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Danaë

Danaë

In Greek mythology Danaë was the daughter of Acrisius, the king of Argos. An oracle told Acrisius that Danaë's son would someday kill him. To prevent the prophecy from coming true, Acrisius had his daughter imprisoned in a bronze tower. There the god Zeus* went to her in a shower of gold, and she became pregnant with a son, the hero Perseus. When Acrisius learned of the baby's birth, he ordered Danaë and her son locked inside a chest and set adrift at sea.

The chest reached the island of Seriphos, where it was discovered by a fisherman named Dictys, whose brother Polydectes was king. Dictys helped Danaë raise her son on the island. When Perseus was grown, Polydectes fell in love with Danaë, but she did not love him in return. Believing that he could pressure Danaë into marrying him if her son were absent, Polydectes sent Perseus on a quest for the head of Medusa*. Some sources say that Danaë went into hiding during Perseus's absence, others that Polydectes locked her away In any event, Danaë resisted Polydectes' advances.

When Perseus returned, he saved Danaë by turning Polydectes to stone with the head of Medusa. Dictys became king, and Danaë and Perseus returned to Argos. According to some writers, she went on to found the city of Ardea in Italy. The original prophecy was fulfilled, however, when Perseus accidentally killed Acrisius with a stray discus during some athletic games.

oracle priest or priestess or other creature through whom a god is believed to speak; also the location (such as a shrine) where such words are spoken

prophecy foretelling of what is to come; also something that is predicted

discus heavy, circular plate hurled over distance as a sport

Ovid refers to this myth in his Metamorphoses *. Many artists, including Titian and Rembrandt, capture the story of Danaë in their paintings.

See also Greek Mythology; Medusa; Perseus.

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Danaë

Danaë (dăn´āē), in Greek legend, daughter of Acrisius. When it was prophesied that Danaë's son would kill Acrisius, her father imprisoned her in a bronze tower. However, Zeus came to her in the form of a shower of gold, and she bore him a son, Perseus. Acrisius put Danaë and Perseus into a chest and threw them into the sea, but they floated safely to land and the prophecy was eventually fulfilled.

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Danae

Danae in Greek mythology, the daughter of Acrisius, king of Argos. An oracle foretold that she would bear a son who would kill her father, and in an attempt to evade this, Acrisius imprisoned her. Zeus visited her in the form of a shower of gold and she conceived Perseus, who killed Acrisius by accident.

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Danae

Danae •Danae • filariae • torii • differentiae •prima facie • facetiae • reliquiae

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