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Helle

by Micha F. Lindemans
The daughter of Athamas and Nephele. With her brother Phrixus she fled from her degenerate mother-in-law Ino, who wanted to kill her stepchildren. Nephele helped her threatened children by sending them a winged, golden ram. Phrixus and Helle mounted the animal which would take them to Colchis. During the flight, however, Helle fell from the animal into the sea that was later named after her (Hellespont). Her brother safely reached Clochis, where he sacrificed the ram to Zeus and hung the skin in a wood dedicated to Ares (see Golden Fleece).

The flight of Phrixus and Helle is rarely painted on vases, but often on reliefs and murals.


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