A son of Dionysus and Ariadne,1 or of Theseus and Ariadne,2 was one of the Argonauts.3 By Chrysothemis he became the father of three daughters, Molpadia, Rhoeo, and Parthenos. Rhoeo was beloved by Apollo, and Staphylus, believing that she was with child by someone else, locked her up in a chest and threw her into the sea. The chest was washed on the coast of Delos, where she gave birth to Anius. She placed the child on the altar of Apollo, praying that the god, if he were the father, should save the child. Apollo accordingly concealed the boy, and taught him the art of prophecy.
The sisters of Rhoeo were to guard the wine of Staphylus, but while they had fallen asleep the swine spilled and spoiled the wine. The sisters, on discovering the mischief, took to flight and threw themselves down from a rock. But Apollo, who saved them, transferred Parthenos to Bubastus in the Chersonesus, where a sanctuary was dedicated to her, and Molpadia, under the name of Hemithea, to Castabus in the Chersonesus. There a temple was erected to her also, which no one was allowed to enter who had touched a swine, and where libations were offered to her, consisting of honey and water. Hemithea was worshiped especially as a divinity affording relief to women in child-bed.4 According to others Hemithea became by Lyrcus the mother of Basileus.5
- Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, iii. 997.
- Plutarch. Theseus, 20.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 9.16.
- Diodorus Siculus. Historical Library v, 52, 63.
- Parthenius of Nicea. Erotica Pathemata, 1.
- 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.