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Hero and Leander

by Micha F. Lindemans
A youth of Abydos in Egypt. He was in love with Hero, a young priestess of Aphrodite at Sestos. To be with her, he swam each night across the Hellespont, guided by a lamp which Hero had lighted earlier in the evening. During one stormy night, the wind extinguished the lamp and Leander, lost and overcome with fatigue, drowned. Unable to cope with her loss Hero flung herself into the sea.

The history of Hero and Leander is depicted on Roman coins from the cities of Abydos and Sestos, on gems, and on some frescoes (Casa dei Vettii at Pompeii). They show Leander swimming towards a tower on which Hero stands at the top holding a lamp in her right hand.


Article details:

  • Pronunciation:
    hieer'-oh, lee-an'-dur

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