Sunday, October 20, 2019

From Woman to Man: Leucippus, Antoninus Liberalis, Metam. XVII

Filia Eurytii F. Spartonis Galatea, Phaesti Critae nupsit Lampro Pandionis F. viro natalibus non obscuris, sed inopi. Is cum uxor gravida esset, voto masculam sibi prolem expetens, edixit mulieri, si filiam peperisset, uti ne eam tolleret: simul ad oves pascendas digressus: Galatea filiam partu edidit: &  miserta infantis, solitudinemque familiae reputans, insomniis adstipulantibus, et ariolis pro filio eam educatre iubentibus, Lamprum decepit, filium se enixam professa: puellamque nomine Leucippi affectam, tanquam filius si esset, enutriit. Cum adolevisset puella, & ineffabili esset pulchritudine, metuens sibi a marito Galatea, cum res diutius tegi non posset, in fanum Latonae confugit: multisque a Dea precibus contendit, si filia in marem mutari posset: sicut Caenis Atracis filia, Neptuni voluntate in Caeneum Lapitham abiit: & Tiresias ob interfectos in trivio coeuntes angues, de viro mulier fuit factus: rursusque virilem sexum adeptus est, quia draconem saepenumero Panastem autem & Hypermestram venditam pro muliere invenisse pretium: cum autem in virum esset mutata, alimenta Aethoni patri attulisse. Cretensem quoque Siproetam mutatum, cum inter venandum lavantem vidisset Minervam. Latona continenter lamentantem & deprecantem miserata est Galateam, puellamque in puerum mutavit.
--Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses XVII

Galatea, the Spartan daughter of Eurytius, married Lamprus, the son of Cretan King Pandion. Lamprus was from a famous, but poor family.
When Galatea became pregnant, Lamprus wanted a boy, and ordered her to expose the infant if she gave birth to a girl.
While Lamprus was out tending his flocks, Galatea gave birth to the girl. Swollen with milk and sleep deprived, Galatea thought about how empty their home was when Lamprus was away, and pitied the infant. She deceived Lamprus and said she gave birth to a boy.  She raised the girl with the name Leucippus, as if the girl were a son.
When the girl went through puberty and became astoundingly beautiful, Galatea could no longer hide what she had done and fled to the temple of Latona [mother of Diana and Apollo].
She laid out her case to the goddess with ceaseless prayers, praying that her daughter be transformed into a man and using the following precedents:

  • Caenis, the daughter of Atrax, was changed into a man by the will of Neptune. 
  • Tiresias, too, went from man to woman by slaying a pair of snakes mating by the side of the road; he then returned to being a man by slaying another snake. 
  • Hypermestra sold herself as a woman to earn money for her father, and changed back into a man to bring the proceeds back to their father Aethon. 
  • Siproetis, a Cretan lad, accidentally saw Minerva bathing while he was hunting and was transformed into a woman.
Latona pitied the woman's prayers and changed her daughter into a son.

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