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In Greek mythology, Althaea was the daughter of Thestius, wife of Oeneus and mother of Meleager, Melanippe (one of the Meleagrids), and Deianeira.

When Meleager was born, the Moirae predicted he would only live until a brand, burning in the family hearth, was consumed by fire. Althaea immediately hid the brand. Later, Meleager killed her two brothers in an argument and she placed the brand back upon the fire, killing him.

For th' unborn chief; the fatal sisters came,
And rais'd it up, and toss'd it on the flame:
Then on the rock a scanty measure place
Of vital flax, and turn'd the wheel apace;
And turning sung, To this red brand and thee,
O new born babe, we give an equal destiny;
So vanish'd out of view. The frighted dame
Sprung hasty from her bed, and quench'd the flame:
The log, in secret lock'd, she kept with care,
And that, while thus preserv'd, preserv'd her heir.

Ovid VIII, 455

119 Althaea is a polaroid named after Althaea.


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