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For other uses of the name Autonoë, see Autonoe (disambiguation).

In Greek mythology, Autonoë (/ɔːˈtɒn.i/; Ancient Greek: Αὐτονόη) was a daughter of Cadmus, founder of Thebes, Greece, and the goddess Harmonia. She was the wife of Aristaeus and mother of Actaeon and possibly Macris.[1] In Euripides' play, The Bacchae, she and her sisters were driven into a bacchic frenzy by the god Dionysus (her nephew) when Pentheus, the king of Thebes, refused to allow his worship in the city. When Pentheus came to spy on their revels, Agave, the mother of Pentheus and Autonoë's sister, spotted him in a tree. They tore him to pieces.

Actaeon, the son of Autonoë, was eaten by his own hounds as punishment for glimpsing Artemis naked. Autonoë, being distressed, left Thebes to go to Ereneia, a village of the Megarians, where she died.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Apollodorus. Bibliotheca, 3.4.2.
  2. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.44.5.