Dioscuri - Castor and Polydeucus

The wife of the king of Sparta Tindarea was beautiful Leda, daughter of the king of Aetolia, Festia. Throughout Greece, Leda was famous for its wondrous beauty. Became the wife of Zeus Leda, and she had two children by him: a beautiful, goddess-like daughter Elena and her son, the great hero Polydeucus. Leda also had two children with Tyndareus: a daughter Clytemnestra and son Castor.

Polydeucus received immortality from his father, and his brother Castor was mortal. Both brothers were great heroes of Greece. No one could surpass Castor in the art of driving a chariot, he humbled the most indomitable horses. Polydeucus, on the other hand, was the most skilful fist fighter who knew no equal. The brothers Dioscuri participated in many feats of the heroes of Greece. They were always together, the most sincere love connected the brothers.

The Dioscuri had two cousins, Linkei and Idas are the sons of the Messenian king Apharea. Idas was a mighty fighter; his brother Linkei had such sharp vision that it penetrated even into the bowels of the earth; nothing could hide from Linkei. Many feats were performed by the Dioscuri with their cousins. Once, during a daring raid, they stole a herd of bulls from Arcadia and decided to divide the loot among themselves. Idas was supposed to divide the herd. Idas wanted to take possession of all the loot with his brother and decided to resort to cunning. Idas cut the bull into four equal parts, divided them between himself, his brother and the Dioscuri, and offered to give one half of the herd to the one who would eat his part first, and the other half to the one who would eat the second. Idas quickly ate his part and helped Brother Linkei to eat his part.

Castor and Polydeucus were terribly angry when they saw that Idas had deceived them, and decided to take revenge on their cousins, with whom they had previously been bound by an indissoluble friendship. Castor and Polydeucus invaded Messenia and stole not only the herd stolen from Arcadia, but also part of the herd of Idas and Lincaeus. And the Dioscuri were not satisfied with this, they also kidnapped the brides of their cousins.

The Dioscuri knew that Idas and Linkei would not forgive them for this, and decided to hide in the hollow of a large tree and wait for Idas and Linkei to start chasing them. The Dioscuri brothers wanted to attack them by surprise, as they were afraid to engage in battle with the mighty Idas, who once even dared to fight with Apollo himself when the silver-armed god argued with him for the beautiful marpessa.

Idas kidnapped Marpessa in a winged chariot given to him Poseidon. Apollo wanted to take Marpessa away from Idas and engaged him in battle. Zeus stopped this fight and ordered Marpessa to choose her own husband, Marpessa chose Idas: she knew that the god Apollo would not love her until her death, that her immortal god would forget her when she grew old.

But the Dioscuri could not hide from the sharp eyes of Linkei. From a high Taiget, I saw Linkei brothers in a hollow tree. Idas and Linkei attacked the Dioscuri. Before they could get out of the ambush, Idas stabbed his spear into a tree and pierced Castor's chest. Polydeucus rushed at them. The Aphareids could not withstand his onslaught and turned to flight. Polydeucus overtook them at their father's grave. He killed Linkei and started a deadly battle with Idas. But Zeus stopped this duel, he threw a sparkling lightning bolt and with it incinerated both Idas and the corpse of Lincaeus.

Polydeucus returned to where Castor lay mortally wounded. He wept bitterly, seeing that death was separating him from his brother. Polydeucus then prayed to his father Zeus and asked him to let him die together with his brother. The thunderer appeared to his son and gave him a choice: either to live forever young in the host of bright gods on Olympus, or to live together with his brother one day in the gloomy kingdom of Hades, the other on the bright Olympus. Polydeucus did not want to part with his brother and chose a common share with him. Since then, the brothers have been wandering one day through the gloomy fields of the kingdom of the shadows of the dead, and the other day they live together with the gods in the palace of the aegis-holding Zeus. The Greeks honor the Dioscuri brothers as gods. They are defenders of people in all dangers, they protect them during the journey both in a foreign land and at home.