Sunday, January 17, 2010

Myths and Legends: Dirce

Dirce. To find out more about Dirce and the sons of Antiope, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.

This Roman mosaic shows the punishment of Dirce at the hands of the sons of Antiope. Zeus had slept with Antiope and impregnated her; Antiope gave birth to two sons, Amphion and Zethus, whom she abandoned. They were rescued by a shepherd, however, who raised them as his own. Meanwhile, Antiope ended up in the household of Queen Dirce, the wife of King Lycus of Thebes. Dirce fiercely mistreated Antiope, who ran away. She found shelter with her own two sons, now grown men, not realizing who they were. Dirce ordered them to kill Antiope and they were about to do so until the old shepherd arrived and revealed the secret of their birth. They then inflicted on Dirce the punishment she had planned for Antiope: they tied her to the horns of a bull who dragged her to her death.

You can also find more myths and legends for the week of January 15-21 here. For more information and links to the actual javascript code, see the Myths & Legends Widget Reference Page.