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DANAIDS
Δαναΐδες

4921: Danaid. Statue by H. W. Bissen, 1798-1868. Glyptotek, Copenhagen.


The DANAIDS are the 50 daughters of Danaus 1 who married the sons of Aegyptus 1, and murdered their husbands (except one) on their wedding night.

Argive ancestor

For having been seduced by Zeus, Io, a native from Argos, was severely punished by the god's jealous wife Hera, who pursued her all over the world. Having wandered in many countries, Io came safely to Egypt where she settled, giving birth to Epaphus 1, son of Zeus.

Descendants of Io

When Epaphus 1 grew up, he became king of Egypt, and having married Memphis 2, daughter of the river god Nilus or, as some say, Cassiopea 4, he fathered Libya. Libya consorted with Poseidon, giving birth, among others, to Belus 1. Belus 1, who inherited the kingdom of Egypt, married Anchinoe (another daughter of Nilus), and had by her many children, among whom Danaus 1 and Aegyptus 1. Belus 1 settled Danaus 1 in Libya, and Aegyptus 1 in Arabia. However, when Aegyptus 1 subjugated the country of the Melampods, naming it Egypt after himself, the two brothers quarrelled concerning the kingdom.

Danaus 1 emigrates

Danaus 1 felt threatened by Aegyptus 1 and his 50 sons, and decided that he and his 50 daughters would leave Egypt and emigrate to Argos, the country of their ancestor Io. In order to accomplish his plan, Danaus 1 built a ship, being the first to build one, as some affirm.

Arrival to Argos

After having touched Rhodes, Danaus 1 arrived to Argos. Some tell that Gelanor was king of Argos at this time, and that Danaus 1 deposed him. Others affirm that the name of the king of Argos was Pelasgus 1, and that he received Danaus 1 and his daughters as exiles. For granting asylum to these fugitives, Pelasgus 1 was threatened with war by the Egyptians, but he let the Argives vote, and the assembly decided to protect the refugees.

Marriage

The sons of Aegyptus 1 then demanded to be wedded to the daughters of Danaus 1, and since this offer could not be refused, Danaus 1 consented to the marriage, and allotted his daughters among them. But at the same time, he instructed the girls to kill the bridegrooms on their wedding night.

Murder

In this way, the sons of Aegyptus 1 got their brides by lot, while the DANAIDS got, during the wedding feast, the daggers with which they were to murder their husbands, according to their father's plan. So as the bridegrooms slept the girls slew them, except Hypermnestra 1, who spared Lynceus 2, because he had respected her virginity.

Trial and funerals

To punish her disobedience, Hypermnestra 1 was brought to judgment by Danaus 1, who shut her up and kept her under ward. In the meanwhile, the other DANAIDS buried the heads of their husbands in Lerna, paying funeral honors to their bodies in front of the city. It is said that Athena and Hermes purified them for this crime, following the command of Zeus. However, it is also told that, for this crime, the DANAIDS still suffer punishment in the Underworld where they must carry water to fill a leaky jar.

Reconciliation

Afterwards, Danaus 1 and his daughter Hypermnestra 1 were reconciled, and he united her to Lynceus 2, while giving his other daughters in marriage to the victors of an athletic contest.

Descendants

Lynceus 2 and Hypermnestra 1 had a son Abas 2, who in time became king of Argos. Abas 2 is father of Acrisius, father of Danae, mother of Perseus 1, the founder of Mycenae.

Note I

The name Danaans and Achaeans has been applied to all Greeks in general, particularly in connection with the Trojan War. The Achaeans came originally from Thessaly, in mainland Greece, and settled in Argos and Lacedaemon (southern Peloponnesus). Having mingled with the Danaans (ruled by Danaus 1 and his descendants) they lived there until the return of the HERACLIDES. The mingling of Achaeans and Danaans is described through the marriages of two sons of Achaeus 1 (from whom the Achaeans derive their name) with two daughters of Danaus 1, Automate and Scaea.

Note II

Several generations after the crime of the DANAIDS, it appeared in the place where they buried their husbands' heads (Lerna), a many headed monster, the Hydra, which Heracles 1 destroyed while performing one of his LABOURS.


Family 

Parentage

Danaus 1 & many women

Some of Danaus 1's many wives are: Elephantis, Europe 1, the Hamadryads Nymphs Atlantia and Phoebe 3, an Ethiopian woman, Memphis 1, Polyxo 1, Pieria 1, Herse 1 and Crino 1.
Danaus 1's death was first reported by Abas 2.


The DANAIDS, their mothers, husbands, and mothers-in-law according to Apollodorus 2.1.5:

Sons of Aegyptus 1

Mothers of Aegyptus 1´s sons

DANAIDS

Mothers of the DANAIDS

Notes

Periphas 1.

Gorgo 1.

Actaea 1.

Pieria 1.

 

Daiphron 2.

Hephaestine.

Adiante.

Herse 1.

Menalcas 3.

Gorgo 1.

Adite.

Pieria 1.

Lycus 1.

Argyphia.

Agave 3.

Europe 1.

Enceladus 1.

Argyphia.

Amymone 1.

Europe 1.

As Argos was waterless because Poseidon had dried up the country out of anger, because the land had been adjudged to Hera, Danaus 1 sent his daughters to draw water. In her search Amymone 1 threw a dart at a deer and hit a sleeping Satyr. The Satyr tried to rape her but Poseidon appeared and he fled. So instead Poseidon lay with Amymone 1 and in exchange revealed to her the springs at Lerna. Amymone 1 gave birth to Nauplius 1, who lived for many generations. This Nauplius 1, in order to avenge the death of his son Palamedes contrived for the wives of the Achaeans fighting at Troy to play their husbands false and take lovers.

Some say her husband, whom she killed was not Enceladus 1 but Midanus.

Archelaus 1.

Woman 2 Phoenician.

Anaxibia 1.

Woman 3 Ethiopian.

 

Cisseus 1.

Caliadne.

Anthelia.

Polyxo 1.

Chaetus.

Woman 1 Arabian.

Asteria 2.

Nymphs 3 & 4 Hamadryads.

Busiris 1.

Argyphia.

Automate.

Europe 1.

After killing Busiris 1, Automate married Architeles 1, son of Achaeus 1, the eponym of the Achaeans.

Eurylochus 1.

Caliadne.

Autonoe 1.

Polyxo 1.

 

Chthonius 1.

Caliadne.

Bryce.

Polyxo 1.

Pandion 1.

Hephaestine.

Callidice 1.

Crino 1.

Hyperbius 1.

Hephaestine.

Celaeno 1.

Crino 1.

Chrysippus 1.

Tyria.

Chrysippe.

Memphis 1.

Lixus.

Caliadne.

Cleodora 2.

Polyxo 1.

Agenor 7.

Woman 1 Arabian.

Cleopatra 1.

Nymphs 3 & 4 Hamadryads.

Hermus 1.

Caliadne.

Cleopatra 2.

Polyxo 1.

Clitus 1.

Tyria.

Clite 1.

Memphis 1.

Aegyptus 2.

Gorgo 1.

Dioxippe 1.

Pieria 1.

Cercetes.

Woman 2 Phoenician.

Dorium.

Woman 3 Ethiopian.

Peristhenes.

Caliadne.

Electra 4.

Polyxo 1.

Bromius.

Caliadne.

Erato 2.

Polyxo 1.

Dryas 1.

Caliadne.

Eurydice 3.

Polyxo 1.

Argius 1.

Woman 2 Phoenician.

Evippe 1.

Woman 3 Ethiopian.

Imbrus.

Caliadne.

Evippe 2.

Polyxo 1.

Alces.

Woman 1 Arabian.

Glauce 1.

Nymphs 3 & 4 Hamadryads.

Potamon.

Caliadne.

Glaucippe.

Polyxo 1.

Hippothous 1.

Woman 1 Arabian.

Gorge 1.

Nymphs 3 & 4 Hamadryads.

Proteus 1.

Argyphia.

Gorgophone 1.

Elephantis.

Istrus 1.

Woman 1 Arabian.

Hippodamia 1.

Nymphs 3 & 4 Hamadryads.

Diocorystes.

Woman 1 Arabian.

Hippodamia 2.

Nymphs 3 & 4 Hamadryads.

Idas 1.

Hephaestine.

Hippodice.

Herse 1.

Alcmenor.

Woman 1 Arabian.

Hippomedusa.

Nymphs 3 & 4 Hamadryads.

Hippocorystes 1.

Hephaestine.

Hyperippe 1.

Crino 1.

Lynceus 2.

Argyphia.

Hypermnestra 1.

Elephantis.

Hypermnestra 1 is the one of the DANAIDS who spared her husband Lynceus 2.

Euchenor 1.

Woman 1 Arabian.

Iphimedusa.

Nymphs 3 & 4 Hamadryads.

 

Aegius.

Woman 2 Phoenician.

Mnestra.

Woman 3 Ethiopian.

Menemachus.

Woman 2 Phoenician.

Nelo.

Woman 3 Ethiopian.

Lampus 1.

Gorgo 1.

Ocypete 1.

Pieria 1.

Arbelus.

Hephaestine.

Oeme.

Crino 1.

Eurydamas 1.

Woman 2 Phoenician.

Phartis.

Woman 3 Ethiopian.

Agaptolemus.

Woman 2 Phoenician.

Pirene 1.

Woman 3 Ethiopian.

Oeneus 1.

Gorgo 1.

Podarce.

Pieria 1.

Idmon 1.

Gorgo 1.

Pylarge.

Pieria 1.

Hippolytus 1.

Woman 1 Arabian.

Rhode 1.

Nymphs 3 & 4 Hamadryads.

Chalcodon 2.

Woman 1 Arabian.

Rhodia 2.

Nymphs 3 & 4 Hamadryads.

Daiphron 1.

Argyphia.

Scaea.

Europe 1.

After killing Daiphron 1, Scaea married Archander, son of Achaeus 1, the eponym of the Achaeans.

Sthenelus 1.

Tyria.

Sthenele 1.

Memphis 1.

 

Polyctor 1.

Caliadne.

Stygne.

Polyxo 1.

Phantes.

Caliadne.

Theano 1.

Polyxo 1.


The DANAIDS and their husbands according to Hyginus, Fabulae 170: 

Sons of Aegyptus 1

DANAIDS

Armoasbus.

---.

Ecnominus.

Acamantis.

Plexippus 3.

Amphicomone.

Midanus.

Amymone 1.

Xanthus 11.

Arcadia 1.

Ephialtes 3.

Arsalte.

Clytus 2.

Autodice.

Aristonoos.

Celaeno 1.

Asterides.

Chrysothemis 4.

Asterius 6.

Cleo.

Metalces.

Cleopatra 1 or 2.

Antipaphus.

Critomedia.

Amyntor 2.

Damone.

Pugno.

Daplidice.

Chrysippus 1.

Demoditas.

Pamphilus.

Demophile.

Hyperantus.

Electra 4.

Eudaemon.

Erato 2.

Demarchus.

Eubule.

Hyperbius 1.

Eupheme 2.

Athletes.

Europome.

Canthus 2.

Eurydice 3.

Agenor 7.

Evippe 1 or 2.

Niauius.

Glaucippe.

Dryas 1.

Hecabe 2.

Evidea.

Helice 4.

Cassus.

Helicta.

Andromachus 2.

Hero 2.

Protheon.

Hipparete.

Obrimus 2.

Hippothoe 5.

Perius.

Hyale 2.

Lynceus 2.

Hypermnestra 1.

Antiochus 4.

Itea.

Antimachus 7.

Midea 2.

Eurysthenes 2.

Monuste.

Mineus.

Myrmidone.

Polydector.

Oeme.

Philinus.

Phila.

Panthius.

Philomela 4.

Dolichus.

Pirene 1.

Iltonomus.

Polybe.

Aegyptus 2.

Polyxena 2.

Athamas 3.

Pyrante.

Plexippus 4.

Pyrantis.

Proteus 1.

Scylla 3.

Podasimus.

Themistagora.

Enceladus 1.

Trite.


Related sections  
Sources
Abbreviations

Aes.Supp. passim; Apd.2.1.4, 2.1.5ff.; Hyg.Fab.168, 170; Nonn.3.296, 3.303; Strab.1.2.34.

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