Leto (mythology)

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Leto ( Greek Λητώ) is a figure in Greek mythology , the daughter of the titans Koios and Phoibe . Leto becomes a mistress of Zeus . With her he fathered the twins Artemis and Apollon . With the Interpretatio Romana , Leto was incorporated into Roman mythology as Latona .

The jealous Hera tried to prevent her childbirth because Gaia , Hera's grandmother, had predicted that the children Zeus was to have with Leto would be bigger and more powerful than her own. So she dispatched the dragon Python to devour Leto. But Zeus prevented that. Hera then bound the earth by an oath not to allow the pregnant Leto a place to give birth, which was ever shone on by the sun. Poseidon then made the floating island of Delos emerge from the water, where Hermes took Leto on orders from Zeus.

The Latona fountain in the park of the Palace of Versailles depicts the transformation of farmers into frogs

Next, Hera put her daughter Eileithyia , the goddess of childbirth, under so much pressure that she dared not help Leto, who was almost in danger of bursting. The other gods were on Letos' side and bought the moon from heaven (Uranus), then handed it over to Hephaestus so that he could forge the most beautiful necklace for them. With this they then bribed Eileithyia, and so Leto was finally able to deliver her twins. She gave birth to Artemis under a palm tree and then to Apollo with her help . Meanwhile clamored around them the Curetes with their weapons, so that Hera Leto screams during labor could not hear.

While fleeing from Delos, where Hera discovered her, some farmers (or shepherds) in Lycia forbade Leto to drink from a lake. As a punishment, Leto turned them into frogs.

Later, Apollon and Artemis went to all those countries that had denied their mother Leto protection, and tried the inhabitants.

The fact that Niobe boasted to Leto that she had seven times as many sons and daughters led to the terrible end of the Niobids , who were shot by Apollo and Artemis.

When the giant tried to rape Tityos Leto, he was killed by either Zeus or Artemis or Apollon or both.

Individual evidence

  1. Hesiod , Theogony 404-406
  2. Hesiod, Theogony 918-920
  3. ^ Hyginus , Fabulae 53 and 140
  4. Homeric Hymn to Apollo 14–119; Callimachus , Hymnos on Delos 36-274
  5. ^ Antoninus Liberalis 35
  6. Ovid , Metamorphoses 6.339 to 381
  7. Ovid, Metamorphoses 6.146 to 312
  8. Homer , Odyssey 580
  9. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 55
  10. Callimachos, Hymnos on Artemis 110
  11. Apollonios of Rhodes 1.759–761
  12. Libraries of Apollodor 1,4,1


Web links

Commons : Leto  - collection of images, videos and audio files