Euripides, Dramatic Fragments

LCL 504: 115

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Euripides

Alope

H. Van Looy in ed. Budé VIII.1.137–46.

B. Borecký in Studia antiqua A. salač . . . oblate (Prague, 1955), 82–9;Webster 94; LIMC I.i.572–3 ‘Alope’; Huys, The Tale, relevant sections; I. Karamanou, AC 72 (2003), 25–40.

Alope was the daughter of the great wrestler Cercyon, who challenged and killed travellers on the road between Megara and Eleusis until Theseus outwrestled and killed him. Raped by Poseidon, she became the mother of Hippothoon, one of the ten tribal heroes of democratic Athens. Alope’s story is known largely from Hyginus, Fab. 187 (test. *ii b below): she had her illicit child exposed to die, but he was fed by a mare and rescued by a herdsman who gave him to another herdsman to rear as his own; but the herdsmen quarrelled over the ownership of the identifying tokens left with the baby, and when they brought their quarrel before Cercyon the true origin of the child was revealed. Cercyon imprisoned Alope and ordered the child exposed again, but again he was fed by the mare and rescued. His subsequent upbringing is not described, and Hyginus’ narrative ends with Theseus later killing Cercyon and restoring Hippothoon to his birthright, and with Poseidon transforming Alope into a spring.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.euripides-dramatic_fragments.2008