During her reign, Aphrodite cursed the women of the island for having neglected her shrines. (According to Bibliotheca 1.9.17, the women were afflicted with an evil smell.) The men took up with female slaves taken on raids on Thrace. The women of the island decided upon revenge and, in one night, killed all their male relatives. Hypsipyle alone spared a male. She hid her father, Thoas, from the vengeful plan.
Soon after the androcide, Jason and the Argonauts stopped at Lemnos on their way to Colchis. The Argonauts remained on Lemnos for two summers and two winters, during that time, had extensive relations with the island's women. Jason impregnated Hypsipyle and swore eternal fidelity to her. The product of that pregnancy was twins, Euneus and Nebrophonus (or Deiphilus or Thoas). Jason, however, sailed away and quickly forgot his vows.
The Lemnian women, angry at her having spared her father, forced Hypsipyle to flee for her life. She and her sons were taken by pirates and sold to Lycurgus, king of Nemea. She was given charge of Lycurgus's son, Archemorus.
Seven Against Thebes
When the Argives (of Aeschylus's Seven Against Thebes or Statius' Thebaid) marched against Thebes, they met Hypsipyle and made her show them a fountain where they could get water. While she did this, she set down the infant Archemorus whom she was watching, and he was killed by a snake in her absence. Lycurgus wanted revenge upon Hypsipyle, but she was protected by Adrastus, the leader of the Argives.
- In his work, Inferno, the 14th-century Italian poet Dante Alighieri placed Jason in the eighth circle of Hell, along with seducers and panderers, for his deception and abandonment of Hypsipyle.
- In the Purgatorio, Dante's guide Virgil noted that Hypsipyle was among the virtuous pagans in Limbo (Canto 22.112)
- Ovid, Heroides 6
- Hyginus, Fables 15, 74
- Statius, Thebaid 5.28-721
- Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 2.72-427
- Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1.9.17, 3.6.4
- Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1.609-909
- Lactantius Placidus, Commentarii in Statii Thebaida 4.717, 5.613-675
- Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica translated by Robert Cooper Seaton (1853-1915), R. C. Loeb Classical Library Volume 001. London, William Heinemann Ltd, 1912. Online version at the Topos Text Project.
- Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica. George W. Mooney. London. Longmans, Green. 1912. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Gaius Julius Hyginus, Fabulae from The Myths of Hyginus translated and edited by Mary Grant. University of Kansas Publications in Humanistic Studies. Online version at the Topos Text Project.
- Gaius Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica translated by Mozley, J H. Loeb Classical Library Volume 286. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1928. Online version at theoi.com.
- Gaius Valerius Flaccus, Argonauticon. Otto Kramer. Leipzig. Teubner. 1913. Latin text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Homer, The Iliad with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, Ph.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1924. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Homer, Homeri Opera in five volumes. Oxford, Oxford University Press. 1920. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus, The Library with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F.B.A., F.R.S. in 2 Volumes, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same website.
- Publius Ovidius Naso, The Epistles of Ovid. London. J. Nunn, Great-Queen-Street; R. Priestly, 143, High-Holborn; R. Lea, Greek-Street, Soho; and J. Rodwell, New-Bond-Street. 1813. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Publius Papinius Statius, The Thebaid translated by John Henry Mozley. Loeb Classical Library Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1928. Online version at the Topos Text Project.
- Publius Papinius Statius, The Thebaid. Vol I-II. John Henry Mozley. London: William Heinemann; New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. 1928. Latin text available at the Perseus Digital Library.