Simplified Heracles and Perseus Genealogy

In Greek mythology, Danae (Greek: Δανάη, "parched") was a daughter of King Acrisius of Argos and Eurydice (no relation to Orpheus' Eurydice). She was the mother of Perseus by Zeus. She was sometimes credited with founding the city of Ardea in Latium.

Disappointed by his lack of male heirs, Acrisius asked an oracle if this would change. The oracle told him that one day he would be killed by his daughter's child. She was childless and, meaning to keep her so, he shut her up in a bronze tower or cave. But Zeus came to her in the form of rain or a shower of gold, and impregnated her. Soon after, their child Perseus was born.

Greek Mythology

Carpenter prepares a chest for Danae and Perseus

None too happy, but unwilling to provoke the wrath of the gods by killing his offspring, Acrisius cast the two into the sea in a wooden chest. The sea was calmed by Poseidon at the request of Zeus and the pair survived. They washed ashore on the island of Seriphos, where they were taken in by Dictys, the brother of King Polydectes, who raised the boy to manhood.

Later, after Perseus killed Medusa and rescued Andromeda, the oracle's prophecy came true.

Greek Mythology

In the center Perseus with the head of Medusa shown to Polydectes, left Danae and Athena

He started for Argos, but learning of the prophecy instead went to Larissa, where athletic games were being held. By chance Acrisius was there, and Perseus accidentally struck him with his javelin (or discus), fulfilling the prophecy. Too shamed to return to Argos he then gave the kingdom to Megapenthes, son of Proetus (Acrisius' brother) and took over his kingdom of Tiryns, also founding Mycenae and Midea there.

Danae And The Infant Perseus Cast Out To Sea By Acrisius Print by Giorgio Ghisi

Danae and the infant Perseus cast out to sea by Acrisius, Giorgio Ghisi


Acrisione (Ἀκρισιώνη), i.e. daughter of Acrisius.

Danaë, Scott Bodenheimer 1994

Danae Print by Titian

Danae, Titian

Danae Print by Nicolas-Rene Jollain

Danae, Nicolas-Rene Jollain

Danae Print by Giovanni Antonio Guardi

Danae, Giovanni Antonio Guardi

Danae Print by Attributed to Daniel Mijtens the Younger

Danae, Attributed to Daniel Mijtens the Younger

Danae Print by Jean-Francois Detroy

Danae, Jean-Francois Detroy

Danae Print by Attributed to Jacob van Loo

Danae, Attributed to Jacob van Loo

Greek Mythology

Jupiter and Danae, Peter Paul Rubens

Greek Mythology

Danae and Zeus, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Greek Mythology
Danae, Jan Gossaert

Danae , Alexandre Jacques Chantron

Danae, Henri Fantin-Latour

Greek Mythology

Danae, Titian

Greek Mythology

Danae, Titian

Greek Mythology

Danae, Correggio

Greek Mythology
Danae, Gustav Klimt

Greek Mythology

Danae, Albert Anker

Greek Mythology

Danae, Benvenuto Cellini

Greek Mythology

Danae, Joachim Wtewael, 1585 / 1600, Louvre, Zeus enters in Danae's room

Greek Mythology

Danae, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn


Greek Mythology


See also

Danae Gallery

Greek Mythology

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