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Hero and Leander



This tale is based upon a later poem by Musaeus around the fourth century C.E. Nonetheless, it follows the tragic theme of two doomed lovers. Hero was a Sestos priestess of Aphrodite, and Leander was a lad of Abydos.

They were on opposite sides of the Hellespont, but the youths fell in love anyway.

At nightfall, Hero would hang a torch so Leander could swim across to her, using the light to guide him. One stormy night, the wind blew the light out; Leander lost his way and drowned.

Upon learning of her lover's death, Hero also drowned herself in order to be with him.

The story is a favourite among Renassaince artists; Rubens has an especially astonishing portrait.




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