Mythology & Beliefs
: AegyptusIn Greek and Roman Mythology, Aegyptus was the brother of Danaus and his sons, except Lynceus were slain by Danaides.
Aegyptus in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
（*Ai)/guptos), a son of Belus and Anchinoe or Achiroe, and
twin-brother of Danaus. (Apollod. ii. 50.4; Tzetz. ad
Lycophr. 382, 1155.) Euripides represented Cepheus and
Phineus likewise as brothers of Aegyptus. Belus assigned to
Danaus the sovereignty of Libya, and to Aegyptus he gave
Arabia. The latter also subdued the country of the
Melampodes, which he called Aegypt after his own name.
Aegyptus by his several wives had fifty sons, and it so
happened that his brother Danaus had just as many daughters.
(Apollod. 2.1.5; Hyg. Fab. 170.) Danaus had reason to fear
the sons of his brother, and fled with his daughters to
Argos in Peloponnesus. Thither he was followed by the sons
of Aegyptus, who demanded his daughters for their wives and
promised faithful alliance. Danaus complied with their
request, and distributed his daughters among them, but to
each of them he gave a dagger, with which they were to kill
their husbands in the bridal night. All the sons of Aegyptus
were thus murdered with the exception of Lynceus, who was
saved by Hypermnestra. The Danaids buried the heads of their
murdered husbands in Lerna, and their bodies outside the
town, and were afterwards purified of their crime by Athena
and Hermes at the command of Zeus. Pausanias (2.24.3), who
saw the monument under which the heads of the sons of
Aegyptus were believed to be buried, says that it stood on
the way to Larissa, the citadel of Argos, and that their
bodies were buried at Lerna. In Hyginus (Fath. 168) the
story is somewhat different. According to him, Aegyptus
formed the plan of murdering Danaus and his daughters in
order to gain possession of his dominions. When Danaus was
informed of this he fled with his daughters to Argos.
Aegyptus then sent out his sons in pursuit of the fugitives,
and enjoined them not to return unless they had slain
Danaus. The sons of Aegyptus laid siege to Argos, and when
Danaus saw that further resistance was useless, he put an
end to the hostilities by giving to each of the besiegers
one of his daughters. The murder of the sons of Aegyptus
then took place in the bridal night. There was a tradition
at Patrae in Achaia, according to which Aegyptus himself
came to Greece, and died at Aroe with grief for the fate of
his sons. The temple of Serapis at Patrae contained a
monument of Aegyptus. (Paus. 7.21.6.) - A Dictionary of
Greek and Roman biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.
Aegyptus in Wikipedia
In Greek mythology, Aegyptus (Greek: Αἴγυπτος, Aígyptos) is
a descendant of the heifer maiden, Io, and the river-god
Nilus, and was a king in Egypt. Aegyptos was the son of
Belus and Achiroe, a naiad daughter of Nile. Aegyptus
fathered fifty sons, who were all but one murdered by the
fifty daughters of Aegyptus' twin brother, Danaus, eponym of
the Danaans, a name for the Mycenaean Greeks. The Aegyptus
of Greek myth is not a genuinely Egyptian figure, but a
figment of Egypt in the European imagination.
A scholium on a line in Euripides, Hecuba 886, reverses
these origins, placing the twin brothers at first in
Argolis, whence Aegyptus was expelled and fled to the land
that was named after him. In the more common version,
Aegyptus commanded that his fifty sons marry the fifty
Danaides, and Danaus with his daughters fled to Argos, ruled
by Pelasgus or by Gelanor, whom Danaus replaced. When
Aegyptus and his sons arrived to take the Danaides, Danaus
relinquished them, to spare the Argives the pain of a
battle; however, he instructed his daughters to kill their
husbands on their wedding night. Forty-nine followed
through, but one, Hypermnestra ("greatly wooed"), refused,
because her husband, Lynceus the "lynx-man", honored her
wish to remain a virgin. Danaus was angry with his
disobedient daughter and threw her to the Argive courts.
Aphrodite intervened and saved her. Lynceus and Hypermnestra
founded the lineage of Argive kings, a Danaan dynasty.
In some versions, Lynceus later slew Danaus as revenge for
the death of his brothers, and the Danaides were punished in
the underworld by being forced to carry water through a jug
with holes, or a sieve, so that the water always leaked out.
The story of Danaus and his daughters, and the reason for
their flight from marriage, provided the theme of Aeschylus'
In the second or third century AD, Antoninus Liberalis
tells of another Aegyptos, who was a young man of Thessaly.
He was the companion of Neophron, but the lover of Timandra,
Neophron's mother; he became the victim of Neophron's
revenge, when Neophron arranged a night-time substitution,
so that Aegyptos committed involuntary incest with his
mother, Bules. Zeus transformed Egyptos and Neophron into
eagles and Timandra into a kite. Many of the transformations
in Antoninus' prose compilation are found nowhere else, and
some may simply be inventions of Antoninus; this story
combines several themes of Hellenistic Romance. The
placement of an Aegyptus in Thessaly is inexplicable. -