In Greek mythology, Cyrene was described as a Thessalian princess, the daughter of King Hypseus of the Lapiths and Chlidanope (a Naiad). Cyrene was great huntress who guarded her father's herds in the region of Mount Pelion, destroying wild beasts armed with javelin and sword. One day when a lion attacked her father's sheep, Cyrene wrestled with the lion, the god Apollo spied her and fell in love with her. He kidnap Cyrene and carried her off to the Hill of Myrtles (Myrtoessa) in Libyan North Africa where the Greeks would late found a colony named Cyrene in her honour.
|Apollo kidnapping Cyrene|
According to other version, Cyrene was not wrestling with a lion but instead tending her sheep along the marsh-meadow of the river Pineios, where Apollo saw her and kidnap her. Together, she and Apollo had two sons: Aristaeus, the demigod who invented beekeeping, and Idmon, the Argonaut seer. Apollo later transformed Cyrene into a nymph to grant her a longer life. According to some versions, Cyrene was a Naiad Nymphe daughter of the river-god Peneios. According to some versions, with Ares, Cyrene was the mother of Diomedes of Thrace.
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