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MYTHS OF THE OLDER HEROES.
THE HOUSE OF DANAUS.
§ 132. The Older and the Younger Heroes. — We have already narrated the adventures of certain demigods and heroes, such as Prometheus, Deucalion, Cadmus, Amphion, Orpheus. Others of importance were Perseus, Hercules, Minos, (Edipus, Theseus, Jason, Meleager, Peleus, Pelops, Castor and Pollux. These and their contemporaries may be called the Older Heroes. They are renowned either for individual exploits or for the part played by them in one or more of three great expeditions, — the War against Laomedon of Troy, the Voyage for the Golden Fleece, and the Hunt of the Calydonian Boar.
The Younger Heroes were of a later generation, which was concerned in four important enterprises, — the War of the Seven against Thebes,* the Trojan War, the Wanderings of Ulysses, and the Adventures of Æneas.?
The exploits of the Older Heroes may be arranged in respect of their probable sequence in time, and of their grouping according to families of heroes. If we observe the principle of genealogy, one race, that of Inachus of Argos, attracts our notice in the heroes descended from Pelasgus, Belus, and Agenor. The family of Belus gives us the famous House of Danaüs; the family of Agenor, the Houses of Minos and Labdacus. Another race, that of Deucalion, gives us the heroes of the Hellenic branch, most notably those descended from Æolus. With these families most of the Older Heroes are, by blood or by adventure, to some extent connected. Bearing this fact in mind, and at the same time observing the chronological sequence of adventures, we obtain an arrangement of myths as illustrating the races, families, or houses : (1) of Danaüs of Argos, (2) of Æolus of Thessaly, (3) of Ætolus, (4) of Minos of Crete, (5) of Cecrops and of Erichthonius of Attica, (6) of Labdacus of Thebes."
1 $ 142, 2 $ 145. 3 § 148. 4 $ 163
5 § 167.
§ 133. The Genealogy of Danaüs. — As the Hellenes, in the north, traced their descent from Deucalion and Pyrrha of Thessaly, so the Pelasgic races of the south from the river-god Inachus, son of Oceanus. The son of Inachus, Phoroneus, lived in the Peloponnesus and founded the town of Argos. This Phoroneus conferred upon the Argives the benefits attributed by other Greeks to Prometheus. He was succeeded by his son Pelasgus, from whom a division of the Greek people derive their name. With the love of Jupiter for the sister of Phoroneus, the fair Io, we are already acquainted. Her son was Epaphus, king of Egypt, from whom were descended (1) Agenor of Phænicia, father of Europa and Cadmus, and (2) Belus of Egypt, father of Ægyptus and Danaüs. To the family of Agenor we shall return in the history of Minos, son of Europa, and of Edipus, descendant
The Danaïds.– Ægyptus and his fifty sons drove Danaüs and his fifty daughters back to Argos, the ancestral home of the race. Finally a reconciliation was arranged by
means of a fifty-fold marriage between the sons of Ægyptus and the Danaïds. But in accordance with a treacherous command of Danaüs, all his daughters,
1 For references to genealogical tables, see Commentary, $ 132. 2 149.
8 $ 158. 4 Apollod. 2. I. § 5, etc.; Pausanias; Ovid, Heroides 14; Horace, Odes 3: 11, 23.