Andromeda (mythology)

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In Greek mythology, beautiful Princess Andromeda was the beleaguered daughter of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia, of the mythological realm of Ethiopia. Cassiopeia was also arrestingly beautiful, but vain, arrogant and boastful, and when she claimed that she and Andromeda were better looking that Poseidon’s daughters, the sea god decided to destroy their kingdom as a punishment. (There are variants of the legend; in some versions Cassiopeia brags that she herself is the most beautiful, in others she is only speaking of Andromeda. Accounts also differ as to whether Poseidon was going to destroy Ethiopia himself or have Cetus the sea monster do it.)

Cepheus and Cassiopeia searched desperately for a way to save the kingdom; finally an oracle told them that they should sacrifice Andromeda to the sea gods as an appeasement. Accordingly, they had their daughter chained naked to rocks at the water’s edge and left there to face a grisly end.

Fortunately, the hero Perseus, returning from having killed Medusa, happened to come along. He rescued Andromeda; they fell in love and were married, and had many children. Upon Andromeda’s eventual death, she was set in the night sky as a constellation, so that her beauty would always be remembered.

Interestingly, Andromeda herself does not feature greatly in the original myth; she is a minor character in one of several inter-related tales. However, The story of Andromeda has since been retold in many forms, among the more famous is the tale of [St. George and the Dragon]], and Andromeda is the subject of many well-known works of art.