An Alternative Child Procurement Plan. Or, Hippolytus Breaks Incel

Euripides, Hippolytus, 616-624

“Zeus! Why have you settled women, a curse for mortals
To live among us in the light of the sun?
If you wanted to sow the mortal race
You didn’t need to procure it from women!
But mortals could have placed purchase weights
Of bronze or gold or iron in your temples
To purchase the seed of children, each price
Equal to the worth of the man, and then we
Could live free of women in our homes!”

ὦ Ζεῦ, τί δὴ κίβδηλον ἀνθρώποις κακὸν
γυναῖκας ἐς φῶς ἡλίου κατῴκισας;
εἰ γὰρ βρότειον ἤθελες σπεῖραι γένος,
οὐκ ἐκ γυναικῶν χρῆν παρασχέσθαι τόδε,
ἀλλ᾿ ἀντιθέντας σοῖσιν ἐν ναοῖς βροτοὺς
ἢ χαλκὸν ἢ σίδηρον ἢ χρυσοῦ βάρος
παίδων πρίασθαι σπέρμα τοῦ τιμήματος
τῆς ἀξίας ἕκαστον, ἐν δὲ δώμασιν
ναίειν ἐλευθέροισι θηλειῶν ἄτερ.

Scholia NAB ad Eur. Hipp 620

“These plans are strange. For then poor people couldn’t obtain children.”

ἀτόπως δὲ ταῦτα. οἱ γὰρ πένητες οὐκ ἂν ἐκτήσαντο παῖδας

Peter Paul Reubens, The Death of Hippolytus

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