Hero And Leander
HERO AND LEANDER. Hero, the beautiful priestess of Venus at Sestos, was there seen by Leander, a youth of Abydos, at the celebration of the festival of Venus and Adonis. He became deeply enamoured of her, and found that day an opportunity of declaring his passion, which she returned ; and as her position rendered their marriage impossible, they agreed to carry on a clandestine intercourse. Nightly Hero placed a lamp in the top of the tower where she dwelt by the sea, and Leander, guided by it, swam the dangerous Hellespont. One stormy night the lamp was blown out, and Leander perished. On finding his body next morning on the shore, Hero flung herself into the waves.
Reference is made to this famous tale by Virgil (Georg., iii. 25S) and by Statius (Thek, vi. 535). Ovid (Her., xviii. and xix.) has composed an epistle from Leander to Hero, and one from Hero to Leander. But the story is best known from the work of Musnus (see Muszus), which has been repeatedly translated into modern European languages. The Hero and Leander of Marlowe and Chapman is an imitation and expansion of the work of Mumens.