The New International Encyclopædia/Hero (priestess)

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HE'RO (Lat., from Gk. Ἡρώ). A priestess of Aphrodite at Sestos. At a festival of Aphrodite she was seen and loved by Leander, a youth of Abydos. She returned his love, and received him in her tower on the Hellespont, which he swam nightly, being guided by her lamp. Venturing the passage on a stormy night, he was drowned and the body washed ashore at the tower, whence Hero at once cast herself that she might be united with her lover in death. The story developed in the romantic poetry of the Alexandrian period, and has come down to us in a work of Musæus and in Ovid. It is represented on some late works of art and on Roman coins of Abydos and Sestos. It is also the subject of poems by Marlowe and Schiller, and a drama, Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen, by Grillparzer.