The Greek goddess Taygete (pronounced t-ai-IH-j-eh-t-ee). whose named means long-necked, is one of the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione. The daughters (Taygete, Maia, Celaeno, Alcyone, Electra, Sterope and Merope) are mountain nymphs also known as the Pleiades. Legends say that Zeus turned the seven sisters into the constellation to protect them from the advances of Orion. Her star in the Pleiades constellation is named Taygeta.
According to mythology, Taygete hid beneath a mountain after she had been taken advantage of by Zeus. Mt. Taygetos now bears her name. Here she gave birth to Lacedaemon who would eventually marry Queen Sparta and found the infamous city of the same name. This makes Taygete one of the ancestors of the royal family of Sparta. Taygete also had another son by Zeus named Eurotas according to some texts.
In some legends, Taygete avoided the seductions of Zeus when she went to Artemis, the goddess of animals, who turned Taygete into an animal to help the goddess avoid Zeus. Myths describe Taygete turning into either a cow or deer for a short period of time thanks to Artemis (but it may have been too late because Taygete was already pregnant with Lacedaemon). After Taygete returned to her normal form, the grateful goddess gave Artemis the Cerynitian hind with golden antlers. Hercules later had to fetch those horns in his third task.
The Greek goddess had a niece who shared the same name. The younger Taygete married the elder’s son Lacedæmon. Together, they had a son named Himerus who eventually drowned himself in a river.
Some traditions depict one of Taygete with Tantalus, and they were the parents of Pelops. Other traditions describe the parents of Pelops as Dione and Tantalus. Yet other stories describe Taygete as the mother of Tantulus but sometimes Pluto is described as his mother.
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