Aegyptus in Wikipedia

In Greek mythology, Aegyptus (Greek: Αἴγυπτος, Aígyptos) is a descendant of the heifer maiden, Io, and the river-god Nilus, and was a king in Egypt.[1] Aegyptos was the son of Belus[2] and Achiroe, a naiad daughter of Nile. Aegyptus fathered fifty sons, who were all but one murdered by the fifty daughters of Aegyptus' twin brother, Danaus, eponym of the Danaans, a name for the Mycenaean Greeks. The Aegyptus of Greek myth is not a genuinely Egyptian figure, but a figment of Egypt in the European imagination. A scholium on a line in Euripides, Hecuba 886, reverses these origins, placing the twin brothers at first in Argolis, whence Aegyptus was expelled and fled to the land that was named after him. In the more common version,[3] Aegyptus commanded that his fifty sons marry the fifty Danaides, and Danaus with his daughters fled to Argos, ruled by Pelasgus[4] or by Gelanor, whom Danaus replaced. When Aegyptus and his sons arrived to take the Danaides, Danaus relinquished them, to spare the Argives the pain of a battle; however, he instructed his daughters to kill their husbands on their wedding night. Forty-nine followed through, but one, Hypermnestra ("greatly wooed"), refused, because her husband, Lynceus the "lynx-man", honored her wish to remain a virgin. Danaus was angry with his disobedient daughter and threw her to the Argive courts. Aphrodite intervened and saved her. Lynceus and Hypermnestra founded the lineage of Argive kings, a Danaan dynasty. In some versions, Lynceus later slew Danaus as revenge for the death of his brothers, and the Danaides were punished in the underworld by being forced to carry water through a jug with holes, or a sieve, so that the water always leaked out. The story of Danaus and his daughters, and the reason for their flight from marriage, provided the theme of Aeschylus' The Supplicants. In the second or third century AD, Antoninus Liberalis[5] tells of another Aegyptos, who was a young man of Thessaly. He was the companion of Neophron, but the lover of Timandra, Neophron's mother; he became the victim of Neophron's revenge, when Neophron arranged a night-time substitution, so that Aegyptos committed involuntary incest with his mother, Bules. Zeus transformed Egyptos and Neophron into eagles and Timandra into a kite. Many of the transformations in Antoninus' prose compilation are found nowhere else, and some may simply be inventions of Antoninus; this story combines several themes of Hellenistic Romance. The placement of an Aegyptus in Thessaly is inexplicable. - Wikipedia

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Aegyptus in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology

(*Ai)/guptos), a son of Belus and Anchinoe or Achiroe, and twin-brother of Danaus. (Apollod. ii. 50.4; Tzetz. ad Lycophr. 382, 1155.) Euripides represented Cepheus and Phineus likewise as brothers of Aegyptus. Belus assigned to Danaus the sovereignty of Libya, and to Aegyptus he gave Arabia. The latter also subdued the country of the Melampodes, which he called Aegypt after his own name. Aegyptus by his several wives had fifty sons, and it so happened that his brother Danaus had just as many daughters. (Apollod. 2.1.5; Hyg. Fab. 170.) Danaus had reason to fear the sons of his brother, and fled with his daughters to Argos in Peloponnesus. Thither he was followed by the sons of Aegyptus, who demanded his daughters for their wives and promised faithful alliance. Danaus complied with their request, and distributed his daughters among them, but to each of them he gave a dagger, with which they were to kill their husbands in the bridal night. All the sons of Aegyptus were thus murdered with the exception of Lynceus, who was saved by Hypermnestra. The Danaids buried the heads of their murdered husbands in Lerna, and their bodies outside the town, and were afterwards purified of their crime by Athena and Hermes at the command of Zeus. Pausanias (2.24.3), who saw the monument under which the heads of the sons of Aegyptus were believed to be buried, says that it stood on the way to Larissa, the citadel of Argos, and that their bodies were buried at Lerna. In Hyginus (Fath. 168) the story is somewhat different. According to him, Aegyptus formed the plan of murdering Danaus and his daughters in order to gain possession of his dominions. When Danaus was informed of this he fled with his daughters to Argos. Aegyptus then sent out his sons in pursuit of the fugitives, and enjoined them not to return unless they had slain Danaus. The sons of Aegyptus laid siege to Argos, and when Danaus saw that further resistance was useless, he put an end to the hostilities by giving to each of the besiegers one of his daughters. The murder of the sons of Aegyptus then took place in the bridal night. There was a tradition at Patrae in Achaia, according to which Aegyptus himself came to Greece, and died at Aroe with grief for the fate of his sons. The temple of Serapis at Patrae contained a monument of Aegyptus. (Paus. 7.21.6.) - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.

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