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Selene

In Greek mythology, Selene ("moon") (Roman equivalent: Luna) was an ancient lunar goddess, daughter of Hyperion and Theia. She was eventually largely supplanted by Artemis. Though she was usually a daughter of Hyperion and Theia, Selene was occasionally described as a daughter of Zeus, Pallas or Helios (who is more often her brother).

She loved a handsome shepherd (or, more rarely, a king or a hunter) named Endymion from Asia Minor. He was so beautiful that Selene asked Zeus to grant him eternal life so he would never leave her. Alternatively, Selene trusted and loved Endymion so much he made the decision to live forever in sleep. Either way, Zeus blessed him by putting him into an eternal sleep. Every night, Selene visited him where he was buried on Mt. Latmus[?] near Milete[?], in Asia Minor. Selene and Endymion had fifty daughters including Naxos.

Though the story of Endymion is best known today, Selene also had three daughters with Zeus (including Pandia) and, according to the some sources, the Nemean Lion as well. Pan gave her a herd of white oxen.

In art, Selene was depicted as a young woman with a pale face, riding a silver chariot pulled by two horses. Often, she was shown riding a horse or bull, wearing robes and a half-moon on her head and carrying a torch.

After her brother, Helios, the sun, finished his journey across the sky, Selene began hers as night fell upon the earth.

In Rome, Luna ("moon") had a temple on the Aventine Hill. It was built in the 6th century BC but destroyed in the fire under Nero.



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