his chariot. This monster spooked Hippolytus’ horses and killed him.  Then Diana, moved by his purity, used Asclepius [Apollo and Coronis’ son, who was born by C-section] to restore him to life. Once Diana brought Hippolytus back from the dead, she entrusted his care to the nymph Egeria, and ordered that he now be called “Virbius” [“twice a man”].



Name:  ???

Date:  10th c. CE (?)

Works:  Mythographi Vaticani*





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 ?)

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