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One of the daughters of the river-god Asopus or perhaps, as some writers claim, of Nycteus the Theban (Table 25). Exceptionally beautiful, she was loved by Zeus who wooed her in the guise of a Satyr. By him she had two children, Amphion and Zethus. Before her children were born Antiope had fled from her home in fear of her father's wrath, and had taken refuge with the king in Sicyon, Epopeus (see Lamedon). In his despair at his daughter's leaving him Nycteus killed himself, but on his deathbed he charged his brother, Lycus, with the task of avenging him. Lycus attacked and took Sicyon, killed Epopeus, and brought Antiope as a prisoner to Thebes. It was on the road between Sicyon and Thebes, at Eleutherae, that she gave birth to her two children. They were left on the mountain to die by the order of their great-uncle, Lycus, but were found by shepherds (see Amphion).

After their arrival at Thebes Lycus and his wife Dirce treated Antiope cruelly, but one night the chains in which she had been bound fell off of their own accord and she fled as fast as she could to the cottage where her children were living. They did not recognize her at first and even handed her over to Dirce, who had come to look for her. But soon the shepherd who had rescued the twins told them that Antiope was their mother. Amphion and Zethus freed her and took their revenge on Dirce and Lycus.

Subsequently Antiope was smitten with madness by Dionysus, who was angered at Dirce's death, and she started wandering all over Greece until the day when she was cured and married by Phocus. Variations of the legens are also to be found under Lycus.


Table of Sources:
- Apollod. Bibl. 3, 5, 5
- Paus. 2, 6, 2ff.; 9, 17, 4ff.; 10, 36, 10
- Hyg. Fab. 7f
- Euripides, Antiope (lost tragedy, Nauck TGF, edn 2, pp. 410ff.)
- Ovid, Met. 6, 111

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