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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

In Greek mythology, Dryope (Δρυόπη) was the daughter of Dryops, king of Oeta ("oak-man") or of Eurytus (and hence half-sister to Iole). She was sometimes thought of as one of the Pleiades (and hence a nymph). There are two stories of her metamorphosis into a black poplar. According to the first, Apollo seduced her by a trick. Dryope had been accustomed to play with the hamadryads of the woods on Mount Oeta. Apollo chased her, and in order to win her favours turned himself into a tortoise, of which the girls made a pet. When Dryope had the tortoise on her lap, he turned into a snake. She tried to flee, but he coiled around her legs and held her arms tightly against her sides as he raped her. The nymphs then abandoned her, and she eventually gave birth to her son Amphissus. She married Andraemon. Amphissus eventually built a temple to his father Apollo in the city of Oeta, which he founded. Here the nymphs came to converse with Dryope, who had become a priestess of the temple, but one day Apollo again returned in the form of a serpent and coiled around her while she stood by a spring. This time Dryope was turned into a poplar tree.

In Ovid's version of the story, Dryope was wandering by a lake, suckling her baby Amphissus, when she saw the bright red flowers of the lotus tree, formerly the nymph Lotis who, when fleeing from Priapus, had been changed into a tree. Dryope wanted to give the blossoms to her baby to play with, but when she picked one the tree started to tremble and bleed. She tried to run away, but the blood of the tree had touched her skin and she found her feet rooted to the spot. She slowly began to turn into a black poplar, the bark spreading up her legs from the earth, but just before the woody stiffness finally reached her throat and as her arms began sprouting twigs her husband Andraemon heard her cries and came to her. She had just enough time to warn her husband to take care of their child and make sure that he did not pick flowers.

In some accounts, Hermes fathered Pan upon Dryope, daughter of Dryops, for whom he was tending kine, but according to 20th century author Robert Graves (1960), Pan was far older than Hermes.

In Virgil's Aeneid, Aeneas kills mercilessly a man called Tarquitus who is said to be the son of Faunus, the god of the woods, and Dryope.

In Apollonius of Rhodes' Argonautica it is recalled that Heracles had mercilessly slain the excellent Theiodamas in the "land of the Dryopes", upon whom Heracles made war "because they gave no heed to justice in their lives".

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Dryope" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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