Penelope

Greek - Daughter of Icarius and Periboea. Sister of Iphthime. Wife of Odysseus. Mother of Ptoliporthes and Telemachus. Because Icarius wanted a son, his wife hid their baby daughter in the flocks of sheep, calling her Arnaea. Icarius discovered the deception and threw the child into the sea. When she was saved by ducks, he accepted her as his own and reared her. Odysseus won her as his wife in a foot-race. When her son, Telemachus, was just a baby, Odysseus went off to fight in the siege of Troy. He was away for twenty years, the last ten of which were spent wandering at the whim of the gods. Many men came to woo her, saying that Odysseus must surely be dead, and they refused to leave, slowly eating her out of house and home. She promised to give them an answer when she had finished a robe (or shroud) she was making but by night she unpicked all she had done by day so that it was never finished. In one account, Penelope, believing that her husband was dead, threw herself into the sea but was saved by ducks. When Odysseus finally came back, she contrived to get his bow and arrows to him and he very quickly disposed of the unwelcome guests. They had a second son, Ptoliporthes. One story says that Telegonus, a son of Odysseus by Circe, killed Odysseus, not knowing he was killing his own father, and then took Penelope and Telemachus to Aeaea where he married a miraculously youthful Penelope, fathering Italus, and Telemachus married Circe. Yet another story says that she had been unfaithful to Odysseus and was the mother of Pan by Hermes. In some accounts, called Penelope, Dryope, Dryope, Penelope or Druope.

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