Celaeno is a Greek goddess or demon whose name means “the dark one”. Celaeno is referred to as several different beings throughout Greek mythology.
In some stories, Celaeno is one of the Pleiades. Her name can also be spelled Celeno or Kelaino. In the Pleiades, Celaeno is one of seven daughters. She is the daughter of the titan Atlas, who holds the world on his shoulders, and the ocean goddess Pleione. Her sisters include Maia, Electra, Taygete, Alycone, Sterope, and Merope. All of them had children by other gods except Merope of who was married to Sisyphus. Eventually the Pleaides came to represent a constellation of seven stars. One myth insists that they became stars after they committed suicide after the death of one of their fellow sisters.
Another reveals that they were pursued by Orion, a giant, for seven years. After asking Zeus for help, Zeus turned them into stars to escape Orion. However, Orion became a constellation too and still follows the Pleaides across the sky. In several myths, Celaeno marries the Olympian god Poseidon, the patron of the all the oceans. By him, she had Lycus, Eurypylus, Triton, and Nycteus. Some myths also suggest she was the mother of Deucalion whom she had with Prometheus.
In other stories, Celaeno references a harpy, or one of the winged spirits that had the head and body of a woman and the wings and claws of a bird of prey. Celaeno was one of the harpies that Aeneas met at Strophades where she revealed prophecies of his future journey.
Another indicates that Celaeno was one of the Danaids. The Danaids were fifty different daughters of Danaus as told by Ovid. They were meant to marry their cousins, the fifty sons of Danaus’ brother Aegyptus. In the myth, all of the Danaids killed their husbands on the wedding night except one. They were punished by being forced to carry water for eternity, pouring it into a sieve. They came to represent the task that can never be finished, like Sisyphus.
In the myth of Heracles, Celaeno was one of the Amazons he killed during his ninth labor. The ninth labor of Heracles was to steal the girdle of the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta.
Most versions of this myth show that Hippolyta wanted to give him the girdle without fighting because she was so impressed by his feats. But the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus, disguised herself as an Amazon and spread the rumor that Heracles was stealing Hippolyta. The Amazons attacked the boat and Heracles killed Hippolyta.
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