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Simplified Heracles and Perseus Genealogy

Hypermnestra was the daughter of Danaus in Greek mythological character. Danaus was the twin brother of Aegyptus and son of Belus. He had fifty daughters, the Danaides, and Aegyptus had fifty sons. Aegyptus commanded that his sons marry the Danaides and Danaus fled to Argos, ruled by King Pelasgus. When Aegyptus and his sons arrived to take the Danaides, Danaus gave them to spare the Argives the pain of a battle. However, he instructed his daughters to kill their husbands on their wedding night. Forty-nine followed through, but one, Hypermnestra refused because her husband, Lynceus, honored her wish to remain a virgin. Danaus was angry with his disobedient daughter and threw her to the Argive courts. Aphrodite intervened and saved her. Lynceus later killed Danaus as revenge for the death of his brothers. Lynceus and Hypermnestra then began a dynasty of Argive kings (the Danaan Dynasty), beginning with Abas. In some versions of the legend, the Danaides were punished in the underworld by being forced to carry water through a jug with holes, or a sieve, so the water always leaked out. Hypermnestra, however, went straight to Elysium.

As to the wooden images of Aphrodite and Hermes, the one they say was made by Epeus, while the other is a votive offering of Hypermnestra. She was the only one of the daughters of Danaus who neglected his command,2 and was accordingly brought to justice by him, because be considered that his life was in danger so long as Lynceus was at large, and that the refusal to share in the crime of her sisters increased the disgrace of the contriver of the deed. On her trial she was acquitted by the Argives, and to commemorate her escape she dedicated an image of Aphrodite, the Bringer of Victory. 2.19.6

Hypermnestra is also the daughter of Thestios and Eurythemis. Her sisters are Althaia and Leda. With her husband Oikles she had a son namend Amphiareos, who later took part in the war of the Seven Against Thebes

THE LEGEND OF GOOD WOMEN by Geoffrey Chaucer (c. A.D.1342-1400) , The Legend of Hypermnestra


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