Cassiopea (Cassipea, Cassiope, Cassiopeia) (cassia juice) In Greek mythology, the wife of Cepheus, king of Ethiopia; mother of Andromeda and of Atymnius by Zeus. Cassiopea boasted that she and her daughter were more beautiful than the Nereids. This angered the sea god Poseidon, who sent a monster to devastate the land. To appease the god an oracle had demanded that Andromeda be placed on a rock in the sea, exposed to the monster. After being tied to the rock by her father, the girl was freed by the hero Perseus, whom she then agreed to marry. Cassiopea, however, objected to Andromeda marrying Perseus and broke in on the wedding festivities. Perseus then turned Cassiopea and Phineus (whom Cassiopea wanted Andromeda to marry) into stone by showing them the head of Medusa. For further revenge Poseidon placed Cassiopea in the heavens as a constellation where at certain times she appears to be hanging upside down. Cassiopea is a northern constellation containing 13 stars. Five of the brightest resemble a chair and have been given the name Cassiopea’s Chair. Ovid’s Metamorphoses (book 4) tells the myth.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante