procris

Back to another Women's Wednesday! Our story this time revolves around the dangers of jealousy: our protagonist is Procris, princess of Athens.

As the story goes, Procris was happily married to Cephalus when Eos, goddess of dawn, set her eyes on him: the goddess thus decided to kidnap and try to seduce Cephalus, who, however, seemed adamant in his love for his wife and refused all advances. Eos, scorned, made bitter remarks about Procris' own fidelity, stating that her love for gold was greater than her love for her husband. Cephalus returned to his wife, but Eos had managed to instill the doubt: the man thus disguised himself and tried to seduce Procris with gifts and gold. At first, Procris seemed to remain faithful; after a while, however, she gave in to his persistence and agreed to cheat on her husband... with her husband himself! At that point, Cephalus revealed his disguise and Procris, ashamed, fled to the woods.

Once Cephalus had forgiven her, Procris went back to him; jealousy, however, got in their way once again. Believing her husband had found a lover to get back at her, Procris started following him around: one day, as Cephalus went on a hunt, the woman thoughtlessly hid behind a bush in order to spy on him. Seeing the bush moving and thinking an animal was about to attack him, Cephalus promptly reached to his bow and shot an arrow: Procris was thus deadly wounded and died in the arms of her husband.


“Procris”, illumination from the manuscript “Cas des nobles hommes et femmes”, ms. Français 12420, f. 39v, 15h century, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Paris.

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