Leda and the Swan

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Leda and the Swan is a story from Greek mythology in which Zeus, in the form of a swan, seduces Leda. Leda and the Swan is also a subject in art from Greek mythology. According to later mythology, Leda bore Polydeuces and Helen, children of Zeus, the same time she was bearing Castor and Clytemnestra (known as the Dioskouroi), the children of her husband Tyndareus, the King of Sparta. In a specific version of the story, it is subtly hinted that Clytemnestra, despite her being the daughter of Tyndareus, has been traumatized by what the swan had done to her mother. According to many versions of the story, Zeus took the form of a swan and seduced Leda on the same night she had slept with her husband. In other versions, she laid two eggs from which the children had hatched from. Contrary from these versions, some believe that Helen is a daughter of Nemesis, the goddess who personified the disaster which awaited those suffering from the pride of Hubris. Following this myth chronologically, Leda was a contemporary of Hercules, who had set her husband Tyndareus on the throne of Sparta. Her mortal sons joined the expedition of the Argonauts and the Kalydonian Boar Hunt, albeit at a very young age, while her daughters, Helene and Klytaimnestra, were wives of Trojan War heroes. In an ancient Greek vase painting, the generational gap between the sons and daughters of Leda is clearly represented—for where Helene is depicted as hatching from the egg and her fully grown brothers, standing witness. Later the Dioskouroi led an army to Athens when Theseus kidnapped their ten year old sister. Leda was usually described as a daughter of Thestios, King of Pleuron. Althaia, her sister, was the mother of the Kalydonian hero Meleagros. Thestios himself was actually a grandson of Aitolos, son of the famous Endymion. Although the story was rarely noticed in the large-scale sculpture of
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