Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Hypsipyle- The Queen of the island of Lemnos

                             In Greek mythology, Hypsipyle was described as daughter of Dionysus’s son Thoas, king of the island of Lemnos. The women of Lemnos had failed to honor the goddess Aphrodite properly. To punish them, the goddess had given the women a horrible odor which drove their men away.The men raided the Thrace, and bring female slaves for sexual purposes, with whom they began having children. The women of Lemnos, furious at their husbands’ betrayal, murdered all the men on the island and their female slaves.The king, Thoas, was saved by Hypsipyle, his daughter, who put him out to sea sealed in a chest from which he was later rescued. The women of Lemnos lived for a while without men, with Hypsipyle as their queen.
Hypsipyle saving her father

                                                                       The Argonauts on quest to find the Golden Fleece came to island of Lemnos.  When the Argonauts set their foot on the island, the women saw them as their potential lovers and lured them into their bed chambers.The Argonauts remained on Lemnos for several months and, during that time, had extensive relations with the women of Lemnos. Jason himself mated with their queen, Hypsipyle and swore eternal fidelity to her.. Hypsipyle bore twin sons to the Jason , Euneus and Nebrophonus (or Deiphilus or Thoas).
The Argonauts with Lemnos women

                         The Argonauts were finally convinced to leave the island and continue their journey, only when Hercules, who remained on board Argo, sent a message questioning them whether this was the way they wanted to gain glory for themselves.Jason sailed away and quickly forgot his vows made to Hypsipyle. For his bad actions Jason was placed in the 8th circle of Dante's Inferno.
Hypsipyle with Lycurgus's son

                                      The Lemnos women, angry at Hypsipyle having spared her father, forced Hypsipyle to flee for her life. She and her sons were taken by pirates and sold to Lycurgus, king of Nemea. She was given charge of Lycurgus's son, Archemorus.When the Argives (of Aeschylus's Seven Against Thebes or Statius' Thebaid) marched against Thebes, they met Hypsipyle and made her show them a fountain where they could get water. She set down Archemorus when she did this, and he was killed by a snake in her absence. Lycurgus wanted revenge upon Hypsipyle, but she was protected by Adrastus, the leader of the Argives.

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