The Myth of Alope

Alope’s myth includes a secret love affair with a god, a secret pregnancy, the newborn being exposed and rescued by an animal, as with so many other mythological children, being found by a shepherd and handed over to another, as it happened with Oedipus, the recognition of the child by his grandfather and the killing of the mother by him, the final rescue of the child and his elevation to kingship, finally the punishment of the grandfather. All this under the close supervision of Poseidon and to the glory of Theseus.

alopeAlope was the daughter of the king of Eleusis Kerkyona who was a robber and unjust to foreigners . She fell in love with the god Poseidon with whom, secretly from her father, she was united and by whom she had a child that his nurse, by order of Alope, exposed in the forest.

Wrapped in its bright swaddling clothes, the child was saved thanks to a mare – an animal dedicated to Poseidon who was also worshiped as Horse Poseidon – who nursed the child. When another shepherd asked him for it, the first one gave it, but kept the sprouts. Considering this action unjust, the second shepherd asked for his right to the king, who suspected something from the wealth of the parganas; he pressed the food and she revealed the truth to him.

Then he killed his daughter and again left the child exposed in the field, where the same story was repeated: the mare turned and nursed the child again, a shepherd found and gathered the child who named him Hippothon.

The grown-up youth became the eponymous hero of the Attic tribe of the Hippothontids and, after his grandfather was killed by Theseus, became king of his grandfather’s kingdom, which Theseus granted him when he requested it from the Attic hero. As for Alope, she was transformed into a spring by Poseidon when she was killed by Cercyon