Aphrodite enters above the skene.


Mighty and of high renown, among mortals and in heaven alike, I am called the goddess Aphrodite. Of all those who dwell between the Euxine Sea and the Pillars of Atlas and look on the light of the sun, [5] I honor those who reverence my power, but I lay low all those who think proud thoughts against me. For in the gods as well one finds this trait: they enjoy receiving honor from mortals.

The truth of these words I shall shortly demonstrate. [10] Hippolytus, Theseus' son by the Amazon woman and ward of holy Pittheus, alone among the citizens of this land of Trozen, says that I am the basest of divinities. He shuns the bed of love and will have nothing to do with marriage. [15] Instead, he honors Apollo's sister Artemis, Zeus's daughter, thinking her the greatest of divinities. In the green wood, ever consort to the maiden goddess, he clears the land of wild beasts with his swift dogs and has gained a companionship greater than mortal. [20] To this pair I feel no grudging ill-will: why should I? Yet for his sins against me I shall punish Hippolytus this day. I have already come a long way with my plans and I need little further effort. One day when he came from Pittheus' house [25] to the land of Pandion to see and celebrate the holy mysteries of Demeter,1 his father's high-born wife Phaedra saw him, and her heart was seized with a dreadful longing by my design. And before she came to this land of Trozen, [30] she built, hard by the rock of Pallas Athena,2 a temple to Aphrodite overlooking this land since she loved a foreign love. After ages shall call this foundation Aphrodite-Next-Hippolytus.3

1 The mysteries of Demeter and Kore were celebrated at Eleusis in Attica.

2 The Acropolis.

3 There was a shrine of Aphrodite on the Acropolis near a hero-sanctuary dedicated to Hippolytus. The shrine was so called from its proximity to the sanctuary, though here Euripides makes a closer connection between them.

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