Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
The son of Belus, king of Egypt, and Anchirrhoe, and twin brother of Aegyptus. Aegyptus and his fifty sons drove Danaus and his fifty daughters from their home in the Egyptian Chemnis through Rhodes to Argos, the home of his ancestress Io (see Io). Here he took over the kingdom from Pelasgus or Gelanor, and after him the Achaeans of Argos bore the name of Danai. Danaus built the acropolis of Larissa and the temple of the Lycian Apollo, and taught the inhabitants of the waterless territory how to dig wells. His daughters also conferred benefits on the land by finding springs, especially Amymone, the beloved of Poseidon, who, for love ofher, created the inexhaustible fountain of Lerna. For this they were worshipped in Argos. The sons of Aegyptus at length appeared and forced Danaus to give them his daughters in marriage. At their father's command they stabbed their husbands at night, and buried their heads in the valley of Lerna. One only, Hypermnestra, disregarding her father's threats, spared her beloved Lynceus, and helped him to escape. Danaus accordingly set on foot a fighting match, and bestowed his remaining daughter on the victor. Afterwards, though against his will, he gave Lynceus his daughter and his kingdom. According to another story, Lynceus conquered his wife and throne for himself, and took vengeance for his brothers by killing Danaus and his daughtem. The Danaides (or daughters of Danaus) atoned for their bloody deed in the regions below by being condemned to pour water for ever into a vessel with holes in its bottom. This fable is generally explained by the hypothesis that the Danaides were nymphs of the springs and rivers of the land of Argos, which are filled to overflowing in the wet season, but dry up in summer. The tombstone of Danaus stood in the market at Argos. He was also worshipped in Rhodes as the founder of the temple of Athene in Lindos, and as the builder of the first fifty-oared ship, in which he fled from Egypt. The story of Danaus and his daughters is treated by Aeschylus in his Supplices. Lynceus and Hypermnestra had also a common shrine in Argos; their son was Abas, father of Acrisius and Proetus. The son of Amymone and Poseidon was Nauplius, founder of Nauplia, and father of Palamedes, OEax, and Nausimedon.
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