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Minerva & the Muses. Calliope tells story of Ceres, her daughter Proserpina, and Pluto’s abduction of Proserpina. Ascalaphus tattles on Proserpina’s eating in the underworld and becomes a screech-owl.

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ascalaphus tattles on proserpina s eating in the underworld and becomes a screech owl
Ascalaphus tattles on Proserpina’s eating in the underworld and becomes a screech-owl

The companions who were with Proserpina when she was abducted become Sirens – half bird/half women and beautiful singers

ceres teaches agricultural arts to triptolemus of eleusis near athens and he teaches mankind
Ceres teaches agricultural arts to Triptolemus, of Eleusis (near Athens), and he teaches mankind.

Story of Lyncus, King of Scythians, who tried to kill Triptolemus. Ceres turned him into a Lynx.


Arethusa helps Ceres find herdaughter and later we learn her story…pursued by the water god Alpheus, assisted by Diana, she changed into an underground stream. He followed and mingled his waters with hers.


Niobe, Queen of Thebes, wife of Amphion and daughter of Tantalus, insulted Leto (Latona) by boasting that she deserved worship more because she had more children (14).

to punish niobe latona leto sent her two children to kill niobe s 7 sons and 7 daughters

To punish Niobe, Latona (Leto) sent her two children to kill Niobe’s 7 sons and 7 daughters.

Artemis and Apollo killing the children of Niobe

icon for a mother s sorrow
Icon for a Mother’s Sorrow

Niobe was turned to stone in her grief, returned to her homeland, Phrygia, and placed on a mountaintop.

Niobe butterfly

latona leto had suffered much to bring apollo and diana forth
Latona (Leto) had suffered much to bring Apollo and Diana forth
  • She mated with Jove
  • No land would accept her for birthing until Ortygia allowed her to give birth to Diana and Delos allowed the birth of Apollo
  • She was in labor with Apollo for 9 days and 9 nights
  • Delos became sacred to Apollo

Latona (as Ovid tells) was driven by the anger of Juno to wandering with her infants –some people who mocked and denied her water were turned into frogs.

athens at war with thebes
Athens at war with Thebes
  • Tereus comes to assist Athens
  • In gratitude, Pandion gives him one of his two daughters, Procne, as bride
  • Tereus and Procne wed and return to Thrace
  • What happens from there?

Tereus became a hoopoe.

Procne became a nightengale.

Philomela became a swallow.

the two sisters
The Two Sisters
  • Became symbols for sorrow
  • And symbols for women’s issues – rape and silencing
  • Pandion, King of Athens, wasted away in grief at the fate of his daughters
  • Erectheus became King in Athens, whose daughter, Orithyia was wooed by the Boreas, the North wind.