Some have also associated Saints Speusippus, Eleusippus, and Melapsippus with the Dioskouroi. [15], On votive reliefs they are depicted with a variety of symbols representing the concept of twinhood, such as the dokana (δόκανα – two upright pieces of wood connected by two cross-beams), a pair of amphorae, a pair of shields, or a pair of snakes. 24 M-W). They are widely depicted as helmeted horsemen carrying spears.

Their mother was Leda, but they had different fathers; Castor was the … This began a family feud among the four sons of the brothers Tyndareus and Aphareus. [15], The New Testament scholar Dennis MacDonald identifies Castor and Pollux as models for James son of Zebedee and his brother John in the Gospel of Mark. They are also often shown wearing felt caps, sometimes with stars above. The conventional account (attested first in Pindar, Nemean 10) combined these paternities so that only Pollux was fathered by Zeus, while Leda and her husband Tyndareus conceived Castor. Though accounts of their birth are varied, they are sometimes said to have been born from an egg, along with their twin sisters Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra. The narrator remarks that they are both already dead and buried back in their homeland of Lacedaemon, thus suggesting that at least in some early traditions, both were mortal. The theme of ambiguous parentage is not unique to Castor and Pollux; similar characterisations appear in the stories of Hercules and Theseus. Both Dioscuri were excellent horsemen and hunters who participated in the hunting of the Calydonian Boar and later joined the crew of Jason's ship, the Argo. As Idas was about to kill Pollux, Zeus, who had been watching from Mount Olympus, hurled a thunderbolt, killing Idas and saving his son. [29][30], The heavenly twins appear in Indo-European tradition as the effulgent Vedic brother-horsemen called the Ashvins,[2][5] Lithuanian Ašvieniai, and possibly Germanic Alcis.

[39][40], The Etruscans venerated the twins as Kastur and Pultuce, collectively as the tinas cliniiaras, "Sons of Tinia," Etruscan counterpart of Zeus. [i] Both women were already betrothed to cousins of the Dioscuri, the twin brothers Lynceus and Idas of Messenia, sons of Tyndareus's brother Aphareus. Greek vases regularly show them capturing Phoebe and Hilaeira, as Argonauts, as well as in religious ceremonies and at the delivery to Leda of the egg containing Helen. The rite of theoxenia (θεοξενία), "god-entertaining", was particularly associated with Castor and Pollux. Another is symbolised in a painting depicted as two pointed caps crowned with laurel, referring to the Phrygian caps. When their sister Helen was abducted by Theseus, the half-brothers invaded his kingdom of Attica to rescue her. Two paintings flank the entrance to the House of the Dioscuri in, In the oration of the Athenian peace emissary sent to Sparta in 69, according to. Their death and shared immortality offered by Zeus was material of the lost Cypria in the Epic cycle. Shortly afterwards, Simonides was told that two young men wished to speak to him; after he had left the banqueting room, the roof fell in and crushed Scopas and his guests.[5]. Their other sisters were Timandra, Phoebe, and Philonoe. [j], Castor and Pollux are consistently associated with horses in art and literature.

[11] In the ensuing brawl, Pollux killed Lynceus. [27][28] According to another legend, the city was founded by their charioteers, Amphitus and Cercius of Sparta. Castor himself was also venerated in the region of Kastoria in northern Greece. In Latin the twins are also known as the Gemini[e] (literally "twins") or Castores,[f] as well as the Tyndaridae[g] or Tyndarids. They are sometimes shown arriving at a gallop over a food-laden table. [38], Photius wrote that Polydeuces was a lover of Hermes, and the god made him a gift of Dotor (Ancient Greek: Δώτορ), the Thessalian horse. [23] The pear tree was regarded by the Spartans as sacred to Castor and Pollux, and images of the twins were hung in its branches.

The church took an ambivalent attitude, rejecting the immortality of the Dioskouroi but seeking to replace them with equivalent Christian pairs. [33] The construction of the Temple of Castor and Pollux, located in the Roman Forum at the heart of their city, was undertaken to fulfill a vow (votum) made by Aulus Postumius Albus Regillensis in gratitude at the Roman victory in the Battle of Lake Regillus in 495 BCE.


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