GORGOPHONEFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In Greek mythology, Gorgophone was a daughter of Perseus and Andromeda.
Her name means "Gorgon Slayer", a tribute to her father who killed Medusa, the mortal Gorgon. Gorgophone is a central figure in the history of Sparta, having been married to two kings, Oebalus of Sparta (actually Lakonia, Sparta's region) and Perieres of Messenia, the region to the west of Lakonia which Sparta, in the late 8th or early 7th century B.C. enslaved. She was of Lelege descent, the Leleges being a people of Asia Minor who settled in Lakonia. One of the sons of Oibalos and Gorgophone was Tundareus, father of Helen of Troy, Clytemnestra, Castor, and Pollux, and another was Ikarios, father of Odysseus's wife, Penelope.
Thus Perseus's descendants played a central role in the Homeric epics and the pre-history of Greece, however we choose to understand the figure of Perseus himself. The most famous historical Spartan woman derived her name from Gorgophone, that is, Gorgo, the daughter of the great Spartan king Cleomenes. Gorgo was born about 507 B.C. After her father's rather awful death she married his brother, Leonidas, who became king and was the hero of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. Like her namesake Gorgophone, Gorgo remarried another Spartan king, and spawned yet another. Gorgo herself was renowned in Spartan legend, and it is curious that she bore the name that was so closely identified with the legendary Perseus and his daughter, who, if they really lived, pre-dated Gorgo by over seven centuries.
Chief sources for Gorgophone are Pausanias, books 2 and 4, and Apollodorus, Books 1 and 3. Plutarch's works contain a good deal on Gorgo, and she appears in a couple of Herodotus's anecdotes that emphasize her close ties with her father and his trust in her acuity of judgement.
But the sons of Egyptus came to Argos, and exhorted Danaus to lay aside his enmity, and begged to marry his daughters. Now Danaus distrusted their professions and bore them a grudge on account of his exile ; nevertheless he consented to the marriage and allotted the damsels among them.
First, they picked out Hypermnestra as the eldest to be the wife of Lynceus, and Gorgophone to be the wife of Proteus; for Lynceus and Proteus had been borne to Egyptus by a woman of royal blood, Argyphia; but of the rest Busiris, Enceladus, Lycus, and Daiphron obtained by lot the daughters that had been borne to Danaus by Europe, to wit, Automate, Amymone, Agave, and Scaea.
These daughters were borne to Danaus by a queen; but Gorgophone and Hypermnestra were borne to him by Elephantis. And tstrus got Hippodamia; Chalcodon got Rhodia; Agenor got Cleopatra; Chaetus got Asteria; Diocorystes got Hippodamia; Alces got Glauce; Alcmenor got Hippomedusa; Hippothous got Gorge; Euchenor got Iphimedusa; Hippolytus got Rhode.
[2.21.7] In Argos, by the side of this monument of the Gorgon, is the grave of Gorgophone (Gorgon-kilIer), the daughter of Perseus. As soon as you hear the name you can understand the reason why it was given her. On the death of her husband, Perieres, the son of Aeolus, whom she married when a virgin, she married Oebalus, being the first woman, they say, to marry a second time; for before this wives were wont, on the death of their husbands, to live as widows.
[2.21.8] In front of the grave is a trophy of stone made to commemorate a victory over an Argive Laphaes. When this man was tyrant I write what the Argives themselves say concerning themselves--the people rose up against him and cast him out. He fled to Sparta, and the Lacedaemonians tried to restore him to power, but were defeated by the Argives, who killed the greater part of them and Laphaes as well.Not far from the trophy is the sanctuary of Leto; the image is a work of Praxiteles.