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Wikipedia (seemingly quoted directly from older encyclopedias) claims that according to John Tzetzes' commentary on Lycophron, Eurystheus' daughter Admete not only asked for the belt of Hippolyta, but even accompanied Heracles on the labor. The source cited is Tzetzes on Lycophron line 1327, but when read on topostexts:

"Struck with a beast"; Theseus, they say, went with Heracles to Scythia to the Amazons and prepared a "double" "neikos" against the Greeks because of Hippolyta's belt and because of Antiope the Amazon, from whom he also had Hippolytus. The story goes like this: Admete, the daughter of Eurystheus, desired to have Hippolyta's belt and so Heracles with Theseus and others came to the port of Themiskyra in one ship and Hippolyta promised to give him the belt, but Hera, disguised as a woman among the other Amazons, said they were going to kidnap Hippolyta. When they came down armed as if for battle, Heracles, standing against them, killed Hippolyta and taking the belt, he brought it to Eurystheus and his daughter. And Apollodorus (II 102) and the others say that Hippolyta was killed by Heracles, but Apollonius says this seqq. B 966-969. Another says something similar to the previous ones seqq. vv. sch. Pind. N III 64 "spasanti" having taken, having suckled.

There is no reference to her having gone with them, but topostexts also admits their translation was performed by ChatGPT "with more speed than accuracy". Can anyone who can read Greek tell me if the original more plainly implies Admete went with them on the voyage?

The Oxford Handbook of Heracles also repeats the claim:

One later version of the Hippolyte myth even claims that Princess Admete actually sailed to Themiscyra with Heracles, in order to make certain that he obtained the prized war belt.

No source is cited. This essay by Adrienne Mayor is also found in her book "The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World". Did Adrienne Mayor read Tzetzes in the original Greek and see that it implies Admete sailed to Themiscyra, did she read some other "later version" of the story in which Admete sailed to Themiscyra, or is it even possible that the Oxford Handbook of Heracles is simply parroting Wikipedia?

Did John Tzetzes, or any source before him, say Admete sailed to Themiscyra?

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The translation seems accurate here. The Greek doesn't seem to indicate Admete was part of the crew. The ending, where it says that Heracles carried off the girdle for Eurystheus and his daughter, almost seems to suggest the opposite.

The original source of Wikipedia and perhaps of Mayor (though she doesn't mention Lycophron here) and the Oxford Handbook seems to be Smith's Biography. When I checked Gantz, he doesn't mention it at all. He does however point to another source that covers the myth, if you have access to it and can read German:

Schauenburg's article "Der Gürtel der Hippolyte" in Philologus 104 (1960).

https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1524/phil.1960.104.12.1/html

It's possible the version Smith is references exists somewhere, but if Smith had an error in citations, later scholars who didn't investigate fully could have just replicated his (or his sources') error.

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  • Is there any chance that "so Heracles with Theseus and others came to the port of Themiskyra" could be read in Greek as implying Admete was one of the "others"? Since Smith also cites Tzetzes on Lycophron 1327 as the source for this detail, I'm thinking if it isn't there, there is no such version. If so, how could such a misinterpretation make it's way into the literature?
    – Ben Warner
    Commented Dec 18, 2023 at 16:06
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    That's what I'm not sure yet. The Greek doesn't seem to indicate Admete was part of the crew. The ending, where it says that Heracles carried off the girdle for Eurystheus and his daughter, almost seems to suggest the opposite. It's possible this version existed somewhere, but if Smith had an error in citations, later scholars who didn't investigate fully just replicated his error.
    – cmw
    Commented Dec 18, 2023 at 18:50

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