It was during this time that Hephaestus tried to ravish the virgin war-goddess. Athena easily repulsed his amorous advance upon her. The semen from Hephaestus fell on the ground of the Acropolis, impregnating the Earth ( Gaea ), so Erichthonius was conceived. Some people suggested that Athena was really the mother of Erichthonius, without losing her virginity; the semen sprayed on her thigh, which she wiped off her leg and threw it on the ground; this could have easily given it life is one possibility that could be considered. Erichthonius was an infant with a tail and legs of a serpent. Athena hid the child in a chest. She gave the chest to Herse and Agraulus, daughters of Cecrops , warning them not to open the chest. However, the two sisters could not resist the temptation, and opened the box. Either Athena inflicted madness upon the girls for disobedience, or the deformity of Erichthonius drove them insane. Whichever was the case, the two sisters leaped off the Acropolis to their death. See Erichthonius in the House of Athens.
but with that people generally it was the Star of the Hunter , and, with the astrologers, the Drought Car . This title, however, was inappropriate, for the Hyades seem to have been as closely identified with rain in China as in Greece or Rome, — indeed were worshiped as Yu Shi , the General, or Ruler, of Rain, from at least 1100 . Still this character was not native, but must have been derived from western Asia, where the early rains coincided with the heliacal rising of these stars, which was not the case in China by nearly two months. The adjacent small stars, with xi, were Tien Lin , the Celestial Public Granary; and the whole group was known as the Announcer of Invasion on the Border .
Dionysus uses his divine powers to drive Pentheus insane, then invites him to spy on the ecstatic rituals of the Maenads , in the woods of Mount Cithaeron . Pentheus, hoping to witness a sexual orgy , hides himself in a tree. The Maenads spot him; maddened by Dionysus, they take him to be a mountain lion, and attack him with their bare hands. Pentheus' aunts, and his mother, Agave, are among them; they rip him limb from limb. Agave mounts his head on a pike, and takes the trophy to her father, Cadmus. The madness passes. Dionysus arrives in his true, divine form, banishes Agave and her sisters, and transforms Cadmus and his wife Harmonia into serpents. Only Tiresias is spared.