Cassiopeia (Κασσιόπεια) was one of the fifty Nereids in Greek mythology. She was called the "sole daughter of the sea." Her beauty was surprising because, one afternoon, when she was found on the coast of Aethiopia, the King Cepheus saw her and instantly fell in love with her. Cepheus then married Cassiopeia, who bore him a daughter named Andromeda.
After marrying the King of Aethiopia, the vain Cassiopeia boasted that her beauty was superior to that of her sisters. After this, the sisters bothered her because they knew that the beauty of their sister wasn't something that wasn't achieved but was something with which she was born. Poseidon worked sending a grand wave to Aethiopia but Cassiopeia handled it with her power. On seeing that the Nereid defended herself, Poseidon sent a monster to destroy the Queen of Aethiopia. Cepheus was hopeless and consulted the Oracle of Ammon. The only solution was to sacrifice Cassiopeia's daughter, Andromeda. The young virgin accepted her cruel destiny and then made the sacrifice by being chained to the shore so that Cetus, the sea monster, could kill her. When Cetus was about to devour her, Perseus arrived on the back of Pegasus.
Perseus was finished with Medusa, of which only a look would petrify any mortal. Having showed Medusa her reflection in his shield, Perseus was able to cut off her head, and from her blood rose the horse Pegasus. To rescue Andromeda, he showed Medusa's head to Cetus, who was turned to stone.
The gods then decided to punish Cassiopeia for the offense that still had not been forgotten. Cassiopeia was elevated to the sky, seated on her throne while made up with her magic creams. The gods were surprised by her beauty. Then Aphrodite, goddess of beauty, asked Cassiopeia the recipe for her creations. Cassiopeia promised Aphrodite the recipe in exchange for saving her. Aphrodite rushed to ask Zeus to save Cassiopeia by making her divine. At first the god of the sky denied this, but then gave in to Aphrodite's request.
After becoming a goddess, Cassiopeia saw the constellations of Cepheus and Andromeda and left the same constellation of her in the sky to accompany her family. The queen Cassiopeia became the best friend of Aphrodite and her best ally. Revealed before Mount Olympus, her power was so great that she was named the goddess of fantasy and of the seas.
Cepheus and Cassiopeia thanks Perseus for the rescue of Andromeda (La Délivrance d'Andromède, 1679)
Cassiopeia obtained her reign on Olympus and many gods and men courted her. With her youth and beautiful appearance full of joy and accessories that represented her vanity, she was always covered with a sacred palm leaf that hid her surprising powers. Occasionally Cassiopeia travelled to the sea together with Aphrodite to visit her sisters and her true kingdom.
Cassiopeia daughter of Arabius
Another Cassiopeia occurs in Greek mythology and was a lesser known woman than the above queen. This Cassiopeia was a daughter of Arabius (otherwise unknown). She was the wife of Phoenix, and mother of Atymnius (some say Zeus was the father of Atymnius) and perhaps Carme (usually said to be a daughter of Eubuleus of Crete) and Phineas.
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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