PARTHENOS was a princess of the island of Naxos who leapt into the sea, along with her sister Hemithea, to escape the wrath of her father Staphylos. The pair were transformed into goddesses by Apollon who, according to some, was their natural father. Parthenos was worshipped in the Karian (Carian) town of Bubastos and her sister Hemithea in neighbouring Kastabos (Castabus). According to some Parthenos was also set amongst the stars as the constellation Virgo.
FAMILY OF PARTHENOS
[1.1] STAPHYLOS & KHRYSOTHEMIS (Diodorus Siculus 5.62.1)
[1.2] APOLLON & KHRYSOTHEMIS (Hyginus Astronomica 2.25)
PA′RTHENOS (Parthenos), i. e. the virgin, a surname of Athena at Athens, where the famous temple Parthenon was dedicated to her. (Paus. i. 24, v. ii. § 5, viii. 41. § 5, x. 34, in fin.) Parthenos also occurs as the proper name of the daughter of Apollo and Chrysothemis, who after her premature death was placed by her father among the stars. (Hygin. Poet. Astr. 25. in fin.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 62. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"To Staphylos and Khrysothemis (Chrysothemis) were born three daughters, Molpadia, Rhoio (Rhoeo), and Parthenos by name. Apollon lay with Rhoio and brought her with child; and her father, believing that her seduction was due to a man, was angered, and in his anger he shut up his daughter in a chest and cast her into the sea. But the chest was washed up upon Delos, where she gave birth to a male child and called the babe Anios (Anius) . . . And the other sisters of the maiden who had been seduced, namely, Molpadia and Parthenos, while watching their father's wine, a drink which had only recently been discovered among men, fell asleep; and while they were asleep some swine which they were keeping entered in and broke the jar which contained the wine and so destroyed the wine. And the maidens, when they learned what had happened, in fear of their father's severity fled to the edge of the sea and hurled themselves down from some lofty rocks. But Apollon, because of his affection for their sister, rescued the maidens and established them in the cities of the Kherronesos (Chersonese). The one named Parthenos, as the god brought it to pass, enjoyed honours and a sacred precinct in Bubastos (Bubastus) of the Kherronesos, while Molpadia, who came to Kastabos (Castabus), was given the name Hemithea (Half-goddess), because the god had appeared to men, and she was honoured by all who dwelt in the Kherronesos."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 25 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[The Constellation Virgo.] Others call her a daughter of Apollo by Chrysothemis, an infant, named Parthenos (Maiden). Because she died youg she was put by Apollo among the constellations."
- Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History - Greek History C1st B.C.
- Hyginus, Astronomica - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.
A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.