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date: 03 October 2022



  • Emily Kearns


Philomela Philomele, daughter of *Pandion and sister of Procne, transformed into a bird. The earliest version of the story (Od. 19. 518–23) makes the nightingale daughter of *Pandareos, who killed her own son in a fit of madness. In the more familiar version, crystallized by *Sophocles (1)'s lost play Tereus, the story began when Procne's husband Tereus raped Philomela and then attempted to guarantee her silence by cutting out her tongue. Philomela depicted her story in a piece of weaving which she sent to Procne, whereupon the latter took revenge by killing Itys, her son by Tereus, and serving him up to his father. Tereus pursued the two women to punish them, but was turned into a hoopoe, while Philomela became a swallow and Procne a nightingale (or vice versa).


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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