Study Guide

The Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux) Leda

Leda

This lovely lady was the queen of Sparta and the mother of Castor and Pollux, who were said to have hatched from a big old egg that she laid. Why would a human queen lay an egg, you ask? Because she mated with Zeus while he was in the form of a swan, of course. Later that night, she also slept with her husband King Tyndareus, which is why both of the Dioscuri weren't immortal. Go-figure stories like this pop up all the time in Greek mythology. Leda is one of many mothers of demi-god heroes who was said to have mated with her husband and a god in the same night, therefore giving their son half-god status. Another great example is Aethra, mother of Theseus.

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