Cassandra – Cursed Prophetess of Greek Mythology
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Cassandra, also known as Princess Cassandra of Troy, was a mortal woman who played a role in Greek mythology. Her name is often associated as someone who was known to have strong prophecies, but she was cursed so no one would believe her. Cassandra’s story, however, is a lot more intense than that and the fact that no one believed her predictions had considerable repercussions. Here’s a look at who Cassandra was and the role she played in Greek mythology:
Information About Cassandra
Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy, which therefore made her a princess. One of the interesting things about Cassandra is that she had a twin sister named Helenus. Her sister, however, didn’t necessarily have a relevant place in Cassandra’s overall tale. Cassandra was blessed with good looks – she had dark brown, curly hair and large, dark brown eyes. She was also quite intelligent. The downside, however, is that she was considered to be insane by those around her. There are different stories that focus on her insanity and why it came to be, but one of the most widely accepted is that she was cursed by Apollo.
How Cassandra Became Cursed
The story of how Cassandra’s powers of prophecy became cursed change depending on the source. However, it is interesting to note that each version of the story relates to the god Apollo. Some versions of the story indicate that Cassandra desired the gift of prophecy so she went to Apollo so that he could grant it to her. In order for Apollo to grant it, however, as payment for the gift, she was to give herself to Apollo. At the last minute, she changed her mind and wouldn’t give herself to him. Instead of take away the gift of prophecy, Apollo left her with it. Instead, he cursed her so that all those who heard her prophecies wouldn’t believe her. This was just perception, however. The gift itself was sound and her prophecies were real. In other versions of the story, Apollo tried to force himself on her while she slept. When she awoke and refused him, he bestowed the curse on her.
What Literature Has to Say About Cassandra
Cassandra was mentioned through the ages by several sources, and each of these sources has a slightly different take on things. Hyginus and Aeschylus both wrote about Cassandra but had two different versions of her story. Hyginus indicated that Apollo came to Cassandra in her sleep. According to the work, Mortal Women of the Trojan War, Hyginus said:
Cassandra, daughter of the king and queen, in the temple of Apollo, exhausted from practicing, is said to have fallen asleep; whom, when Apollo wished to embrace her, she did not afford the opportunity of her body. On account of which thing, when she prophesied true things, she was not believed.
Aeschylus in his work, Agamemnon, also wrote about Cassandra but his version was different. He indicated that she was cursed because she went back on a promise.
Regardless of how the curse developed, the fact remains that Cassandra had a very real gift of prophecy, but Apollo cursed her so that no one would ever believe her.
Categorized in: Greek Mythology
This post was written by GreekBoston.com