Or Cassiope (Κασσιόπη), the wife of Cepheus, mother of Andromeda, whose beauty she extolled above that of the Nereides. This pride became the cause of her misfortunes, for the Nereides complained to Poseidon and the god sent a sea-monster to ravage the country. An oracle told Cepheus that, in order to be rid of the monster, he had to sacrifice his daughter, and so Cepheus ordered Andromeda to be chained to a rock near the ocean.
Perseus, returning from his quest to bring back the head of Medusa, saw Andromeda and fell in love with her. Cepheus agreed that if Perseus succeeded in killing the monster, he would give him his daughter in marriage. Perseus slew the creature and claimed Andromeda as his bride.
After death, Cassiopeia was placed among the stars, situated between the constellations Cepheus and Andromeda. However, because of the enmity between her and the Nereides, and to teach her a lesson in humility, they had her placed in that part of the heaven near the pole where every night she is half the time held with her head downward.
The constellation Cassiopeia has a distinctive "W"-shape and is easily identified.
- Aratus. Phaenomena, 187 ff.
- Hyginus. Fabulae, 64.
- Manilius. Astronomica, i, 355.
- Ovid. Metamorphoses iv, 663-803.
- Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.