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Αρπαλυκη

  1. A Thracian woman who was King Harpalycus' daughter. Her mother died while she was still a child, and Harpalycus fed her on cow's and mare's milk and taught her how to fight. He planned that she should succeed him on the throne, since he had no son. Harpalyce found this sort of life to her liking, and became a skilled warrior. When Thrace was attacked by the Getae, who were barbarians from the Danubian plains, Harpalycus was surrounded by the enemy and seriously wounded; he would have been killed had his daughter not rushed to his support and saved him.

    Later, Harpalycus was dethroned after an uprising brought on by his own cruelty. He withdrew into the woods, accompanied by his daughter. She provided for their needs by hunting, and by raiding cow-sheds and sheep-folds in the neighborhood. These raids were so successful that the shepherds eventually set traps for her, as if she were a wild beast; they caught her in hunting-nets and killed her.

    Harpalyce's death resulted in bloody brawls; when the shepherds caught her, the girl had a kid with her, the booty from her last robbery; they argued over this kid so violently that several of them were killed. A tomb was built for Harpalyce and a cult grew up around her. At the feast held in her honour, her worshippers would engage in mock battles, in memory, so it was said, of the brawls which had marked her death.

  2. Another Harpalyce committed incest with her father Clymenus. According to the legend, Harpalyce was either transformed after her crime into a night-bird called Χαλκις, or she committed suicide, or possible she was killed by Clymenus.

  3. The central figure in an unhappy love-affair: she fell in love with Iphicles and when he spurned her advances she killed herself.

{E2 DICTIONARY OF CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY}

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