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Pronunciation : ah-rihs-TEE-uhs

(Greek Mortal)ARISTAEUS

Son of Apollo and the nymph Cyrene, the protector of hunters, herdsmen and flocks.

(Aristaeous had an eventful life.) He was the result of Having been the result of a nymph abduction by Apollo who was driven wild with desire having watched Cyrene wrestle a lion, Aristaeus was taught the arts of medicine and prophecy by Chiron and the muses, married Autonue, suffered the rather unfortunate loss of his son Actaeon then moved to Ceos to discover the land was ravaged by drought.

This was remedied by Aristaeus who organised the building of a temple in honor of Zeus where non-stop offerings resulted in the refreshing Etesian Winds blowing for a total of forty nights.

After sailing to Sicily and many other mediteranean islands before spending a short spell as King of Sardina, he was granted divine status because of his good deeds for minkind and became the rustic god of cheese making, olive growing and bee keeping.

Granted his place among the gods, he fell into the company of Dionysus which is more often than not a personality, not to mention mind, altering experience and it wasn't long before Aristaeus was trying to seduce the new wife of Orpheus.

As Eurydice fled Aristaeus she suffered a fatal snake bite and the Nymphs punished him by causing all of his bees to die. This seems a little extreme as they were relitavely innocent but a chat with Proteus the shapeshifting sea god led to the sacrifice of four bulls and three days later one of the carcases was buzzing with a spangly new and improved swarm.

He never had any trouble with bees after that, probably because he had kicked his nasty habit of raping nymphs, and he wandered over many lands sharing his vast knowledge of healing and prescription medicines.
Family Tree ...
Parents : Apollo and Cyrene
Spouse : Autonoe
Offspring : Charmus, Calicarpus, Actaeon, Polydorus
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'ARISTAEUS' - Greek entry : 26 April 2007
Page last modified on 27 Mar 2013
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