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Re-Post – Leda and the Swan

July 25, 2013

Leda and the Swan

Unfortunately I ran out of time prior to heading off to Cyprus and as such have scheduled a re-post of Leda and the Swan. I felt this post was quite fitting as the image used is a mosaic from Cyprus.

In the most commonly recounted tale Leda was seduced or raped by Zeus disguised as a swan. The result of their union were a number of eggs laid by Leda. Helen was born from one of these eggs and would go onto leave her husband Menelaus for Paris, providing the excuse Agamemnon needed to launch the campaign against Troy.

Other versions of the myth tell that it was Nemesis who was raped and that Leda found the eggs or, alternatively, Hermes placed the eggs under Leda’s birthing stool.

This mosaic relief from Cyprus details the moment before the rape of Leda by Zeus. This is a replica of the original which is housed in one of Cyprus’ museums to ensure its preservation.

The rape of Leda is a further representation of male dominance over women; much like with Persephone (see below for link to previous post). However, within this moment of violence there is the transmission of Zeus’ godly power to Helen providing her with unparalleled beauty.

Link to post on Persephone


From → Art

  1. Hola Reviso tu blog casi a diario y escribo en uno de temática relacionada.
    Deseaba aplaudirte por la emtrada y el sitio web en general, son magníficos y una enorme fuente de inspiración 🙂

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  1. Paphos Mosaics 15 – The House of Aion | David Allsop Classics

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