Hero and Leander is story of Hero–a priestess of Aphrodite—and Leander—a young man living on the opposite side of a strait from Hero. Leander fell in love with Hero and would swim every night across the strait to be with her. Hero would light a lamp at the top of her tower to guide his way.
Succumbing to Leander’s soft words, and to his argument that Aphrodite, as goddess of love, would scorn the worship of a virgin, Hero allowed him to make love to her. These trysts lasted through the warm summer. But one stormy winter night, the waves tossed Leander in the sea and the breezes blew out Hero’s light, and Leander lost his way, and was drowned. When Hero saw his dead body, she threw herself over the edge of the tower to her death to be with him.
This great mythical story has been used extensively over the years in literature and the arts.
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