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Leda
Λήδα

Leda and her children. From the two eggs have been hatched the immortals Polydeuces and Helen, and the mortals Castor 1 and Clytaemnestra. 1109: Leda and her children Helen, Clytaemnestra and the Dioscuri. Painting by Giovanni Pedrini, called Giampietrino, ca. 1520-40. Hessisches Landesmuseum, Kassel.



Zeus in the form of a swan consorted with Leda, and on the same night Tyndareus, king of Sparta, also made love to her. This is why four children were later born from the same mother but from different fathers: Castor 1 and Polydeuces (called the DIOSCURI), and Clytaemnestra and Helen. Of all four Helen and Polydeuces, being the children of Zeus, were immortal, but Castor 1 and Clytaemnestra, being those of King Tyndareus of Sparta, were mortal.

Others affirm that Helen was a daughter of Nemesis and Zeus, and that a shepherd found the egg and brought it to Leda. When Helen was hatched in due time, Leda suckled her, nursed her, and brought her up. Leda is said to have died of shame because of the deeds committed by Helen.

Family 

Parentage

Mates

Offspring

Notes

Thestius 1 & Eurythemis


Thestius 1 is known for having claimed the skin of the Calydonian boar on the ground that his son Iphiclus 2 had been the first to hit it. For this, it is said, war broke out between the Curetes, people living in Aetolia including the sons of Thestius 1, and the Calydonians including Meleager (see Calydon). When Tyndareus and his brother Icarius 1, father of Penelope, Odysseus' wife, were expelled from Lacedaemon by Hippocoon 2, they were received by Thestius 1 in Aetolia and allied themselves with him in the war which he waged with his neighbors. It was as an exile in the land of Thestius 1 that Tyndareus met Leda.

(The scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1.146 (quoting Eumelus' Corinthiaca) says that Glaucus 1 (son of Sisyphus), having lost his horses, came to Lacedaemon and consorted with Pantidyia. As the latter married Thestius 1, her daughter by Glaucus 1, that is Leda, was called daughter of Thestius 1.)


Zeus

Polydeuces

See DIOSCURI.


Helen

 


Tyndareus

Castor 1

See DIOSCURI.


Clytaemnestra

 

Timandra 1

Timandra 1 married Echemus, the Arcadian king who killed Hyllus 1, son of Heracles 1, in a battle that is counted as one of the first attempts of the HERACLIDES to return to the Peloponnesus. She had by him a son Laodocus, after whom a suburb Ladoceia near Megalopolis was named. Timandra married also Phyleus 1, son of Augeas (see Heracles 1).

Phylonoe

Phylonoe was made immortal by Artemis.

Phoebe 6


Genealogical Charts

Names in this table: Aegisthus, Aeolia, Aeolus 1, Aetolus 2, Agamemnon, Aganus, Agenor 6, Agorius, Alcidice, Aletes 1, Aleus, Amyclas 1, Amythaon 1, Anogon, Aphidas 1, Arcas 1, Ares, Bunomus, Callisto, Calyce 1, Calydon, Castor 1, Chrysothemis 1, Clytaemnestra, Cometes 4, Corythus 4, Cretheus 1, Cynortes, Daimenes, Damasius, Deimachus 1, Demonice, Deucalion 1, Echelas, Electra 2, Enarete, Endymion, Epicasta 1, Erigone 1, Gras, Helen, Hellen 1, Hermione, Idaeus 5, Idomene, Iphigenia, Lacedaemon, Ladocus, Leda, Leontomenes, Lycaon 2, Medon 7, Meliboea 1, Menelaus, Mnesileus, Nicostratus, Nonacris, Oebalus 1, Orestes 2, Orseis, Paris, Pelasgus 1, Penthilus 1, Pheres 1, Phoebe 6, Phorbus, Phylonoe, Pleuron, Polydeuces, Pronoe 2, Pylades, Pyrrha 1, Salmoneus, Sparton 1, Strophius 3, Tellis, Thestius 1, Timandra 1, Tisamenus 2, Tyndareus, Tyro, Xanthippe 1, Zeus.

Leda


Related sections Leda in GROUPS: ODYSSEUS IN HADES 
Sources
Abbreviations

Apd.1.7.10, 3.10.7; Eur.Hel.134; Eur.IA.29, 49; Hom.Od.11.298-304; Hyg.Fab.77, 78; Nonn.7.124; Ov.Met.6.109; Prop.1.14.29; Strab.10.2.24.

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