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Cyrene wrestling with a lion, right side Libya

In Greek mythology, as recorded in Pindar's 9th Pythian ode, Cyrene (or Kyrene) ("sovereign queen") was the daughter of Hypseus, King of the Lapiths. When a lion attacked her father's sheep, Cyrene wrestled with the lion. Apollo, who was present, immediately fell in love with her and kidnapped her. He took her to North Africa and founded the city of Cyrene in her name. The region, Cyrenaica, is also named for her. Together, she and Apollo had one son: Aristaeus.

Cyrene, Mother of Cities,
Slayer of Lions, in token of great hospitality.

Inscription, British Museum, London, England.

Apollo Abducting Cyrene

The Atalanta Legend in Art and Literature, Reet A. Howell Maxwell L. Howell, Journal of Sport History, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Summer, 1989) (PDF)

With Ares, Cyrene (if indeed this is the same Cyrene) was the mother of Diomedes of Thrace.


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