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Elihu Vedder, 1836–1923: The Pleiades.

The stars called PLEIADES in the constellation of Taurus commemorate the PLEIADES, daughters of Atlas and Pleione, daughter of Oceanus. The rising of the PLEIADES is a sign of summer, and their setting of winter, and for this reason this constellation has been more honored than the others.

Number of PLEIADES

It is said that the PLEIADES are seven in number but only six can be seen. Some say that the reason is that all mated with immortals except one of them (Merope 1). However, others affirm that because of the sack of Troy and the destruction of the house of Dardanus 1, Electra 3 left her sisters, and took a place in the Artic circle. That is why they sing:

... In Troy's last hour ... Electra shrouded her form in mist and cloud, and left the Pleiad-band ... Still rises up ... their bright troop in the skies; but she alone hides viewless ever since the town of her son Dardanus in ruin fell ... (Quintus Smyrnaeus, The Fall of Troy 13.555).

Pleione attacked by Orion

But ancient astronomers placed the PLEIADES apart from the constellation Taurus. They say that when Pleione once was traveling with her daughters through Boeotia, she was attacked by Orion, and as she managed to escape from him, he sought her for seven years without being able to find her. Zeus then, pitying the girls, appointed a way to the stars, and later astronomers said that they were in the Bull's tail (Taurus' tail). That is why Orion goes after them as they flee towards the west.



Atlas & Pleione


Pleione is one of the OCEANIDS.





Notes on the offspring of the PLEIADES

Alcyone 1
This was the second of the PLEIADES to have intercourse with Poseidon. Apd.3.10.1; Ov.Fast.4.173; Pau.2.30.8.



Aethusa mated with Apollo and had a son Eleuther 1 by him that won a Pythian victory for his loud and sweet voice.


Hyrieus is said to be father of Orion. For his famous treasure stolen by architects see Delphi.

Hyperenor 1

Hyperenor 1 is the founder of Hyperea, a city in Argolis.


Anthas founded Anthea or Anthedon (now Poros).

Celaeno 2
Others say her father was Ergeus but they do not say who her mother was. Apd.3.10.1; Hyg.Ast.2.21; Hyg.Fab.157; Ov.Fast.4.173.


Lycus 2

Lycus 2 dwells in the Islands of the Blest (see also Immortals).

Nycteus 1

Nycteus 1 is, for some, Callisto's father.

Euphemus 4

Electra 3
This is the one of the PLEIADES who does not appear in the sky because of the death of Dardanus 1 and the loss of Troy (see also Merope 1). Apd.3.10.1, 3.12.1; Dio.5.48.2; Hyg.Ast.2.21; Hyg.Fab.192; Nonn.3.186, 3.332ff.; Ov.Fast.4.31, 4.174-177; QS.13.552ff.


Dardanus 1

Dardanus 1 is the founder of the house of Troy.


Iasion is known for being the lover of Demeter.

Harmonia 1

For Harmonia 1 see Robe & Necklace of Harmonia 1.

Emathion 4

Emathion 4 was king of Samothrace.

This is the eldest of the PLEIADES. She was said to have surpassed her sisters in beauty. Brought up Arcas 1, son of Zeus & Callisto, in Arcadia. Apd.3.8.2, 3.10.1-2; Hes.The.938; Ov.Fast.4.174, 5.85; Vir.Aen.8.140.




Merope 1
This is the seventh of the PLEIADES. She married a mortal man and she repents of it, and from shame at the deed she alone of the sisters hides herself in the sky (see also Electra 3). Apd.3.10.1; Hyg.Ast.2.21; Ov.Fast.4.175; Pau.9.34.7-10.


Glaucus 1

Glaucus 1 is father of Bellerophon.


Almus received some land in Boeotia from King Eteocles 2 and a village Almones was called after him.

Thersander 2

The children of Thersander 2 (Haliartus, Coronus 3 and Proetus 2) were adopted by Athamas 1, and received land from him. Proetus 2's daughter Maera 4 died very young.

Sterope 3
Apd.3.10.1; Hyg.Ast.2.21; Hyg.Fab.14; Ov.Fast.4.172; Pau.6.22.4, 20.1.1.

a) Ares

Oenomaus 1

"a)", "b)", etc. = different versions.

b) Oenomaus 1

Hippodamia 3

See Oenomaus 1 and Pelops 1.

Leucippus 4

Leucippus 4 is the one who fell in love with Daphne 1, also loved by Apollo.


Dysponteus is the founder of Dyspontium in Elis.

This is the one of the PLEIADES who consecrated to Artemis the Cerynitian Hind with the golden horns that Heracles 1 had to fetch. Apd.3.10.1; Hyg.Ast.2.21; Nonn.32.65; Ov.Fast.4.174; Pin.Oly.3.28; Vir.Geo.4.231.



The country of Lacedaemon is called after him. He married Sparta.

Related sections  

Apd.3.10.1-2; Ara.Phae.255; Hes.Ast.1; Hes.The.938; Hes.WD.383; Nonn.1.242, 2.17, 3.332, 13.414; Ov.Fast.3.105; Vir.Aen.8.140.