Greek Mythological Story of Perseus and Andromeda
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Andromeda was the daughter of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia from Aethiopia. Perseus was a hero who is said to have founded Mycenae and who eventually bested the monster, Medusa. During Perseus’ travels and adventures, he also crossed paths with Andromeda and saved her life. This is their story:
Queen Cassiopeia Declares Her Daughter’s Beauty
Queen Cassiopeia was known for being more than just King Cepheus’ wife – she was known for her beauty, as well. However, she was also known for her vanity – she often praised her own beauty and once she gave birth to Andromeda, she praised her daughter’s beauty as well. One day, she boasted that her daughter was far more beautiful than the Nereids, the sea nymphs who were the daughters of Nereus, the old man of the sea, and Doris. There were fifty of these Nereids in total, and each of them was known for their beauty.
Poseidon is Angered By Queen Cassiopeia’s Boast
When Poseidon heard of Queen Cassiopeia’s boast that Andromeda was more beautiful than the Nereids, he became very angry. Amphrite, the eldest of the Nereids, was also Poseidon’s wife, so he felt especially protective of the sea nymphs. He knew that he wanted to do something about Cassiopeia’s boastful words, so he vowed to seek his vengence. To do that, he enlisted help from the sea itself.
Cetus the Sea Monster Begins Persuing Andromeda
Instead of pursue Andromeda himself, he decided that he wanted take his vengence in another way. He had the sea monster, Cetus, pursue Andromeda and destroy the city where she lived with the king and queen. Cetus’ task was to wreak havoc in his pursuit and to not stop until the city was in shambles. Poseidon explained to the people that the only way to stop Cetus was to sacrfice Andromeda to him.
King Cepeus Chains Andromeda as a Sacrifice
There have been many artists over the centuries who have painted Andromeda and when they do, the paintings usually show her chained to a rock or a tree. This is because King Cepheus obeyed Poseidon. He chained his daughter so that she couldn’t flee, and so that she could be sacrificed in order to save the land. Once Cetus saw that she was chained and couldn’t move, he began to pursue her. It looked as if Poseidon would get his wish.
Perseus Rescues Andromeda from Cetus
Events, however, didn’t go as Poseidon had planned. When Perseus came upon Andromeda while she was chained, he decided to rescue her. He freed her from the chains and took Andromeda back to her land. While there, Perseus asked King Cepheus for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Andromeda was already promised to another, but eventually they were able to wed.
Eventually, Perseus and Andromeda settled in Tiryns in Mycenae where they had seven sons and one daughter together. Legend has it that his children went on to be the rulers of Mycenae until the civilization’s ultimate decline.
Categorized in: Greek Mythology
This post was written by Greek Boston