Ino ( Greek Ἰνώ ) is the daughter of Kadmos and Harmonia in Greek mythology and therefore the sister of Semele (the lover of Zeus and mother of Dionysus ), Agaue , Autonoë , Polydoros and Illyrios . With Athamas she is the mother of Learchus and Melikertes . She was also the wet nurse of the newborn Dionysus and Melikertes was his milk brother .
Ino was the second wife of the Athamas. From his first marriage to Nephele he had two children, Phrixos and Helle . Ino, however, was not well-disposed towards her stepchildren, which is why she came up with the following conspiracy: She caused the women to dry the wheat grains before sowing, which made them sterile and spoiled the harvest. As Ino evidently assumed, Athamas sent to Delphi to ask what to do in view of the impending hunger. Ino then persuaded the messengers to say that the oracle had announced that sterility would end as soon as Phrixos was sacrificed to Zeus . When Athamas was ready for this human sacrifice, Nephele abducted the children. Chrysomallos , a golden- skinned ram given to Nephele by Hermes , carried Phrixus and Helle away through the air. During this heavenly journey, Helle fell into the sea between Europe and Asia, which was named after her, Hellespont . But Phrixus was safely brought into the land of the Kolchians . The fur of the ram was then the later famous golden fleece . So the library of Apollodorus .
Hyginus reports somewhat differently that Athamas had rejected human sacrifice, but that Phrixus had voluntarily declared himself ready to end sterility through a self-sacrifice. Inos' attack had been betrayed by a compassionate servant when Phrixus was already adorned with a headband as a sacrifice in front of the altar. Athamas, furious with rage, tried to kill Ino and Melikertes, but Dionysus saved his nurse through a fog. Later, Ino threw himself into the sea with Melikertes. Hyginus also reports that the Isthmian Games were founded in honor of Melikertes, deified as Palaimon .
The fact that their stepchildren had now disappeared was of no use to Ino and of no luck to Ino's children. In a maddened state, Athamas killed Learchus. Ino threw himself into the sea with Melikertes. The cause of the madness was the wrath of Hera. After the birth of Dionysus (see thigh birth ), Athamas and Ino agreed to take him in, disguise him as a girl and thus hide him from Hera's jealousy. In his madness Athamas hunted and killed his eldest son Learchus like a deer. Ino, however, first threw Melikertes into a kettle of boiling water, then took the corpse out and threw himself into the sea with him. But the two did not die in the sea, rather Ino became the goddess Leukothea , Melikertes the god Palaimon. Pausanias reports that the place where Ino plunged into the sea was the Molurian rock on the coast between Athens and the Corinthian isthmus .
Even with Ovid , the madness Ino fell into before she plunged into the sea was fashioned as Bakchian frenzy . This motif was evidently carried on in the lost tragedy Ino des Euripides . Hyginus sums it up as follows: After Ino's flight into the wilderness, Athamas assumed that Ino had died and married a third time. Themisto , the daughter of a nymph , gave him twin sons, Schoineus and Leukon . When he discovered that Ino was still alive and had become one of the Bacchae of Parnassus , he sent for her and fetched her home, but passed her off as a servant. Themisto had heard of Ino's return, but did not know their identity. She came up with the plan to kill Ino's children (or have them killed). For this purpose, the targets of the attack should be dressed in dark robes, while Themistus' own children should be dressed in light robes. In order to carry out the plan, she had taken the supposed servant Ino into her confidence, who of course swapped the clothes, making Themisto the murderess of her own children. Themistus then killed himself, Athamas the Learchus and Ino threw himself into the sea with Melikertes. The Bibliotheke According Athamas also married Themisto, only she is there the daughter of Lapithen Hypseus and has worked with Athamas four children.
The close connection between Inos and the Dionysus myth is epic in the Dionysiacs of Nonnos of Panopolis . It is told in some detail how Ino gave her sister's child the gods, together with their own son, and what happened in the children's room. In particular, Mystis , the Sidonian nanny, tells how she does the things that are rarely associated with the activity of a nanny (she girds herself with living snakes, puts on metal breastplates and deer skins, wields the torch in the nursery and strikes the cymbals etc.), but which may be perfectly normal in the formation of a future God of wine and madness. But finally Hera discovers Dionysus 'whereabouts, but Hermes can save him in time and brings him to Rhea , who becomes Dionysus' second nurse and foster mother.
Meanwhile, Ino has gone mad with the pain of the loss of her foster child and wanders through the wilderness until she comes to Delphi. There all, including the Pythia , flee from the apparition of the maddened ones until Apollo descends and heals them from the madness. From then on the narrative follows the line of Euripides' Ino . Only here Athamas not only becomes the murderer of Learchus, whom he takes to be a stag, he also throws his younger son Melikertes into the cauldron with him when he brings the supposed game home. Ino then pulls out the half-baked Melikertes and, pursued by Athamas, flees across the White Plain to the rocky seashore, where Athamas catches up with her. She accuses Zeus of having badly rewarded her for the nursing service for young Dionysus, then reflects that she is probably not entirely without guilt (some attempted murder, 2 murders, 1 famine, fraud), but asks for rescue and rushes with them the corpse of Melikertes into the sea. Deification follows.
For Ino who became a goddess, see Leukothea . Also see:
- Bibliotheke of Apollodorus 1.9.1-2
- Hyginus Fabulae 2
- Apollodor Library 184.108.40.206-6
- Pausania's description of Greece 1.44.7-8
- Ovid Metamorphoses 4,480-541
- Nonnos Dionysiaka 9.312
- Hyginus Fabulae 4
- Libraries 220.127.116.11
- Hence, according to Nonnos, the name Leukothea ("White Goddess").
- Nonnos Dionysiaka 9.37-150, 9.243ff., 10.1-125
- Homer Odyssey 5.332
- Herodotus Histories 7.197
- Euripides Medea 1282-1289
- Fragments of Euripides Ino
- Fragments of Sophocles Athamas
- Karl Kerényi , The Mythology of the Greeks - The stories of gods and mankind. Rhein-Verlag, Zurich 1951. pp. 256-258
- Robert Graves , Greek Mythology. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 2003. ISBN 3-499-55404-6 )