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Δαναός). A son of Belus and Anchinoë, and brother of Aegyptus. Belus assigned the country of Libya to Danaüs, while to Aegyptus he gave Arabia. Aegyptus conquered the country of the Melampodes and named it from himself. By many wives he became the father of fifty sons. Danaüs had by several wives an equal number of daughters. Dissension arising between him and the sons of Aegyptus, they aimed at depriving him of his kingdom; and, fearing their violence, he built, with the aid of Athené, a fifty-oared vessel, the first that ever was made, in which he embarked with his daughters and fled over the sea. He first landed on the isle of Rhodes, where he set up a statue of the Lindian Athené; but, not caring to remain in that island, he proceeded to Argos; where Gelanor, who at that time ruled over the country, cheerfully resigned the government to the stranger who had brought thither civilization and the arts. The people took the name of their new monarch, and were called Danaï (Δαναοί). The country of Argos being at this time extremely deficient in pure and wholesome water (see Inachus), Danaüs sent forth his daughters in quest of some. As Amymoné, one of them, was engaged in the search, she was rescued by Poseidon from the intended violence of a satyr, and the god revealed to her a fountain called after her name and the most famous among the streams that contributed to form the Lernaean lake or marsh. The sons of Aegyptus came now to Argolis and entreated their uncle to bury past enmity in oblivion, and to give them their cousins in marriage. Danaüs, retaining a perfect recollection of the injuries they had done him and distrustful of their promises, consented to bestow upon them his daughters, whom he divided among them by lot; but on the wedding-day he armed the hands of the brides with daggers, and en

Danaïdes. (Visconti, Museo Pio-Clementino.)

joined upon them to slay in the night their unsuspecting bridegrooms. All but Hypermnestra obeyed the cruel orders of their father; and cutting off the heads of their husbands, they flung them into Lerna, and buried their bodies with all due rites outside of the town. At the command of Zeus, Hermes and Athené purified them from the guilt of their deed. Hypermnestra had spared Lynceus for the delicate regard which he had shown to her modesty. Her father, at first, in his anger at her disobedience, put her into close confinement. Relenting, however, after some time, he gave his consent to her union with Lynceus, and proclaimed gymnastic games, in which the victors were to receive his other daughters as the prizes. It was said, however, that the crime of the Danaïdes did not pass without due punshment in the lower world, where they were condemned to pour water forever into a perforated vessel.

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