Lemnian Queen


Hypsipyle by Robinet Testard

Hypsipyle by Robinet Testard (between 1496 and 1498)

Octavien de Saint-Gelais' edition of Ovid's Epistulae heroidumPublic Domain


Hypsipyle was the daughter of Thoas, king of Lemnos, and later ruled as queen of the Lemnian women. When the Lemnian women killed all the men on their island to punish them for their infidelity, Hypsipyle dutifully helped her father Thoas escape to safety.

Later, as queen, Hypsipyle showed hospitality to Jason and the Argonauts when they stopped on Lemnos during their quest for the Golden Fleece. Hypsipyle and Jason became lovers and had a few children together; one of these children, Euneus, ruled Lemnos during the time of the Trojan War.

Some accounts told of how Hypsipyle was later sold into slavery and became the nurse of Opheltes, the infant son of King Lycurgus of Nemea. After Opheltes was killed by a snake, the Nemean Games were established in his honor.[1]