In Greek mythology, Danaë (Ancient Greek: Δανάη, English translation: "parched") was a daughter of King Acrisius of Argos and Eurydice (no relation to Orpheus' Eurydice). She was the mother of Perseus by Zeus.


One day when Acrisius went to an oracle to see whether he would have a grandson or not, the oracle replied that he would, but his grandson would kill him. Fearful for his life, Acrisius locked poor Danae up in a bronze tower to prevent the prophecy from coming true. Zeus spotted Danae all miserable in her cell, came down to her in a shower of gold. He then transformed back and laid with her. When Acrisius went to check on Danae, he saw that she had a son and had named him Perseus. Once again he tried to eliminate both mother and son by locking them in a wooden chest and pushed them out to sea, so that he wouldn't be guilty of murderer. Zeus protected them through tempest and storm. Finally they reached an island and were found by the fisherman, Dictys. Later on the king of the island, Polydectes, started to pursue Danae and wanted her to become his wife. She and her son refused. Since Perseus was standing in the way of their marriage, Polydectes decided to send perseus off to slay the gorgon, Medusa, thinking that he would die in the progress. Perseus later returned successful in his quest and killed Polydectes with the head of Medusa. She later died of old age.

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