dimanche 31 août 2008

Andromeda 7

Read the drama of the celestial royal family (Andromeda, Perseus, Cepheus, and Cassiopeia) on this Theoi Project webpage
Andromeda, the original "maiden in distress" is daughter of Cepheus, king of Ethiopeia, and his wife Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia was proud of her daughter's beauty and boasted that Andromeda was more beautiful than the Sea Nymphs, the Nereids, who were daughters of Poseidon (Neptune). The Nereids complained to Poseidon who sent a sea monster (Cetus) to ravage the coast. With his kingdom in grave danger, Cepheus consulted the oracle of Ammon in Libya for advice. He learned the only way to save his kingdom was to sacrifice his daughter, Andromeda, to the sea monster. Andromeda is chained to a rock and left to the mercy of the monster. The hero, Perseus, arrives at the scene and they fall in love. Perseus had a quick consultation with Cepheus and Cassiopeia; it is agreed that if he rescues their daughter, he could marry her. The sea monster (Cetus) arrives and Perseus kills it. Perseus breaks the chains that bound Andromeda to the rock and frees her. The wedding follows. The English translation of the myth of Andromeda as told by Manilius in Astronomica , 1st century A.D. is not found elsewhere on the web (the Latin text can be found on this page). I am including it here because Manilius tells the myths from an astrological perspective:

There follows the constellation of Andromeda, whose golden light appears in the rightward sky when the Fishes [Pisces] have risen to twelve degrees. Once on a time the sin of cruel parents [Cepheus and Cassiopeia] caused her to be given up for sacrifice, when a hostile sea in all its strength burst upon every shore, the land was shipwrecked in the flood, and what had been a king's domain was now an ocean. From those ills but one price of redemption was proposed, surrender of Andromeda to the raging main for a monster [Cetus, the sea-monster] to devour her tender limbs.
"This was her bridal; relieving the people's hurt by submitting to her own, she is amid her tears adorned as victim for the beast and dons attire prepared for no such troth as this; and the corpseless funeral of the living maiden is hurried on its way.

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