Definitions for danaë

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Random House Webster's College Dictionary

Dan•a•ëˈdæn əˌi(n.)

  1. (in Greek myth) a daughter of the king of Argos and mother, by Zeus disguised as a shower of gold, of Perseus.

    Category: Mythology

Freebase

  1. Danaë

    In Greek mythology, Danaë was a daughter of King Acrisius of Argos and his wife Queen Eurydice. She was the mother of Perseus by Zeus. She was sometimes credited with founding the city of Ardea in Latium. Disappointed by his lack of male heirs, Acrisius asked an oracle if this would change. The oracle told him that he would be killed by his daughter's son. She was childless and, meaning to keep her so, he shut her up in a bronze tower or cave. But Zeus came to her in the form of golden rain, and impregnated her. Soon after, their child Perseus was born. Unwilling to provoke the wrath of the gods by killing his offspring, Acrisius cast Danaë and Perseus into the sea in a wooden chest. The sea was calmed by Poseidon and at the request of Zeus the pair survived. They washed ashore on the island of Seriphos, where they were taken in by Dictys - the brother of King Polydectes - who raised Perseus to manhood. The King was charmed by Danaë but she had no interest in him. Consequently he agreed not to marry her only if her son would travel to the foreign land of the Grey Ladies and slay the hideous Gorgon Medusa. With the use of Athena's shield, he was able to evade her gaze and eventually kill her.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Danaë

    daughter of Acrisius, king of Argos, confined by her father in an inaccessible tower of brass to prevent the fulfilment of an oracle that she should be the mother of a son who would kill him, but Zeus found access to her in the form of a shower of gold, and she became the mother of Perseus, by whose hand Acrisius met his fate. See Perseus.

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