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In Greek mythology, Amymone (Greek Αμυμώνη) (the "blameless" one) was a daughter of Danaus. As the "blameless" Danaid, her name identifies her, perhaps, as identical to Hypermnestra ("great wooing" or "high marriage"), also the one Danaid who did not assassinate her Egyptian husband on their wedding night, as her 49 sisters did. (See the myth at the entry for Danaus.) Apollodorus, in his list of names for the Danaids, does mention both Hypermnestra and Amyome however, (Library 2.1.5)

Poseidon, in archaic times the consort of the two goddesses Demeter and Persephone in Argos, had dried up all the region's springs after the Argolid was awarded to the protection of Hera. It would appear from the myth that Poseidon preceded Hera in the heartland of her cult. But he rescued Amymone from a chthonic satyr that was about to rape her. To possess her himself, the god revealed the springs of Lerna, a cult site of great antiquity near the shores of the Argolid. To Poseidon she bore Nauplius, "the navigator," who gave his name to the port city of Argos.

Amymone, the blameless, was eventually reconciled with her father, and given in marriage to Lynceus, with whom she founded a race of kings that led to Danae, the mother of Perseus, founder of Mycenae. Thus this founding myth of Argos also asserts that Argos was the metropolis ("mother city") of Mycenae.

Amymone/Hypermnestra is represented with a water pitcher, a reminder of the sacred springs and lake of Lerna and of the copious wells that made Argos the "well-watered" and, by contrast, a reminder that her sisters were forever punished in Tartarus for their murderous crimes by fruitlessly drawing water in pitchers with open bases.

Amymone, Albrecht Dürer

External link

  • A. Kankeleit, Der Amymonemythos auf Mosaiken in Griechenland, Forum Archaeologiae 12/IX/99 (Greek Mosaics ,about the Amymone Mythology)
  • Lekythos (oil flask) depicting Poseidon pursuing Amymone

  • Greek Mythology


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