The Birth of Perseus

The king of Argos Akrisiyo, grandson of Linkey, had a daughter Danae, famous for her unearthly beauty. Acrisius was foretold by an oracle that he would die by the hand of the son of Danae. To avoid such a fate, Acrisius built vast chambers deep underground of bronze and stone and imprisoned his daughter Danae there so that no one would see her.

Danae in the underground chambers
Danae in the underground chambers;
drops of golden rain fall from above

But the great thunderer Zeusfell in love with her, penetrated into the underground chambers of Danae in the form of a golden shower, and the daughter of Acrisia became the wife of Zeus. From this marriage, a lovely boy was born to Danai. His mother named him Perseus.

Little Perseus did not live long with his mother in the underground chambers. One day Acrisius heard the voice and merry laughter of little Perseus. He went down to his daughter to find out why children's laughter was heard in her chambers. Acrisius was surprised to see a charming little boy. How scared he was when he found out that this was the son of Danae and Zeus. Immediately he remembered the oracle's prediction. Again he had to think how to avoid fate. Finally, Acrisius ordered a large wooden box to be made, enclosed Danae and her son Perseus in it, hammered the box and ordered to throw it into the sea.

Danae and Perseus are put in a box
Danae and Perseus are put in a box

The box was carried for a long time on the stormy waves of the salty sea. Death threatened Danae and her son. The waves tossed the box from side to side, then lifted it high on their crests, then lowered it into the depths of the sea. Finally, the ever-noisy waves drove the box to the island Serif, At that time a fisherman was fishing on the shore Diktis. He just threw nets into the sea. The box got tangled in the nets, and together with them Dictis pulled it ashore. He opened the drawer and, to his surprise, saw in it a strikingly beautiful woman and a charming little boy. Dictis took them to his brother, the king of Serif, Polydect.

Perseus grew up at the palace of King Polydectes and became a strong, slender young man. Like a star, he shone among the young men of Serif with his divine beauty, no one was equal to him, neither beauty, nor strength, nor dexterity, nor courage.