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Narcissus

(7,277 words)

Author(s): Marek, Heidi
(Νάρκισσος [ Nárkissos]; Latin Narcissus) A. Myth The myth of N. originated in the Greek territory of Boeotia. N. is the son of the river-god Cephoissus and the nymph Liriope. The most influential version is from Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Ov. Met. 3,339–510): like the life of Orpheus, that of N. is fatefully overshadowed by a prophecy of Tiresias. Asked by the boy’s mother whether her newborn son will be granted a long life, the seer replies “if he does not come to know himself” (“ si se non noverit”, Ov. Met. 3,348). N. grows into a beautiful youth, and many men and women fall in lov…