DIRCE, in Greek legend, the personification of a fountain (and stream) at Thebes, from the water of which Hercules derived part of his strength, and which was usually identified with the fountain of Ares in the legend of Cadmus. Besides, the fountain was the grave of Dirce, at which sacrifices for the dead and other rites were per-formed. According to the legend, Dirce, the wife of Lycus, king of Thebes, had sorely persecuted Antiope, who at last escaped to Mount Cithaeron, where her twin sons Amphion and Zethus were being brought up by a herdsman unconscious of their parentage. Mother and sons met, but had not recognized each other, till Dirce, who had come to the hill for a Dionysiac ceremony, proposed that Amphion and Zethus should tie Antiope to the horns of a wild bull to be dragged to death. They were about to do this when the herdsman announced their relationship, and they then tied. Dirce to the bull instead. She was dragged by it over the hill to the fountain into which she was trans-formed.