Below is my origin story for the constellation Pente Aldephia, or 5 Sisters. The “sources,” including the Oklahoma Classical Compendium, are either invented or re-imagined to create a kind of alternative Greek mythology.
(A very busy week means I will postpone my Find Five Friday – I think I will combine this week’s with next week’s to create a “Tag Ten Thursday” or something along those lines.)
Pente Adelphia (from the Oklahoma Classical Compendium)
The Pente Adelphia, or 5 Sisters, were companions of Athena. They were the daughters of Iris, who conceived them when Zeus, disguised as a rain shower, seduced her. (Tibullus, De Rerum Deorum) When Hera learned of her husband’s latest infidelity, she sent Artemis to kill the children with her bow and arrows. However, Athena defended the 5 sisters – with help from Proteus, who disguised himself as Iris to distract Artemis while the actual Iris hid her daughters. (Homeric Hymn 34; Ovid, Metamorphoses)
When they came of age, the 5 Sisters became Athena’s attendants, and were known for assisting the heroes whom Athena favored. For example, the sisters Thymis & Eurygyneia fought alongside Odysseus and Telemachus against the suitors in Odyssey XXII. A 3rd daughter, Aikaterina, helped Telemachus navigate during his journey in Odyssey I-IV.
Fragments attributed to Sappho and Sulpicia praise the 5 Sisters for their beauty and their loyalty.