"Horse-Unharnesser." A son of Theseus by Hippolyte or Antiope.1 After the death of the Amazon, Theseus married Phaedra, who fell desperately in love with Hippolytus; but as the passion was not responded to by the stepson, she brought accusations against him before Theseus, as if he had made improper proposals to her. Theseus thereupon cursed his son, and requested his father (Aegeus or Poseidon) to destroy him.2 Once therefore, when Hippolytus was riding in his chariot along the sea-coast, Poseidon sent a bull forth from the water. The horses were frightened, upset the chariot, and dragged Hippolytus till he was dead. Theseus afterwards learned the innocence of his son, and Phaedra, in despair, made away with herself.
Asclepius restored Hippolytus to life again, and, according to Italian traditions, Artemis placed him, under the name of Virbius, under the protection of the nymph Aegeria, in the grove of Aricia, in Latium, where he was honored with divine worship.3
There was a monument of his at Athens, in front of the temple of Themis.4 At Troezen, where a tomb of Hippolytus was shown, there was a different tradition about him.5
- Scholiast on Aristophanes' The Frogs, 873; Tzetzes on Lycophron, 449, 1329, 1332; Euripides. Hippolytus.
- Cicero. On the Nature of the Gods iii, 31; On Duties i, 10; Servius on Virgil's Aeneid vi, 445; vii, 761.
- Hyginus. Fabulae, 47, 49; Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 10.3; Ovid. Metamorphoses xv, 490 ff.; Fasti iii, 265; vi, 737; Horace. Odes iv, 7.25.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece i, 22.1.
- ibid. i, 22.2; comp. Euripdes. Hippolytus.
- Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.