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Orion (mythology)

In Greek mythology, Orion was a great hunter. Orion fell in love with Princess Merope but her father, King Oenopion of Khios, did not want the marriage to happen. Orion raped Merope. For revenge, Oenopion got Orion drunk and stabbed out his eyes, then cast him into the sea.

Hephaestus took pity on the blind Orion and gave him a young boy as a guide. The boy guided him east, where the rising sun restored Orion's sight. Orion then decided to kill Oenopion, but Hephaestus had built the king an underground fortress. Orion couldn't find the king and went to Delos, where he met his next lover, Eos.

After leaving Eos, Orion became a follower of Artemis. She eventually killed him, though the reasons why change in differing version.

  1. Orion and Artemis were engaged. Her brother, Apollo didn't believe it was appropriate for her to marry a mortal. Apollo convinced Orion to walk out into the water and then dared Artemis to try and hit the barely visible speck (actually Orion's head) with an arrow from the shore. She succeeded, killing him.
  2. Orion raped one of Artemis' female followers. She sent Scorpio, a scorpion, to kill him and both were placed in the stars as constellations. This legend explains why the constellation Scorpio rises just after Orion begins to set -- the scorpion still chases him, and they never appear in the sky at the same time. Orion's dog became Sirius, the dog-star.

Orion had two daughters, Metioche and Menippe.

An alternative name for the mythological Orion is Candaon.

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