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Tereus

[teer-ee-uh s, teer-yoos] /ˈtɪər i əs, ˈtɪər yus/
noun, Classical Mythology
1.
a Thracian prince, the husband of Procne, who raped his sister-in-law Philomela and was changed into a hoopoe as a punishment.
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British Dictionary definitions for Tereus

Tereus

/ˈtɪərɪəs/
noun
1.
(Greek myth) a prince of Thrace, who raped Philomela, sister of his wife Procne, and was punished by being turned into a hoopoe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for Tereus

in Greek legend, king of Thrace, or of Phocis, who married Procne, daughter of Pandion, king of Athens. Later Tereus seduced his wife's sister Philomela, pretending that Procne was dead. In order to hide his guilt, he cut out Philomela's tongue. But she revealed the crime to her sister by working the details in embroidery. Procne sought revenge by serving up her son Itys for Tereus's supper. On learning what Procne had done, Tereus pursued the two sisters with an ax. But the gods took pity and changed them all into birds, Tereus into a hoopoe (or hawk), Procne into a nightingale, and Philomela into a swallow. This version was made famous in Sophocles' lost tragedy Tereus. In Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book VI, Procne becomes the swallow and Philomela the nightingale. Ovid's version influenced later literature.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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