Andromeda
—Charles Kingsley
Endnotes
This poem retells the story of Andromeda and Perseus. The basic story can be found in Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book IV, ll 604-803.

The illustration to the right is from a 1713 edition of the Metamorphoses and was engraved by a man named Bahr. To see other examples of Bahr's work, click on the illustration.

Details from the beginning of the poem draw from the story of Altergatis. The sidebar to the right has a description of this mythological personality.

Atargatis (Gr.: Derceto) mythology

The legends are numerous and of an astrological character. A rationale for the Syrian dove-worship and abstinence from fish is seen in the story in Athenaeus 8.37, where Atargatis is naively explained to mean "without Gatis", the name of a queen who is said to have forbidden the eating of fish. Thus Diodorus Siculus (2.4.2), quoting Ctesias, tells how Derceto fell in love with a youth and became by him the mother of a child and how in shame Derceto flung herself into a lake near Ascalon and her body was changed into the form of a fish though her head remained human. Derceto's child grew up to become Semiramis, the Assyrian queen. In another story, told by Hyginus, an egg fell from the sky into the Euphrates, was rolled onto land by fish, doves settled on it and hatched it, and Venus, known as the Syrian goddess, came forth. The author of Catasterismi explained the constellation of Piscis Austrinus as the parent of the two fish making up the constellation of Pisces; according to that account, it was placed in the heavens in memory of Derceto's fall into the lake at Hierapolis Bambyce near the Euphrates in Syria, from which she was saved by a large fish which again explains the Syrian abstinence from fish. Ovid in his Metamorphoses (5.331) relates that Venus took the form of a fish to hide from Typhon. In his Fasti (2.459-.474) Ovid instead relates how Dione, by whom Ovid intends Venus/Aphrodite, fleeing from Typhon with her child Cupid/Eros came to the river Euphrates in Syria. Hearing the wind suddenly rise and fearing that it was Typhon, the goddess begged aid from the river nymphs and leapt into the river with her son. Two fish bore them up and were rewarded by being transformed into the constellation Pisces and for that reason the Syrians will eat no fish.

Scansion problems were minimal. The exceptions are listed to the right.

1. The name Cepheus was treated as a spondee when it terminated a verse.
2. The name Nereus was treated in the same way.


The poem was taken from the Google Library: <Click here to visit>


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