Head of Leda by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519).
Click on image for full size
In Roman mythology, the constellation Cygnus
, which means "swan", was related to the myth of Jupiter
and the goddess Nemesis. In order to escape from Jupiter, Nemesis
changed herself into many different animals. When she changed into a
goose, Jupiter transformed himself into a wonderful swan and won her love.
The goddess delivered an egg and then abandoned it. A shepherd found the egg and gave it to Leda, the wife of Tyndareus, the king
of Sparta. From that egg came Helen of Troy. Helen was so beautiful that Leda claimed her
as her own child. The constellation Cygnus was formed to celebrate the lovely swan.
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