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Antiope

In Greek mythology, Antiope, an Amazon, was sister to Hippolyte, an Amazonian queen who possessed a magical girdle given to her by Ares, her father (and Antiope's). One of Heracles' Twelve Labors was to retrieve this girdle. He had succeeded but, at the last moment, his traveling companion, Theseus, kidnapped Antiope, Hippolyte's sister. The Amazons attacked but Heracles and Theseus made it away with the girdle and Antiope, whom Theseus later married. The Amazons attacked (because Hera spread a rumor that Heracles was there to attack them or kidnap Hippolyte) but Heracles and Theseus made it away with the girdle and Antiope, whom Theseus later married. The Amazons then attacked Athens to get their queen back but lost.

From this point in the story, versions vary

  1. Heracles kidnapped Hippolyte's sister, Melanippe, and demanded the girdle as the ransom. Hippolyte complied and Heracles released her.
  2. Heracles kills Hippolyte as they flee with the girdle
  3. Antiope is killed in the battle for the girdle or for Athens
  4. Antiope and Theseus both survive and marry each other (son: Hippolytus). Theseus eventually leaves her for Phaedra
  5. Hippolyte and Theseus both survive and marry each other (son: Hippolytus) When Theseus left Hippolye for Phaedra, she brought her warriors into their wedding and promised to kill everyone present; she instead was killed by Theseus' men or accidentally by Penthesilea, another Amazon.
  6. Theseus marries Hippolyte, who gives birth to Hippolytus but dies before Theseus marries Phaedra


Antiope was also the name of the daughter of King Nycteus of Thebes or the river-god Asopus. Zeus impregnated her and she fled in shame to King Epopeus of Sicyon and abandoned her children, Amphion and Zethus. They were exposed on Mount Cithaeron[?], but were found and brought up by a shepherd. Nycteus, unable to retrieve his wife, sent his brother Lycus to take her. He did so and gave her as a slave to his own wife, Dirce.

Amphion became a great singer and musician after Hermes taught him to play and gave him a golden lyre, Zethus a hunter and herdsman. They punished King Lycus and Queen Dirce for cruel treatment of Antiope, their mother, whom was treated as a slave. Dirce was tied to the horns of a bull as revenge. They built and fortified Thebes, huge blocks of stone forming themselves into walls at the sound of Amphion's lyre. Amphion married Niobe, and killed himself after the loss of his wife and children. Zethus married Aedon, or sometimes Thebe. The brothers were buried in one grave.



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