Euripides and Women

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 13.5.35

“Euripides the poet was also a lover of women. Hieronymos writes in his Historical Researches that “When someone told Sophocles that Euripides was a women-hater, he said, “Perhaps that is the case in his tragedies, but he loves women in bed.”

φιλογύνης δ’ ἦν καὶ Εὐριπίδης ὁ ποιητής. ῾Ιερώνυμος γοῦν ἐν ῾Ιστορικοῖς ῾Υπομνήμασίν φησιν οὕτως (fr. 6 Hi)· ‘εἰπόντος Σοφοκλεῖ τινος ὅτι μισογύνης ἐστὶν Εὐριπίδης, ἔν γε ταῖς τραγῳδίαις, ἔφη ὁ Σοφοκλῆς· ἐπεὶ ἔν γε τῇ κλίνῃ φιλογύνης.’


Schol in Aristoph. Lys. 283 (arg.)

“For Euripides is a woman-hater and says many things against them”

μισογύνης γὰρ ὁ Εὐριπίδης καὶ πολλὰ κατ’ αὐτῶν λέγων.


From the Suda

“[Euripides] was gloomy and unfriendly and he avoided social engagement. This is why he appeared to be a misogynist. He still married; first Khoirinê, the daughter of Mnesilokhos, who bore him Mnesilokhos and Mnhsarkhidê. After he divorced her, hetook a second wife, although she was also shown to be unfaithful. When he was in exile from Athens he went to Arkhelaos, the king of the Macedonians, where he lived, enjoying the greatest honor.

He died thanks to the plotting of Arribaios the Macedonian and Krateuas the Thessalian. These poets envied him, so they bribed one of the king’s servants named Lusimakhos with only ten minae to release the dogs the king raised against Euripides. Others record that he was not killed by dogs but was torn apart by women at night when he was sneaking out to Krateros, Arkhelaos’ lover. (For they also report that he was predisposed to these kind of affairs too.) Others say that he was going out to meet the wife of Nikodokos of Arethusa.”


σκυθρωπὸς δὲ ἦν τὸ ἦθος καὶ ἀμειδὴς καὶ φεύγων τὰς συνουσίας· ὅθεν καὶ μισογύνης ἐδοξάσθη. ἔγημε δὲ ὅμως πρώτην μὲν Χοιρίνην, θυγατέρα Μνησιλόχου· ἐξ ἧς ἔσχε Μνησίλοχον καὶ Μνησαρχίδην καὶ Εὐριπίδην. ἀπωσάμενος δὲ ταύτην ἔσχε καὶ δευτέραν, καὶ ταύτης ὁμοίως ἀκολάστου πειραθείς. ἀπάρας δὲ ἀπ’᾿Αθηνῶν ἦλθε πρὸς ᾿Αρχέλαον τὸν βασιλέα τῶν Μακεδόνων, παρ’ ᾧ διῆγε τῆς ἄκρας ἀπολαύων τιμῆς. ἐτελεύτησε δὲ ὑπὸ ἐπιβουλῆς ᾿Αρριβαίου τοῦ Μακεδόνος καὶ Κρατεύα τοῦ Θετταλοῦ, ποιητῶν ὄντων καὶ φθονησάντων αὐτῷ πεισάντων τε τὸν βασιλέως οἰκέτην τοὔνομα Λυσίμαχον, δέκα μνῶν ἀγορασθέντα, τοὺς βασιλέως, οὓς αὐτὸς ἔτρεφε, κύνας ἐπαφεῖναι αὐτῷ. οἱ δὲ ἱστόρησαν οὐχ ὑπὸκυνῶν, ἀλλ’ ὑπὸ γυναικῶν νύκτωρ διασπασθῆναι, πορευόμενον ἀωρὶ πρὸς Κρατερὸν τὸν ἐρώμενον ᾿Αρχελάου (καὶ γὰρ σχεῖν αὐτὸν καὶ περὶ τοὺς τοιούτους ἔρωτας), οἱ δέ, πρὸς τὴν γαμετὴν Νικοδίκου τοῦ ᾿Αρεθουσίου

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