The King

Cepheus Constellation

The Brighter Stars of Cepheus

The Story

The Kingdom of Ethiopia

King Cepheus was the King of Ethiopia, which in Greek myth, according to Ridpath, was conceived to be a country stretching from Palestine down to the shores of the Red Sea and included parts of present-day Israel, Jordan and Egpt.

The Vanity of Cassiopeia

Cepheus was descended from Zeus, and the offspring that resulted from Zeus' liason with Io. Cepheus wife Cassiopeia was very beautiful, but very vain as well. She had the presumption to compare her beauty with that of the Nereid sea nymphs. Poseidon punished her pride by sending the sea monster Cetus to ravage Ethiopia.

Sacrificing the Maiden

Cepheus sent to the Oracle at Ammon to learn what he must do to appease the anger of the god. He was told that he must offer his virgin daughter Andromeda as a human sacrifice. She was to be chained to a rock on the Mediterranean Coast and left for the monster to devour.

Perseus Saves the Day

Cepheus did as he was told, but the hero Perseus showed up. He slew the monster and released Andromeda from her chains. Perseus claimed Andromeda's hand in marriage. King Cepheus was agreeable, but there was a problem. Cepheus had already promised Andromeda to his brother Phineus.

The Bloody Engagement Dinner

Phineus showed up with numerous followers at the engagement banquet for Andromeda and Perseus. So Perseus had to prove his heroism once more by battling for the right to marry his betrothed. The banquet turned into a bloody battle royal, where Perseus slaughtered Phineas and all of his followers.  

Copyright © 1998 - 2010 by Arnold V. Lesikar,
Professor Emeritus
Dept. of Physics, Astronomy, and Engineering Science,
St. Cloud State University,St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

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