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Leda

Λήδα). A daughter of King Thestius and Eurythemis, who married Tyndareos, king of Sparta. According to the common account, she became, by Zeus (who assumed for that purpose the form of a swan), the mother of Pollux and Helen, and on the same night by her own husband, the parent of Castor and Clytaemnestra. Two eggs, it seems, were brought forth by her, from which respectively came the children just named, Pollux and Helen being in one, and Castor and Clytaemnestra in the other. Other versions, however, are given of the legend, for which consult Homer ( Od. xi. 298) and the articles Dioscuri and Helena. See also Calverley's Sons of Leda, from Theocritus. The story of Leda and the swan has formed the subject of many beautiful works of art in both ancient and modern times.

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