In Greek mythology, the fifty daughters of Danaus were know as Danaides. The family migrated from Libya in North Africa to Argos in Greek. The fifty sons of Danaus' brother Aigyptus later arrived in Argos in search of their cousins. They forced Danaus to let them marry the girls, but he persuaded his daughters to murder the men on their wedding night.
|Danaides murdered their husband
All murdered their husband on the wedding night, except Hypermnestra, who spare her husband Lynceus, because he respected her desire to remain a virgin. Danaus was angered that his daughter refused to do as he ordered and was punished her with imprisonment, but afterwards restored to her husband Lynceus. The Danaides buried the corpses of their victims and were purified from their crime by Hermes and Athena at the command of Zeus.
Danaus afterward found it difficult to obtain husbands for his daughters, so he invited men to public contests, in which his daughters were given as prizes to the victors. According to other version Lynceus killed Danaus as revenge for the death of his brother, and he and Hypermnestra started the Danaid Dynasty of rulers in Argos. The other fourty nine Danaides remarried by choosing their mate in foot races.
|Danaides in underworld
Not withstanding Danaides purification mentioned by earlier writers, later poets tell Danaides were punished for the crime by Hades, after their death, in Tartarus (underworld) forced them to carry water from the Styx in a jar to fill a bathtub with a leak, to wash their sins off. Because the water was always leaking they would forever try to fill the tub. In rare version Danaides were killed by Lynceus together with their father.