The Women of Lemnos (page 345 lower)

Chapter 12: Iason and the Argo

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♠ Il 7.467-71 – Homer, Iliad

And ships full many were at hand from Lemnos, bearing wine, sent forth by Jason’s son, Euneus, whom Hypsipyle bare to Jason, shepherd of the host. [470] And for themselves alone unto the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon and Menelaus, had Euneus given wine to be brought them, even a thousand measures.  Greek Text

Ais p. 352 R – Aischylos, Hypsipyle – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 3, ed. S. L. Radt. Göttingen 1985.

Σ AR  1.769 – Scholia to Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika – Scholia in Apollonium Rhodium vetera, pp. 61-62, ed. C. Wendel. Berlin 1935

Greek Text

Cho 631-36 – Aischylos, Choephoroi

Indeed the Lemnian holds first place among evils in story: it has long been told with groans as an abominable calamity. Men compare each new horror to Lemnian troubles; and because of a woeful deed abhorred by the gods a race has disappeared, cast out in infamy from among mortals. [635] For no man reveres what is hated by the gods.  Greek Text

Ol 4.18-28 – Pindar, Olympian Odes

Perseverance is what puts men to the test, and what saved the son of Clymenus [20] from the contempt of the Lemnian women. He won the foot race in bronze armor, and said to Hypsipyle as he went to take the garland: “Such is my swiftness; [25] and I have hands and heart to match. Even on young men gray hair often grows, even before the expected age.”  Greek Text

Py 4.251-54 – Pindar, Pythian

And they reached the expanses of Ocean, and the Red Sea, and the race of the Lemnian women, who killed their husbands. There they displayed their prowess of limbs in athletic contests with a cloak for a prize, and they went to bed with the women.  Greek Text

Hdt 6.138.4 – Herodotos, Historiae

Thereupon the Pelasgians resolved to kill the sons of the Attic women; they did this, and then killed the boys’ mothers also. From this deed and the earlier one which was done by the women when they killed their own husbands who were Thoas’ companions, a “Lemnian crime” has been a proverb in Hellas for any deed of cruelty.  Greek Text

Soph p. 337 R – Sophokles, Lemniai – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 4, ed. S.L. Radt. Göttingen 1977.

AR 1.609-26 – Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika

Here the whole of the men of the people together had been ruthlessly slain through the transgressions of the women in the year gone by. For the men had rejected their lawful wives, loathing them, and had conceived a fierce passion for captive maids whom they themselves brought across the sea from their forays in Thrace; for the terrible wrath of Cypris came upon them, because for a long time they had grudged her the honours due. O hapless women, and insatiate in jealousy to their own ruin! Not their husbands alone with the captives did they slay on account of the marriage-bed, but all the males at the same time, that they might thereafter pay no retribution for the grim murder. And of all the women, Hypsipyle alone spared her aged father Thoas, who was king over the people; and she sent him in a hollow chest, to drift over the sea, if haply he should escape. And fishermen dragged him to shore at the island of Oenoe, formerly Oenoe, but afterwards called Sicinus from Sicinus, whom the water-nymph Oenoe bore to Thoas.  Greek Text

ApB 1.9.17 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

These with Jason as admiral put to sea and touched at Lemnos. At that time it chanced that Lemnos was bereft of men and ruled over by a queen, Hypsipyle, daughter of Thoas, the reason of which was as follows. The Lemnian women did not honor Aphrodite, and she visited them with a noisome smell; therefore their spouses took captive women from the neighboring country of Thrace and bedded with them. Thus dishonored, the Lemnian women murdered their fathers and husbands, but Hypsipyle alone saved her father Thoas by hiding him. So having put in to Lemnos, at that time ruled by women, the Argonauts had intercourse with the women, and Hypsipyle bedded with Jason and bore sons, Euneus and Nebrophonus.  Greek Text

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Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, March 2022.

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