"Rhodopis" (Greek: Ροδώπις) is the original ancient version of the "Cinderella" story. First recorded in the 1st century BCE by the Greek historian Strabo, it is considered to be the oldest Cinderella story.
Rhodopis (the "red-cheeked"), a Greek slave, works in the household of her Egyptian master. Though kind, her elderly master spends most of his time sleeping, and is therefore unaware of her harsh treatment at the hands of his other servant girls. Because Rhodopis is both fair-complexioned and a foreign slave, the other servants tease her and order her around.
While she is down by the river washing clothes, her slippers become wet and she places them in the sun to dry. Suddenly, the falcon Horus swoops down, snatches one of the slippers, and flies away with it. Rhodopis stores the other slipper in her clothing.
During the celebration in Memphis, the falcon thought to be the god Horus drops the slipper in the Pharaoh's lap. Realizing that it is a sign from Horus, he decrees that all the maidens of the kingdom must try on the slipper, and that he will marry the one whose foot it fits.
The Pharaoh’s search for the owner of the slipper eventually leads him to Rhodopis’ home. Though Rhodopis hides when she sees the Pharaoh’s barge, he sees her and asks her to try the slipper. After demonstrating that it fits her, she pulls out its mate, and the Pharaoh declares that he will marry her.
Historical context 
The Greek geographer Strabo (64/63 BCE - c. 24 CE) first recorded the tale of the Greco-Egyptian girl Rhodopis, considered to be the earliest variant of the Cinderella story. Another account of Rhodopis has survived in Aelian's (175 - c. 235) writings, showing that the Cinderella theme remained known throughout antiquity. Perhaps the origins of the fairy-tale figure can be traced to the real-life Thracian courtesan Rhodopis, who lived at the time of Pharaoh Amasis (570-536 BCE) and was acquainted with the ancient story-teller Aesop.
Rhodophis is also the wife of the epic Asam, who then died and was resurrected and was given a new wife called Rhodopa.
See also 
Further reading 
- "The Egyptian Cinderella." Ancient Egyptian Literature. Aldokkan.
- "The Egyptian Cinderella." The Hellenic Worlds. Ancient Worlds.
- Aesop fable of Rhodopis and her rose-red slippers