Tuesday 2 August 2016


  In Greek mythology, Agave was described as the daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia and sister of   Autonoe, Ino, Semele and Polydorus.  Agave married Echion, one of the five Spartoi, and was the mother of Pentheus, a king of Thebes. She also had a daughter, Epirus.  (Spartoi were a mythical people who sprang up from the dragon's teeth sown by Cadmus, and were believed to be the ancestors of the Theban nobility.)

                                                  Agave was a follower of Dionysus (Maenad). Cadmus, the king of Thebes, abdicated due to his old age in favor of his grandson Pentheus. One of the first things the new king did was to ban the worship of the god Dionysus.  Dionysus, Pentheus' cousin, lured Pentheus to the woods—Pentheus wanted to see what he thought were the sexual activities of the women—where the Maenads (followers of Dionysus) tore him apart and his corpse was mutilated by his own mother, Agave. Thinking that she and the other women had just killed a lion. Dionysus had driven them mad. Agave carried her son's head on a stick back to Thebes, only realizing the truth when confronted by her father, Cadmus.
Agave with other women (Maenads) killing Pentheus 

                                           This murder also served as Dionysus' vengeance on Agave (and her sisters Ino and Autonoe). Semele, during her pregnancy with Dionysus, was destroyed by the sight of the splendor of Zeus. Her sisters spread the report that she had only endeavored to conceal unmarried sex with a mortal man, by pretending that Zeus was the father of her child, and said that her destruction was a just punishment for her falsehood. This calumny was afterwards most severely avenged upon Agave.
               Agave was exiled from Thebes and fled to Illyria to marry King Lycotherses, and then killed him in order to gain the city for her father Cadmus.


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