Diana and Actaeon

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The Greek myth of Diana and Actaeon can be found within Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The tale recounts the unfortunate fate of a young hunter named Actaeon, who was the grandson of Cadmus, and his encounter with chaste Diana, goddess of the hunt. The latter is nude and enjoying a bath in a spring with help from her escort of nymphs when the mortal man unwittingly stumbles upon the scene. The nymphs scream in surprise and attempt to cover Diana, who, in a fit of embarrassed fury, splashes water upon Actaeon. He is transformed into a deer with a dappled hide and long antlers, robbed of his ability to speak, and thereafter promptly flees in fear. It is not long, however, before his fellow hunters and his own hounds track him down and kill him, failing to recognize their friend.[1]


A ballet was made of Diana and Actaeon by Vaganova and Cesare Pugni.


  1. ^ Ovid. Metamorphoses. Trans. A.D. Melville. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. Print.

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