ELEKTRA (Electra) was the Pleiad star- or mountain-nymph of Mount Saon on the island of Samothrake (Samothrace) in the north Aegean. She was loved by Zeus and bore him two sons, Dardanos, ancestor of the Trojan royal family, and Iasion, founder of the Samothrakian Mysteries. She was also entrusted with the fostering of Aphrodite's illegitimate daughter Harmonia. Her name is derived from the Greek word êlektron--the substance and the colour amber.
FAMILY OF ELECTRA
[1.1] ATLAS (Hesiod Astronomy Frag 1, Lycophron 71, Virgil Aeneid 8,134, Nonnus Dionysiaca 3.124)
[1.2] ATLAS & PLEIONE (Apollodorus 3.110, Hygins Fabulae 192, Hyginus Astronomica 2.21, Ovid Fasti 4.169 & 5.79)
[1.1] DARDANOS, EETION (by Zeus) (Hesiod Catalogues of Women Frag 102)
[1.2] DARDANOS, IASION (by Zeus) (Apollodorus 3.138)
[1.3] DARDANOS (by Zeus) (Quintus Smyrnaeus 13.545, Lycophron 71, Hyginus Fabulae 155, Ovid Fasti 4.31, Virgil Aeneid 8.134)
[1.4] DARDANOS, IASION, HARMONIA (by Zeus) (Diodorus Siculus 5.48.2)
[1.5] DARDANOS, EMATHION (by Zeus) (Nonnus Dionysiaca 3.124)
[1.6] IASION (by Zeus) (Hyginus Fabulae 250)
ELECTRA (Êlektra), i. e. the bright or brilliant one. A daughter of Atlas and Pleione, was one of the seven Pleiades, and became by Zeus the mother of Jasion and Dardanus. (Apollod. iii. 10. § 1, 12. §§ 1, 3.) According to a tradition preserved in Servius (ad Aen. i. 32, ii. 325, iii. 104, vii. 207) she was the wife of the Italian king Corythus, by whom she had a son Jasion; whereas by Zeus she was the mother of Dardanus. (Comp. Serv. ad Aen. i. 384, iii. 167; Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 29.) Diodorus (v. 48) calls Harmonia her daughter by Zeus. She is connected also with the legend about the Palladium. When Electra, it is said, had come as a suppliant to the Palladium, which Athena had established, Zeus or Athena herself threw it into the territory of Ilium, because it had been sullied by the hands of a woman who was no longer a pure maiden, and king Ilus then built a temple to Zeus. (Apollod. iii. 12. § 3.) According to others it was Electra herself that brought the Palladium to Ilium, and gave it to her son Dardanus. (Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 1136.) When she saw the city of her son perishing in flames, she tore out her hair for grief and was thus placed among the stars as a comet. (Serv. ad Aen. x. 272.) According to others, Electra and her six sisters were placed among the stars as the seven Pleiades, and lost their brilliancy on seeing the destruction of Ilium. (Serv. ad Virg. Georg. i. 138; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 1155.) The fabulous island of Electris was believed to have received its name from her. (Apollon. Rhod. i. 916.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Hesiod, Catalogues of Women Fragment 102 (from Oxyrhynchus Papyri 1359 fr. 2) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) :
"Elektra (Electra) was subject to [Zeus] the dark-clouded Son of Kronos (Cronus) and bare Dardanos . . ((lacuna)) and Eetion [usually spelt Iasion] . . ((lacuna)) who once greatly loved rich-haired Demeter . . ((lacuna)) Dardanos came to the coast of the mainland [of Troy] . . ((lacuna)) when he had left holy Samothrake (Samothrace) in his many-benched ship."
Hesiod, The Astronomy Fragment 1 (from Scholiast on Pindar's Nemean Ode 2. 12) :
"The Pleiades whose stars are these :--‘Lovely Teygata, and dark-faced Elektra (Electra), and Alkyone, and bright Asterope, and Kelaino, and Maia, and Merope, whom glorious Atlas begot.’"
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 110 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"To Atlas and Okeanos' (Oceanus') daughter Pleione were born on Arkadian Kyllene (Arcadian Cyllene) seven daughters called the Pleiades, whose names are , whose names are Alkyone, Merope, Kelaino, Elektra (Electra), Sterope, Taygete, and Maia. Of these . . . Zeus also slept with the other Atlantides."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 138 :
"Elektra (Electra), the daughter of Atlas, and Zeus were the parents of Iasion and Dardanos."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 145 :
"Elektra (Electra), after her seduction, sought refuge at this statue [the Palladium], whereupon Zeus threw both her and the palladium into the Ilian land. Ilos honoured it an built a temple for it." [N.B. For information on the Palladium see Pallas.]
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1. 916 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
"Samothrake (Samothrace), the island of Elektra (Electra), daughter of Atlas."
Lycophron, Alexandra 71 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"Atlas's daughter's [Elektra] diver son [Dardanos], who of old in a stiched vessel [escaped drowing] . . . what time the plashing rain of Zeus laid waste with Deluge all the earth."
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 48. 2 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"There were born in that land [of Samothrake] to Zeus and Elektra (Electra), who was one of the Atlantides, Dardanos and Iasion and Harmonia . . . This wedding of Kadmos (Cadmus) and Harmonia was the first, we are told, for which the gods provided the marriage-feast, and . . . Elektra [gave as a wedding gift] the sacred rites of the Great Mother of the Gods [Rhea-Kybele], as she is called, together with cymbals and kettledrums and the instruments of the ritual."
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 13. 54. 5 :
"[During the sack of Troy :] Laodike (Laodice) [daughter of Priamos (Priam)], say they, stretched her hands to heaven, praying the mighty Gods that earth might gape to swallow her, ere she defiled her hand with thralls' work; and a God gave ear, and rent deep earth beneath her: so by Heaven's decree did earth's abysmal chasm receive the maid in Troy's last hour. Elektra's (Electra's) self withal, the Star-queen lovely-robed, shrouded her form in mist and cloud, and left the Pleiad-band, her sisters, as the olden legend tells. Still riseth up in sight of toil-worn men their bright troop in the skies; but she alone hides viewless ever, since the hallowed town of her son Dardanos in ruin fell, when Zeus most high from heaven could help her not, because to the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) the might of Zeus must bow."
Strabo, Geography 7 fragment 49 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Iasion and Dardanos, two brothers [i.e. the sons of Elektra (Electra)], used to live in Samothrake (Samothrace). But when Iasion was struck by a thunderbolt because of his sin against Demeter, Dardanos sailed away from Samothrake, went and took up his abode at the foot of Mount Ida, calling the city Dardania."
Strabo, Geography 8. 3. 19 :
"At the base of these mountains [in the vicinity of Lepreon in Elis], on the seaboard, are two caves [by the River Anigros]. One is the cave of the Nymphai (Nymphs) called Anigriades; the other is the scene of the stories of the daughters of Atlas [Pleiades] and of the birth of Dardanos [i.e. the son of the Pleiad Elektra]."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 4. 33. 6 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"One the road from Andania towards Kyparissiai (Cyparissiae) is Polikhne (Polichne) [in Messenia], as it is called, and the streams of Elektra (Electra) and Koios (Coeus). The names perhaps are to be connected with Elektra the daughter of Atlas and Koios the father of Leto."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 155 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Sons of Jove [Zeus] . . . Dardanus by Electra, daughter of Atlas. Lacedaemon by Taygete, daughter of Atlas."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 192 :
"Atlas by Pleione or an Oceanitide (Oceanid) had twelve daughters . . . Their names are as follows : Electra, Alcyone, Celaeno, Merope, Sterope, Taygeta, and Maia. Of these, they say Electra does not appear, because of the death of Dardanus and the loss of Troy. Others think that Merope appears to blush because she had a mortal as husband, though the others had gods. Driven from the band of her sisters because of this, she wears her hair long in grief, and is called a comet, or longodes because she trails out for a long distance, or xiphias because she shows the shape of a sword-point. This star, too, portends grief."
[N.B. 1. The same story is told of the grieving Elektra. 2. In Greek longodes means "spear-shaped" and not "long" as Hyginus says.]
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 250 :
"Horses destroyed Iasion, son of Jove [Zeus] by Electra, daughter of Atlas."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 21 :
"The Pleiades are called seven in number, but only six can be seen. This reason has been advanced, that of the seven, six mated with immortals--three with Jove [Zeus], two with Neptunus [Poseidon], and one with Mars [Ares]-- . . .
From Electra and Jove, Dardanus was born . . .
On account of her other sisters she [the Pleiad Merope] was placed among the constellations, but because she married a mortal, her star is dim. Others say Electra does not appear because the Pleiades are thought to lead the circling dance for the stars, but after Troy was captured and her descendants through Dardanus overthrown, moved by grief she left them and took her place in the circle called Arctic. From this she appears, in grief for such a long time, with her hair unbound, that, because of this, she is called a comet."
Ovid, Fasti 4. 31 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Dardanus was Atlantid Electra's son, Electra slept with Jove [Zeus]."
Ovid, Fasti 4. 169 ff :
"The Pleiades will start relieving their sire's [Atlas'] shoulders. Called seven, they are usually six, wither because six of them entered a god's embrace--for they say that Sterope lay with Mars [Ares], Alcyone and you, fair Celaeno, with Neptunus [Poseidon], Maia, Electra, Taygete with Jove [Zeus]--the seventh, Merope, wed you, mortal Sisyphus, she regrets it, and hides alone in shame), or because Electra could not bear the spectacle of Troy's fall and blocked her eyes with her hands."
Ovid, Heroides 16. 175 ff (trans. Showerman) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"[Paris addresses Helen :] ‘A Pleiad [i.e Elektra (ELectra)], if you will search, you will find in our line, and a Jove [Zeus], to say naught of our ancestry since their time.’"
Virgil, Aeneid 8. 134 ff (trans. Day-Lewis) (Roman epic C1st B.C.) :
"[The Trojan prince Aeneas addreses King Evander of Latium :] ‘Dardanus, the progenitor and founder of Ilium's city, born, as the Greeks maintain, of Electra, daughter of Atlas, sailed to our Teucrian land: yes, Electra's father was mighty Atlas who holds aloft on his shoulders the heavenly firmament.’"
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 3. 84 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"[Kadmos (Cadmus) arrives on the island of Samothrake, where Zeus has promised him the goddess Harmonia for his bride. Harmonia is the foster-daughter of Nymph-Queen Elektra (Electra) :] A crow, she opened her loud beak inspired, and reproached the young man [Kadmos] for a laggard, that the bridegroom walked to his bride Harmonia with dawdling foot. She flapt her wings and rallied him soundly : ‘. . . Make hast, and Elektra (Electra) will welcome you; from her hands sure enough you will be laden with a cargo of wedded love, if you leave the business part of the delights to Aphrodite. She [Harmonia] is the Kyprian's (Cyprian's) [Aphrodite's] daughter, guarded for your bride-chamber, another Kypris for you to receive . . .’
Kadmos walked along the winding highroad; and when the king's allhospitable court came into view, far-seen upon its lofty pillars, Peitho [goddess of persuasion] pointed a finger to indicate the corresponding words in her mind, and by this voiceless herald showed the house of shining artistry."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 3. 124 - 4. 212 :
"[Kadmos (Cadmus) approaches the palace of King Emathion of Samothrake son of the nymph Elektra (Electra) :] Kadmos walked along the winding highroad; and when the king's [Emathion's] allhospitable court came into view, far-seen upon its lofty pillars, Peitho [goddess of persuasion] pointed a finger to indicate the corresponding words in her mind, and by this voiceless herald showed the house of shining artistry . . .
Then Kadmos surveyed the house with roving gaze: that masterly work of Hephaistos (Hephaestus), which the industrious god once built for Elektra as a bride, and embellished it with many ornaments in the fine Myrinaian art of Lemnos. The whole palace was new. A brazen threshold well-wrought was before it. Double doors with lofty pillars opened into a vestibule richly carven, and a dome spanned the roof with a rounded head seen in the middle. The walls were faced with tessellated stones set in white cement from threshold to inner end. Before the house near the courtyard was an enclosure, widespread, four acres of trees heavy with fresh fruit. Male palm stretched his leaves over female palm, pledging his love. Pear growing by pear, all of one age with glorious fruit, whispered in the morning breeze--and with its dangling clusters beat on the pollard growth of a luscious olive hard by. In the breezes of spring, the myrtle waved his leaves by the reluctant laurel , while the fragrant wind of morning fanned the foliage of the leafy cypress. On the fig-tree, mother of sweets, and the juicy pomegranate, red fruit grew rich over purple fruit beside it, and apple flourished near apple . . .
Such was the shady garden. Hard by, a brook divided in two runnels; from this the people drew their drinking, from that the gardener cut up the water into many curving channels and carried it from plant to plant: once stream chuckled at the root of a laurel, as if Phoibos (Phoebus) [Apollon] were singing a delicate tune to his Daphne.
Within, well-wrought boys of gold stood on many pillars of stone, holding out torches before the banqueters to give them light for their dessert in the evening. Before the gates rows of gods stood on this side and that, not real yet intelligent, all modelled alike, silent works of art, snarling with gaping throats; then if a man came by whom they knew, golden dog by silver dog would bark with swelling throat and fawn upon him. So as Kadmos passed, Ekho (Echo) sent forth a sound like welcome for a guest, and wagged the friendly shape of an artificial tail.
While Kadmos had been moving his face about and turning his eyes to survey the royal garden, and saw the sculptures, and all the beauty of the hall with its paintings and bright sparkling stones, Emathion had left the market-place and the disputes of his people, and sat splendid upon the back of a courser with arching neck. He was lord of Samothrake, the seat of Ares, having inherited the royal house of Elektra his mother. At that time he was sole king, holding the reins of sovereignty which belonged to his brother Dardanos, who had left his native soil, and migrated to the soil of the continent opposite. There he had scored the dust of Ida with a plow-furrow, and marked the limits of Dardania [later Troy] . . . leaving the inheritance and sceptre of the Kabeiroi to his brother.
This Dardanos, Emathion's brother, was one whom the bed of Zeus had begotten, whom Dike (Justice) nursed and cared for a the time when the Horai (Horae, Seasons) ran to the mansion of Queen Elektra, bearing the sceptre of Zeus, and the robe of Time, and the staff of Olympos, to prophecy the indissoluble dominion of the Ausonian race [the Trojans]. The Horai brought up the baby; and by an irrevocable oracle of Zeus, the lad just sprouting the flower of recrescent youth left Elektra's house, when for the third time a deluge of rain had flooded the world's foundations with towering billows . . .
He [Emathion] received the guest [Kadmos] with a welcome; then, while Elektra toiled to help him, he provided a rich table of fine fare, flattering his guest with friendly address that left nothing to be desired: for it was a bounteous feast. But Kadmos bent his neck towards the ground, and hid looks of disquiet from the attendants, and hardly touched the banquet. He sat opposite the hospitable lady, but scarce stealing a glance at her served himself with a modest and timid hand.
As they feasted, the breathing reeds of Korybantic Ida resounded one after another in succession; the players' hands skipt along the riddled run of the tootling pipe, and the fingers beat out their tune in cadence, dancing and pressing the sound; the clanging cymbals in brazen pairs struck ringing blows running in cadence with the sets of reeds; the harp itself with its seven strings twangled aloud under the quill.
But after the banquet, when Kadmos had had enough of the Bistonian pipe, he drew his seat nearer to the queen, who questioned him with great curiousity. He felft aside the fever of his sorrowful sea-wanderings, and spoke of his illustrious lineage . . .
When Elektra heard, she answered in words of consolation : ‘My guest, let sister and country and father pass into the whirlpool of Forgetfulness (Leithaie) and unremembering silence! For this is the way men's life runs on, bringing trouble upon trouble; since all that are born of mortal womb are slaves by necessity to Moira (Fate) the Spinner. I am witness, queen though I am, if I was ever born myself one of those Pleiades, seven girls whom our mother once carried under her heart in labour, seven times having called Eileithyia at her lying-in to lighten the pangs of birth after birth--I am witness! For my house if far from my father's; no Sterope is near me, no Maia my companion, nor sister Kelaino (Celaeno) beside me at my hearth; I have not danced up and down sister Taygete's Lakedaimon (Lacedaemon) at my breast nor held the merry boy on my cherishing arm; I do not see Alkyone's (Alcyone's) house hard by, or hear Merope herself speak some heart-warming word! Here is something besides which I lament even more--in the bloom of his youth my own son has left his home, just when the down was on his cheek, my Dardanos has gone abroad to the bosom of the Idaian land; he has given the firstling crop of his hair to Phrygian Simoeis and drunk the alien water of river Thymbrios. And away by the boundary of Libya my father still suffers hardship, old Atlas with chafing shoulders bowed, upholding the seven-zoned vault of the sky. Still and all with these great sufferings I feed a comfortable hope, by the promises of Zeus, that with my other sisters I shall pass from the earth to the stars' Atlantean vault, and dwell in heaven myself a star with my sisters six. Then do you too calm your own sorrows. Unforseen, for you also the terrible thread of Moira (Fate) is rolling the eddy of your wandering lot of life, and the seal is set. Have a heart to endure in exile the unbending shackle of necessity, and feed the prevailing hope which foreruns things to come . . .’
So she spoke, lulling to sleep the anxieties of Kadmos. But Father Zeus sent his quick messenger Maia's son [Hermes] on outspread wings to Elektra's house, that he might offer Harmonia to Kadmos for the harmony of wedlock wedlock--that maiden immigrant from heaven, whom Ares the wife-thief begat in secret love with Aphrodite. The mother did not nurse it--she was ashamed of the baby which told its own tale of the furtive bed; but away from the bosom of the sky she carried the suckling, lying in her arm, to the fostering house of Elektra, when the childbed Horai (Seasons) had just delivered her baby still wet . . . Elektra received the bastard daughter with equal rights, and joined the newborn girl on one breast with her newborn Emathion, held with equal love and care her two different nurslings in her arm . . . So Elektra then with loving breast foster-mothered her brace of newborn babes ,the boy and the girl, and cherished them with equal care. Often she pressed to her with open hand and loving arm her baby son and his age-mate girl, on this side and that taking turns of the sap from her rich breast; and she set on her knees the manly boy with the womanly girl, letting out the gold of her lowered gown so as to join thigh parted wide from neighbour thigh; or singing songs for a sleep-charm, lulled both her babies to slumber with foster-mother's art, while she stretched her arm enclosing the children's necks, made her own knee their bed, fluttered the flap of her garment fanning the two faces, to keep the little ones cool, and quenched the waves of heat as the hand-made wind poured outs its breath against it.
While Kadmos sat near the prudent queen, into the house came Hermes in the shape of a young man, unforeseen, uncaught, eluding the doorkeeper with his robber's foot . . . with face unseen, he reached the rich table when the meal was at an end. Emathion saw him not though close at hand, nor did Harmonia herself and Kadmos at her board, nor the company of serving men; only god-fearing Elektra perceived Hermes the eloquent. Into a corner of the house he led her in surprise to tell his secrets and spoke in the language of men : ‘Good be with you, my mother's sister, bed-fellow of Zeus! Most blessed of all women that shall be hereafter, because Kronion keeps the lordship of the world for your children, and your stock shall steer all the cities of earth [i.e. the Romans were descended from her through the Trojans]! This is the dower of your love. And along with Maia my mother you shall shine with the Seven Stars in the sky, running your course with Helios (the Sun), rising with Selene (the Moon). Children's friend, I am Hermes, one of your own family, wing-spreading Messenger of the immortals. From heaven I have been sent by your bedfellow, the guests' protector ruling in the heights, on behalf of your own god-fearing guest. Then do you also obey your Kronion (Cronion), and let your daughter Harmonia go along with her yearsmate Kadmos as his bride, without asking for bridal gifts, Grant this grant to Zeus and the Blessed ones; for when the immortals were in distress, this stranger saved them all by his music [i.e. the hero bewitched the monster Typhon]. This man has helped your bedfellow in trouble, this man opened the day of freedom for Olympos! Let not your girl bewitch you with mother-loving groans, but give her in marriage to Kadmos our Saviour, in obedience to Kronion [Zeus] and Ares and Kythereia (Cytherea) [Aphrodite].’
With these words, finerod Hermes departed, fanning his light wings, and the flat of his extended shoes oared him as quick as the winds of heaven in their course. Nor did the Thrakian lady [Elektra], the pilot of the Kabeiroi (Cabeiri), disobey his bidding; but she had respect to Zeus, and curving her extended fingers with a significant movement towards Ares' unwedded daughter, she beckoned Harmonia by this clever imitation of speech. The other strained the answering gleam from her eyelids, and saw the round of Elektra's face unsmiling, as her cheeks like silent heralds boded the heavy load of a new unspoken distress.
The maiden leapt up and followed her mother into her high-built chamber. Her mother rolled back the bolt of a sevennookshotten chamber sealed with many seals, and crossed the doorstone: her knees trembled restlessly in loving anxiety and fear. She caught and lifted the girl's hand and rosy arm with her own snow-white hand--you might almost say that you saw white-armed Hera holding Hebe's hand.
But when treading the floor with her crimson shoes she reached the farthest curve of the resplendent room, Atlas' daughter seated the sorrowful maiden upon a handsome chair; then she in her turn sank upon a silver-shining stool, and declared Kronion's [Zeus'] message to the incredulous girl, and explained everything which she had heard from the Olympian herald disguised in human form. When the maiden heard of this marriage of much wandering and this unstable husband, this homeless man under their roof, she declared she would have no stranger, and refused all that Kadmos' patron proposed on Zeus his father's behalf, that cattle-drover Hermes! She would rather have one of her own city as husband, and away with a carryhouse mate and a wedding without wedding-gifts! Then clasping her foster-mother's hand with her won sorrowing palm, bathed in tears she burst into reproachful speech : ‘Mother mine, what has possessed you to cast off your own girl? Do you join your own daughter to some upstart fellow like this? What gift will this sailor man put into my hand? Will he give me the ship's hawser for bride-price? I did not know you were for marriage with a vagrant--you, my kind nurse! I have others to woo me, and better ones, of our own city: why must I have a bedfellow with empty hands, naked and bare, a foreign vagrant, a runaway from his father? But you will say he helped your husband Kronion. Why did not the man get from Zeus an Olympian gift of honour, if indeed he was defender of Olympos, as you say? Why did not Hera the consort of Zeus, betroth virgin Hebe to the champion of Zeus? Your husband Zeus who rules in the heights needs no Kadmos. Kronides (Cronides) forgive me--divine Hermes lied in what he said about Father Zeus. I don't know how I can believe that he neglected furious Ares the pilot of warfare, and called in a mortal man to be partner in the game--he the master of world and sky! Here is a great marvel--he locked up all those Titanes in the pit, and then wanted Kadmos, to destroy only one! You know how my fathers wedded--two had their sisters. Zeus my father's father possessed the bed of his sister Hera, by the family rule of marriage; both the parents of Harmonia, Ares and Kythereia [Aphrodite], who mounted one bed, were of one father, another pair of blood-kindred. What miserable necessity! Sisters may have a brother for bedfellow, I must have a banished man!’
As she spoke, her mother in distress wiped the raindrops from that mourning face: torn between two, she pitied Harmonia and shrank from the threats of Zeus. But now tricky-minded Aphrodite girt her body in the heart-bewitching cestus-belt, and clothing herself in the love-robe of Peitho (Persuasion) she entered Harmonia's fragrant chamber. She had doffed her heavenly countenance, and put on a form like Peisinoe, a girl of the neighbourhood . . . [and she persuades Harmonia to wed Kadmos.]
[Harmonia then bids her foster-mother Elektra farewell :] With drops of grief her face was wet as she kissed Elektra's hand and eyes, her feet and head and breast, and Emathion's eyes, with shamefast lips although he was her brother . . . And then Elektra took Harmonia by the hand, under the witnessing escort of the gods, and took her undowered to Kadmos as his due, wiping the streaming shower from her face. Early in the morning the traveller received the Kyprian's daughter with an old waiting-woman, and left the house, having as the queen's gift a servant to guide him through the city to the sea."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 13. 411 ff :
"[When Dionysos gathered an army for his war against the Indians :] As the armed host gathered to Dionysos with his thyrsos, Elektra's (Electra's) star rose with her six sisters in the sky in happy augury of the conflict; and the echoing voice of the Pleiades resounded for victory, doing gave to Dionysos who shared their sister's blood, giving equal confidence to the host."
[N.B. The Pleiad Elektra was the foster-mother of Harmonia, grandmother of Dionysos, and so in a sense an ancestress of the god.]
- Hesiod, Catalogues of Women Fragments - Greek Epic C8th - 7th B.C.
- Hesiod, Astronomy Fragments - Greek Epic C8th - 7th B.C.
- Greek Elegaic Mimnermus, Fragments - Greek Elegaic C7th B.C.
- Apollodorus, The Library - Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.
- Apollonius Rhodius, The Argonautica - Greek Epic C3rd B.C.
- Lycophron, Alexandra - Greek Poetry C3rd B.C.
- Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History - Greek History C1st B.C.
- Pausanias, Description of Greece - Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
- Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy - Greek Epic C4th A.D.
- Nonnus, Dionysiaca - Greek Epic C5th A.D.
- Hyginus, Fabulae - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.
- Hyginus, Astronomica - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.
- Ovid, Fasti - Latin Poetry C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
- Ovid, Heroides - Latin Poetry C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
- Virgil, Aeneid - Latin Epic C1st B.C.