Aedon

ancient greeks

Aedon was the wife of king Zethus of Thebes and mother of their son Itylus. Because she only had one child, she was so jealous of her sister-in-law Niobe, who had seven sons, that she tried to kill Niobe's elder. By mistake she killed her own son, and Zeus transformed her into a nightingale forever crying for her son.

Aedon also figure in other stories under the name Procne. She is in this version the daughter of the king of Athens, Pandion, and has a sister by the name of Philomela. Procnes husband was the Thracian hero Tereus, with whom she had the son Itys. Tereus one day raped Philomela and cut out her tounge, so she would not tell on him, but she embroided what had happened, revealing everyhting to Procne.

The sisters conspired a terrible revenge: they killed Itys and served him as stew to hid father. Outraged with horror when he relized the truth, Tereus chased the two sisters with an axe. The gods took mercy on them though, at Procne was turned into a nightingale and Philomela into a swallow. Tereus was transformed to a hoopoe.

According to another version Procne became a swallow and Philomela a nightingale. .