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When Acrisius inquired of the oracle how he should get male children, the god said that his daughter would give birth to a son who would kill him.1 Fearing that, Acrisius built a brazen chamber under ground and there guarded Danae.2 However, she was seduced, as some say, by Proetus, whence arose the quarrel between them;3 but some say that Zeus had intercourse with her in the shape of a stream of gold which poured through the roof into Danae's lap. When Acrisius afterwards learned that she had got a child Perseus, he would not believe that she had been seduced by Zeus, and putting his daughter with the child in a chest, he cast it into the sea. The chest was washed ashore on Seriphus, and Dictys took up the boy and reared him.


1 The following legend of Perseus (Apollod. 2.4.1-4) seems to be based on that given by Pherecydes in his second book, which is cited as his authority by the Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1091, 1515, whose narrative agrees closely with that of Apollodorus. The narrative of Apollodorus is quoted, for the most part verbally, but as usual without acknowledgment, by Zenobius, Cent. i.41, who, however, like the Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.1091, 1515, passes over in silence the episode of Andromeda. Compare Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 838 (who may have followed Apollodorus); Scholiast on Hom. Il. xiv.319. The story of Danae, the mother of Perseus, was the theme of plays by Sophocles and Euripides. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 143ff., 168ff., 453ff. The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. i. pp. 38ff., 115ff.

2 Compare Soph. Ant. 944ff. Horace represents Danae as shut up in a brazen tower (Hor. Carm. 3.16.1ff.).

3 That is, between Acrisius and Proetus. See above, Apollod. 2.2.1.

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