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[2] But when Nyctimus succeeded to the kingdom, there occurred the flood in the age of Deucalion;1 some said that it was occasioned by the impiety of Lycaon's sons.

But Eumelus and some others say that Lycaon had also a daughter Callisto;2 though Hesiod says she was one of the nymphs, Asius that she was a daughter of Nycteus, and Pherecydes that she was a daughter of Ceteus.3 She was a companion of Artemis in the chase, wore the same garb, and swore to her to remain a maid. Now Zeus loved her and, having assumed the likeness, as some say, of Artemis, or, as others say, of Apollo, he shared her bed against her will, and wishing to escape the notice of Hera, he turned her into a bear. But Hera persuaded Artemis to shoot her down as a wild beast. Some say, however, that Artemis shot her down because she did not keep her maidenhood. When Callisto perished, Zeus snatched the babe, named it Arcas, and gave it to Maia to bring up in Arcadia; and Callisto he turned into a star and called it the Bear.


1 See above, Apollod. 1.7.2.

2 As to the love of Zeus for Callisto, daughter of Lycaon, her transformation into a bear, and finally into the constellation of the Bear, see Paus. 1.25.1; Paus. 8.3.6ff.; Eratosthenes, Cat. 1; Libanius, in Westermann's Mythographi Graeci, Appendix Narrationum, 34, p. 374; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 481; Hyginus, Fab. 155, 176, and 177; Ov. Met. 2.409-507; Serv. Verg. G. 1.138; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. iii.685; Scholia in Caesaris Germanici Aratea, p. 381, ed. F. Eyssenhardt (in his edition of Martianus Capella); Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. p. 5 (First Vatican Mythographer 17; vol. ii. p. 94, Second Vatican Mythographer 58). The transformation of Callisto into a bear is variously ascribed to the amorous Zeus himself, to the jealous Hera, and to the indignant Artemis. The descent of the Arcadians from a bear-woman through a son Arcas, whose name was popularly derived from the Greek ἄρκτος, “a bear,” has sometimes been adduced in favour of the view that the Arcadians were a totemic people with the bear for their totem. See Andrew Lang, Myth, Ritual and Religion (London, 1887), ii.211ff.

3 The Tegean historian Araethus also described the mother of Arcas as the daughter of Ceteus; according to him she was the granddaughter, not the daughter, of Lycaon, and her name was Megisto, not Callisto. But he agreed in the usual tradition that the heroine had been transformed into a bear, and he seems to have laid the scene of the transformation at Nonacris in northern Arcadia. See Hyginus, Ast. ii.1. According to a Scholiast on Eur. Or. 1646, Callisto, mother of Arcas, was a daughter of Ceteus by Stilbe.

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