Or, as Ovid1 calls her, Galanthis, daughter of Proetus of Thebes and a friend of Alcmene. When the latter was on the point of giving birth to Heracles, and the Moirae and Eileithyia, at the request of Hera, were endeavoring to prevent or delay the birth, Galinthias suddenly rushed in with the false report that Alcmene had given birth to a son.

The hostile goddesses were so surprised at this information that they dropped their arms. Thus the charm was broken, and Alcmene was enabled to give birth to Heracles. The deluded goddesses avenged the deception practiced upon them by Galinthias by metamorphosing her into a weasel or cat (γαλῆ), and dooming her to lead a joyless life in obscure holes and corners. Hecate, however, took pity upon her, and made her her attendant, and Heracles afterwards erected a sanctuary to her.

At Thebes it was customary at the festival of Heracles first to offer sacrifices to Galinthias. Pausanias2 relates a similar story of Historis.



  1. Metamorphoses ix, 306.
  2. Description of Greece ix, 11.2.


  • Aelian. History of Animals xii, 5.
  • Antoninus Liberalis, 29.
  • Ovid, l.c.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.