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In Greek mythology, Taygete (Greek: Ταϋγέτη, in Modern Greek Taygeti, Taigeti) was a nymph, one of the Pleiades according to Apollodorus (3.10.1) and a companion of Artemis, in her archaic role as potnia theron, "Mistress of the animals." Mount Taygetos in Laconia, dedicated to the Goddess, was her haunt.

Olympic Zeus pursued Taygete, who invoked Artemis. The goddess turned Taygete into a doe, and since in this form Zeus raped her, any distinction between the Titaness in her human form and in her doe form is blurred. As Pindar conceived the myth-element in his third Olympian Ode, "the doe with the golden horns, which once Taygete had inscribed as a sacred dedication to Artemis Orthosia," ("right-minded" Artemis) was the very Cerynian Hind that Heracles later pursued. For the knowledgeable poet, the transformation was incomplete, and the doe-form became an offering. Later mythographers have misconceived her transformation as a punishment, after the rape. Karl Kerenyi points out (The Heroes of the Greeks ) "It is not easy to differentiate between the divine beast, the heroine and the goddess."

According to Pausanias (iii. 1, 2, etc.) Taygete conceived through Zeus Lacedaemon, the mythical founder of Sparta, and Eurotas.

Links

Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities 1898 (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/): Taygete

Books

The Heroes of the Greeks, Carl Kerenyi


Greek Mythology


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