Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Herippe, Wife of Xanthus

from Wikipedia
In Greek mythology, Herippe (Ἑρίππη) was a woman from Miletus, wife of Xanthus and mother of an unnamed two-year old child. During the celebration of Thesmophoria, she and many other women were carried off by the Gauls. Some of the captives were ransomed by their relatives, but Herippe was among those who were not, and thus was taken to Gaul. Xanthus, deeply missing his wife, turned most of his possessions into gold and headed on to the land of Celts, hoping to find and ransom Herippe. The Gaul who had abducted Herippe received Xanthus in a most hospitable manner; when Xanthus offered him one thousand pieces of gold for his wife, the host bade his guest to give only one quarter of the sum as ransom, and leave the other three quarters for himself and his family. When Xanthus had a chance to talk to Herippe, she scolded him for having promised to the barbarian a sum of money he did non possess, but Xanthus assured her that he had another two thousand to spare, hidden in his servant's shoes. Herippe then told the Gaul of the total sum of gold Xanthus had with him, and suggested that they kill him and take the money; she further confessed that she liked the Gaul and his land far more than Greece and Xanthus, and wished to stay with the Celts. The Gaul was disgusted at her words; in his eyes, such disloyalty deserved punishment by death. So the next morning he announced that a sacrifice must be made before he lets Xanthus and Herippe go; a sacrificial animal was brought, and the Gaul asked Herippe to hold it. She took the animal, as she was already accustomed to participate in Gaulish sacrificial rites. The Gaul then raised his sword and, instead of slaying the animal, beheaded Herippe. He then explained her treachery to Xanthus and let him go, telling him to leave all the gold for himself.

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