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Roman sarcophagus with Castor and Pollux seizing Phoebe and Hilaera, ca. 160.

In Greek mythology, Hilaera (Ancient Greek: Ἱλάειρα; also Ilaeira) was a Messenian princess.


Hilaera was a daughter of Leucippus and Philodice, daughter of Inachus.[1] She and her sister Phoebe are commonly referred to as Leucippides (that is, "daughters of Leucippus").[2] Hilaera married Castor and bore him a son, named either Anogon[3] or Anaxis.[4]


Hilaera and Phoebe were priestesses of Artemis and Athena, and betrothed to Lynceus and Idas, the sons of Aphareus. Castor and Pollux were charmed by their beauty and carried them off.[5][6] When Idas and Lynceus tried to rescue their brides-to-be they were both slain, but Castor himself fell.[7][8] Pollux persuaded Zeus to allow him to share his immortality with his brother.[9]

Hilaera and Phoebe are both portrayed in The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus painting.


  1. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 511
  2. ^ Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
  3. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 13. 4
  4. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 22. 5
  5. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 13. 4
  6. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 80
  7. ^ Theocritus, Idylls 22. 137 ff
  8. ^ Ovid, Fasti 5. 709 ff
  9. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 80

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