Procne

Greek - Daughter of Pandion, Poseidon or Teleon by Zeuxippe. Sister of Butes, Erechtheus and Philomena. Wife of Tereus. Mother of Itys. Procne married Tereus and they had a son named Itys but her husband fell in love with Philomena and went through a form of marriage with her pretending that Procne had died. In fact, he had incarcerated her in the slaves' quarters. There are several versions of the story: in one, Philomena was Procne's sister, in another she was her aunt, the younger sister of Pandion. They all agree that Tereus cut out the tongue of one of the girls but in one case it is Procne, to prevent her from making her plight known to Philomena and in the other story Philomena is the victim when she threatens to make known Tereus' duplicity. The two girls do manage to communicate by weaving a message into a robe or a tapestry and, to avenge themselves on Tereus, Procne killed her young son, Itys, cut him up and served him in a stew to her husband. When he found that he had eaten some of his own son he would have killed both of them with an axe but the gods intervened and changed all three into birds. Procne became a swallow, Philomena a nightingale and Tereus either a hawk or a hoopoe. Since the nightingale sings but the swallow can only twitter, it seems more likely that it was Procne who lost her tongue. In some accounts, both girls melted away in their own tears. Also identified as Procne, Procris, Procris, Procne, Prokris, Progne, Progne, Prokne, Prokne or Procne.

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