GALINTHIAS

ΓΑΛΙΝΘΙΑΣ

Or, as Ovid (Met. ix. 306) calls her, Galanthis, was a daughter of Proetus of Thebes and a friend of Alcmene. When the latter was on the point of giving birth to Heracles, and the Moerae and Eileithyia, at the request of Hera, were endeavouring to prevent or delay the birth, Galinthias suddenly rushed in with the false report that Alcmene had given birth to a son. The hostile goddesses were so surprised at this information that they dropped their arms. Thus the charm was broken, and Alcmene was enabled to give birth to Heracles. The deluded goddesses avenged the deception practised upon them by Galinthias by metamorphosing her into a weasel or cat (galê), and dooming her to lead a joyless life in obscure holes and corners. Hecate, however, took pity upon her, and made her her attendant, and Heracles afterwards erected a sanctuary to her. At Thebes it was customary at the festival of Heracles first to offer sacrifices to Galinthias. (Ov. l.c.; Anton. Lib. 29; Aelian, H. A. xii. 5.) Pausanias (ix. 11. § 2) relates a similar story of Historis.