ANDROMEDA

ΑΝΔΡΟΜΕΔΗ

Andromeda, by Sir Edward Poynter (1836-1919), English Classicist painter

Andromeda, by Sir Edward Poynter
(1836-1919), English Classicist painter

A daughter of the Aethiopian king Cepheus and Cassiopeia. Her mother boasted of her beauty, and said that she surpassed the Nereids. The latter prevailed on Poseidon to visit the country by an inundation, and a sea-monster was sent into the land. The oracle of Ammon promised that the people should be delivered from these calamities, if Andromeda was given up to the monster; and Cepheus, being obliged to yield to the wishes of his people, chained Andromeda to a rock. Here she was found and saved by Perseus, who slew the monster and obtained her as his wife. (Apollod. ii. 4. § 3 ; Hygin. Fab. 64; Ov. Met. iv. 663, &c.) Andromeda had previously been promised to Phineus (Hyginus calls him Agenor), and this gave rise to the famous fight of Phineus and Perseus at the wedding, in which the former and all his associates were slain. (Ov. Met. v. 1, &c.) [See PERSEUS.] Andromeda thus became the wife of Perseus, and bore him many children. (Apollod. ii. 4. § 5.) Athena placed her among the stars, in the form of a maiden with her arms stretched out and chained to a rock, to commemorate her delivery by Perseus. (Hygin. Poet. Astr. ii. 10, &c.; Eratosth. Catast. 17; Arat. Phaen. 198.) Conon (Narrat. 40) gives a wretched attempt at an historical interpretation of this mythus. The scene where Andromeda was fastened to the rock is placed by some of the ancients in the neighbourhood of Iope in Phoenicia, while others assign to it a place of the same name in Aethiopia. The tragic poets often made the story of Andromeda the subject of dramas, which are now lost. The moment in which she is relieved from the rock by Perseus is represented in an anaglyph still extant.

Perseus and Andromeda, by Pierre Mignard (1612-1695), French Baroque painter

Perseus and Andromeda, by Pierre Mignard (1612-1695), French Baroque painter