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Cassandra of Troy: Background information when reading The Women of Troy

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The Women of Troy

by Pat Barker

The Women of Troy by Pat Barker X
The Women of Troy by Pat Barker
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    Aug 2021, 304 pages

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Rachel Hullett
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Cassandra of Troy

This article relates to The Women of Troy

Painting of Cassandra standing in front of burning Troy by Evelyn De Morgan, 1898Like most stories and characters from Greek mythology, the exact origin of Cassandra of Troy is unknown, though she may have first appeared as a character in the Iliad, composed around the 8th century BCE, where she is described as "the fairest of Priam's daughters" and "fair as golden Venus" (in the English translation by Samuel Butler). These are the only references to Cassandra in Homer's tale, but clearly her story developed elsewhere, as now there is a much larger mythos surrounding her character. Details of Cassandra's story vary in different sources, but the blueprint of her narrative remains generally agreed upon.

Cassandra was the daughter of Priam and Hecuba, the king and queen of Troy during the city's invasion by the Greeks. Though she is often described as very beautiful, Cassandra never married; instead, she was a priestess, who was cursed by Apollo so that her prophecies would never be believed. In some versions of this story, Apollo cursed her for rejecting his ...

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