Study Guide

The Birth of Perseus Setting

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Perseus is born in the city-state known as Argos, where he was remembered as a super hero for an equally super long time. His story is part of the bundle of tales that make up the founding myths of this city and the surrounding region. Back in the day, Argos was one of the powers-that-be in ancient Greece; they were constantly rivaling Sparta for control of the Peloponnese, the big old peninsula that wiggles its toes at the bottom of Greece.

Though Perseus leaves Argos while still a baby in this myth, he later comes back to his home region and founds Mycenae, which will become one of the most dominate Greek cities for a period now dubbed by archaeologists and historians as the Mycenaean Period. (Hm, not very creative work, archaeologists and historians.)


After their unpleasant voyage in a cramped wooden chest, Danae and little baby Perseus are hauled onto the little island of Serifos in the nets of Dictys, the friendly fisherman. Unlike, the city of Argos, Serifos is kind of a backwater, low-key kind of place. This suits Danae just fine, because it gives her a place to raise Perseus without her psychotic father trying to drown him or something. For Danae and her child, Serifos means sanctuary.

Well, until Polydectes, king of Serifos, takes an interest in Danae... Check out "Perseus and Medusa" for what happens next on the formerly peaceful Serifos.

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