Leda and the Swan

Dear Reader,

this is one of my favourite mosaics among those I’ve seen in Paphos in the archeological site Tombs of the Kings.

Leda, Queen of Sparta and wife of Tyndareus. Mother of Helen, who caused the War of Troy.

In most accounts Leda is to be known as mother of Helen, however there are discrepancies on how that happened.
Some say Zeus (in the shape of a swan) generated an egg with Nemesis and that such egg was found by Leda lying in a marsh which she brought home and hid in a chest: from it Helen of Troy was hatched. Others say Zeus generated the egg with Leda herself (theory that inspired the above mosaic) who hid it from her husband until it hatched.

This mosaic along with many others mosaics from the 2nd century are located in a world heritage site called The Tombs of The Kings. This name though is misleading as no royalty ever rested there, only rich citizens did. The site is marvellously decorated by elaborated carvings, Doric and Corinthian columns and with wall-paintings, fit for a king, though.


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