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[333] Ἰνὼ Λευκοθέη. The connection of Ino with sea-faring life, though not explained, is yet hinted at by the legends which represent her as drowning herself along with her son Melicertes (Melkarth, a name of Phoenician origin). This son is known in Greek as Palaemon; cp. Eur. I. T.270 ποντίας παῖ Λευκοθέας, νεῶν φύλαξ”,

δέσποτα Παλαῖμον”. Ino had two sons, Learchos and Melicertes, but Athamas their father, in a fit of madness inspired by Hera, slew Learchos, and Ino leaped from a sea-cliff between Megara and Corinth, with her other boy in her arms, to preserve him from a worse fate. The sea-gods saved them, and took them to live in the waters; “λέγοντι δ᾽ ἐν καὶ θαλάσσᾳ
μετὰ κόραισι Νηρῆος ἁλίαις βίοτον ἄφθιτον
Ἰνοῖ τετάχθαι τὸν ὅλον ἀμφὶ χρόνονPind. Ol.2. 28.She received divine honours in many places on the Greek coast. In the Hellenising period of Roman religion, Mater Matuta was identified with Leucothea, and Portunus with Palaemon. The surname Leucothea may contain a picturesque reference to the white foam of the stormy waves, or more likely to the fair calm (“λευκὴ γαλήνηHom. Od.10. 94) which a sea-goddess had the power to produce. Leucothea is the single instance in Homer of such an apotheosis of a mortal. See on Od. 11.601 foll.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Euripides, Iphigeneia in Taurus, 270
    • Homer, Odyssey, 10.94
    • Pindar, Olympian, 2
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