Chelone (Greek mythology)

Chelone (Χελωνη, Khelônê), an Oread nymph of Arcadia in Greek mythology, invented to provide an etiological myth for the tortoise: in one of Aesop's Fables, she refused to attend or was very naughty and disrespectful at the marriage of Zeus and Hera, and as a result she was transformed into a tortoise, condemning her to eternal silence. Certain parts of the myth tell that Chelone was taking too long to be ready for the feast, which caused Zeus to become angry. In retribution, he crashed her house over her, and thus condemned her to drag her house forever as a tortoise. "Khelônê" means "tortoise" in Greek, and the tortoise was a symbol of silence in ancient times.

The fourth century CE grammarian Servius, On Virgil's Aeneid, intrudes Mercury into the episode.



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