Phoebe of Messenia

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

In Greek mythology, Phoebe (/ˈfbi/; Greek: Φοίβη Phoibe, associated with Phoebos or "shining") was a Messenian princess.


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


Phoebe and Hilaera were priestesses of Athena and Artemis, and betrothed to Idas and Lynceus, the sons of Aphareus. Castor and Pollux were charmed by their beauty and carried them off.[3][5] When Idas and Lynceus tried to rescue their brides-to-be they were both slain, but Castor himself fell.[6][7] Pollux persuaded Zeus to allow him to share his immortality with his brother.[5]


  1. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 511
  2. ^ Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
  3. ^ a b Pseudo-Apollodorus. Bibliotheca, 3.11.2
  4. ^ Pausanias. Description of Greece, 2.22.5
  5. ^ a b Hyginus. Fabulae, 80
  6. ^ Theocritus, Idylls 22. 137 ff
  7. ^ Ovid, Fasti 5. 709 ff

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