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date: 25 February 2024



  • Herbert Jennings Rose
  •  and Jenny March


Cassandra or Alexandra, in mythology daughter of *Priam and *Hecuba. In *Homer she is mentioned as being the most beautiful of Priam's daughters (Il. 13. 365), and she is the first to see her father bringing home the body of *Hector (24. 699 ff.). The Iliu Persis (Proclus) adds that during the sack of Troy she took refuge at the statue of Athena, but *Aias (2) the Locrian dragged her away to rape her, and in so doing loosened the statue from its plinth. Perhaps Homer knew of this episode, for at Od. 4. 502 he says that Aias was ‘hated by Athena’; but he makes no direct mention of it. Nor does he mention Cassandra's prophetic powers for which in later tradition she was famous. The Cypria (Proclus; see epic cycle) first mentions her prophecies. Aeschylus’ Agamemnon (1203 ff.) tells how Apollo gave her the power of prophecy in order to win her sexual favours, which she promised to him. But she broke her word, so he turned the blessing into a curse by causing her always to be disbelieved. Later authors follow this form of the story; but there is another (schol. Il.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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