Cassiopeia was the vain and boastful wife of King Cepheus of Ethiopia, who lies next to her in the sky. They are the only husband-and-wife couple among the constellations. Classical authors spell her name Cassiepeia, but Cassiopeia is the form used by astronomers.
While combing her long locks one day, Cassiopeia dared to claim that she was more beautiful than the sea nymphs called the Nereids. There were 50 Nereids, daughters of Nereus, the so-called Old Man of the Sea. One of the Nereids, Amphitrite, was married to Poseidon, the sea god. The Nereids appealed to Poseidon to punish Cassiopeia for her vanity, and the sea god sent a monster to ravage the coast of King Cepheus’s country. This monster is commemorated in the constellation Cetus. To appease the monster, Cepheus and Cassiopeia chained their daughter Andromeda to a rock as a sacrifice, but Andromeda was saved from the monster’s jaws by the hero Perseus in one of the most famous rescue stories in history.
As an added punishment, Cassiopeia was condemned to circle the celestial pole for ever, sometimes hanging upside down in undignified posture. In the sky Cassiopeia is depicted sitting on her throne, still fussing with her hair.
quinta-feira, 6 de setembro de 2007
Publicada por rosé mari às 16:36