of the Day
Clue of the Month
Greek mythology, a queen of Sparta and mother of Helen, Pollux,
Castor, and Clytemnestra.
Common clues: Lady
with a swan; “____ and The Swan” (Yeats poem);
Helen’s mother; Mother of Castor and Pollux; Swan lady;
5 times a year
in English language:
76231 / 86800
and the Swan is a motif from Greek mythology, in which Zeus came
to Leda in the form of a swan. According to later Greek
mythology, Leda bore Helen and Polydeuces, children of Zeus while
at the same time bearing Castor and Clytemnestra, children of her
husband Tyndareus, the King of Sparta. As the story goes, Zeus
took the form of a swan and raped or seduced Leda on the same
night she slept with her husband, King Tyndareus. In some
versions, she laid two eggs from which the children hatched. In
other versions, Helen is a daughter of Nemesis, the goddess who
personified the disaster that awaited those suffering from the
pride of Hubris.
for the head of Leda - Leonardo, c. 1506
motif was rarely seen in the large-scale sculpture of antiquity,
although Timotheos is known to have represented Leda in
sculpture; small-scale examples survive showing both reclining
and standing poses, in cameos and engraved gems, rings, and
terracotta oil lamps. Thanks to the literary renditions of Ovid
and Fulgentius it was a well-known myth through the Middle Ages,
but emerged more prominently as a classicizing theme, with erotic
overtones, in the Italian Renaissance.
article is licensed under the GNU
Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia
article "Leda and the Swan".