Hymen

Hymen (skin) In Greek mythology, god of marriage, son of either Dionysus and Aphrodite or of Apollo and one of the Muses, Urania, Calliope, or Terpsichore. According to one account Hymen was an Argive youth who loved a young Athenian girl but could not win the consent of her parents. Disguised as a girl, he followed her to the sacred feast of Demeter at Eleusis, where he and a group of girls were kidnapped. Hymen saved all of them by killing the abductors and became the protector of young women. At Greek weddings the guests would cry out, “Hymen O Hymeneaus!” Eventually, the call came to represent a god of marriage who was seen as a young man holding a marriage torch and wearing a wreath. Spenser’s wedding poem Epithalamion (25–29) asks his bride to awake from her sleep for “Hymen is awake.” He appears or is cited in numerous English marriage songs and masques of the 17th century. Hymen is also called Hymenaeus. (skin) In Greek mythology, god of marriage, son of either Dionysus and Aphrodite or of Apollo and one of the Muses, Urania, Calliope, or Terpsichore. According to one account Hymen was an Argive youth who loved a young Athenian girl but could not win the consent of her parents. Disguised as a girl, he followed her to the sacred feast of Demeter at Eleusis, where he and a group of girls were kidnapped. Hymen saved all of them by killing the abductors and became the protector of young women. At Greek weddings the guests would cry out, “Hymen O Hymeneaus!” Eventually, the call came to represent a god of marriage who was seen as a young man holding a marriage torch and wearing a wreath. Spenser’s wedding poem Epithalamion (25–29) asks his bride to awake from her sleep for “Hymen is awake.” He appears or is cited in numerous English marriage songs and masques of the 17th century. Hymen is also called Hymenaeus.

SOURCE:

Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow-Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante

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