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Τηρεύς). A son of Ares and king of the Thracians in Daulis. He afterwards reigned in Phocis (Thuc.ii. 29). Pandion, king of Attica, who had two daughters, Philomela and Procné, called in the assistance of Tereus against some enemy, and gave him his daughter Procné in marriage. Tereus became by her the father of Itys, and then concealed her in the country, that he might dishonour her sister Philomela, whom he deceived by saying that Procné was dead. At the same time he deprived Philomela of her tongue. (For a different version of the story, cf. Ovid, Met. vi. 565.) Philomela, however, soon learned the truth, and made it known to her sister by a few words which she wove into a peplus. Procné thereupon killed her own son Itys, and served up the flesh of the child in a dish before Tereus. She then fled with her sister. Tereus pursued them with an axe, and when the sisters were overtaken they prayed to the gods to change them into birds. Procné, accordingly, became a nightingale, Philomela a swallow, and Tereus a hoopoe (Apollod. iii.14.8; Tzetz. Chil. vii. 142, 459; Ovid, Met. vi. 424-675; ad Ecl. vi. 78). According to some, Procné became a swallow, Philomela a nightingale, and Tereus a hawk (Hyg. Fab. 45). It is clear that this story is a development of the older myth about Aedon (q.v.), daughter of Pandareus ( Od. xix. 58), and that the plaintive song of the nightingale had much to do with its origin.

hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 3.14.8
    • Homer, Odyssey, 19.58
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.29
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 6.424
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 6.565
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