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Named Stheneboea in some versions of the myth, Anteia, the daughter of Aphidas, was the wife and consort of King Proteus of Argos, and she was also the unrequited lover - one might even say the stalker - of the Pegasus-riding Greek folk hero Bellerophon.

Bellerophon rejected Anteia's attempts to start an extramarital affair with him, and in retaliation Anteia went to Proteus with accusations that Bellerophon had assaulted her. Proteus sent Bellerophon on a suicide mission, which actually turned into a second suicide mission to slay the Chimera, as the person originally meant to kill Bellerophon was fearful of divine wrath against breaking guest rights.

Once the Chimera-slaying was out of the way, and Bellerophon was properly on the map as a folk hero with at least one dead fire-breathing monster under his belt, Bellerophon returned to Argos to clear his name.

The myths all generally agree on the point that Anteia died as a consequence of these events, but the manner of her death is up to some dispute. Top runners are:
* Bellerophon took her flying on Pegasus and threw her off from a great height.
* Bellerophon married her sister, who knew the assault allegations were false. Anteia committed suicide to avoid the shame of inevitable exposure.
* She simply killed herself as soon as he returned alive, and her three daughters were stricken mad by Hera and Dionysus, becoming maenads in the wilderness and slaughtering unfortunate passers-by.

Anteia's attempted infidelity is viewed in a particularly vicious light, under her alternate name Stheneboea, which means "strong through cattle." Cattle in ancient Greece were the paramount symbol and source of opulent wealth, stability, vast tracts of land (which the reader may interpret as the reader pleases), and the personal blessing of Hera herself. A "cattle-queen" in Greece was a materially self-sufficient noblewoman who could have maintained her lands and wealth without marrying, and who - due to exorbitant bride-prices demanded by such affluent roots - could reasonably assume only princes and kings would even attempt to court, in the first place, making any marriage necessarily one which would grant substantial political power. Combined with the assumption of Hera's blessing over anyone so rich in cattle, and Anteia's accusation would have been assumed factual without trial or hesitation. Her fidelity likewise would have been assumed completely unquestionable (and possibly even offensive to Hera, to imply otherwise).


Iron Noder 2018, 1/30

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