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Cepheus

Cepheus (Greek:"gardener") was a Greek mythological character, king of Ethiopia, who was the husband of Cassiopeia and the father of Andromeda.

Cassiopeia, having boasted herself equal in beauty to the Nereids, drew down the vengeance of Poseidon, who sent an inundation on the land and a sea-monster called Kraken which destroyed man and beast. The oracle of Ammon having announced that no relief would be found until the king exposed his daughter Andromeda to the monster, she was fastened to a rock on the shore.

Perseus, returning from having slain the Gorgon, found Andromeda, slew Kraken, set her free, and married her in spite of Phineus, to whom she had before been promised. At the wedding a quarrel took place between the rivals, and Phineus was turned to stone by the sight of the Gorgon's head (Ovid, Metam. v. 1).

Andromeda followed her husband to Tiryns in Argos, and became the ancestress of the family of the Perseidae through Perseus' and Andromeda's son, Perses.

After her death she was placed by Athena amongst the constellations in the northern sky, near Perseus and Cassiopeia. Sophocles and Euripides (and in more modern times Corneille) made the story the subject of tragedies, and its incidents were represented in numerous ancient works of art.


Cepheus is a northern constellation representing the legendary king of Ethiopia, who was the husband of Cassiopeia and the father of Andromeda. It is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also one of the 48 listed by Ptolemy.

Cepheus contains the star Delta Cephei, the prototype Cepheid variable.



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