Tales from mythology feature prominently in THE EPIPHANY OF AN EXPLORER, especially the tale of how the twins, Artemis and Apollo, came to be born on the island of Delos. Here’s what happened, according to the archaeologist in the book:
Harry blinked, wracking his brain for the reason the name Leto should have been familiar. “Mother of Artemis and Apollo, wasn’t she?” he guessed after a time. They were on Delos, the birthplace of the twins. He supposed finding the Titaness, or at least a facsimile of her, was to be expected.
“She was, poor thing.” At Harry’s sudden look of confusion, the archeologist rolled his eyes. “You Oxford men,” he said with a sigh. “She was Zeus’ bride before he was married to Hera. Zeus got the twins on her, but then he married Hera. Hera arranged for Leto to be banished from Olympus, and when it was time for Leto to give birth, no place would take her,” he explained, as if tutoring a young boy. “Hera, or rather the fear of her wrath, drove Leto from land to land. Hera pursued her relentlessly, or she had Python do it on her behalf, if you believe those stories.” Although Harry’s expression had changed, it was now rather blank. “People feared Hera’s wrath,” the duke added for emphasis, just then realizing Harry couldn’t count mythology as one of his strong suits.
Harry’s eyes widened. “Oh! Hera,” he replied, nodding. “Rather temperamental goddess, wasn’t she?” he asked rhetorically.
The duke angled his head, resisting the urge to roll his eyes. “And when provoked, she was lethal. Which is why no one would allow Leto to give birth to her twins on their lands.”
Harry nodded his understanding. “Why Delos then?” he asked. The island had been inhabited at one point. Romans had occupied the area back in their day, when controlling the shipping lanes of the Aegean was paramount for maintaining their rule over the region. But Leto was obviously from a time long before the Roman occupation.
“Zeus saved her by having Boreas, the North Wind, carry her out to sea. Delos, barren and rocky, much like we see it now, had nothing to lose in accepting her,” Westhaven explained patiently. “Legend claims it was a floating island, but that upon Leto’s arrival, four pillars anchored it to the sea bottom.”
As a scientist, Harry had to resist the urge to shake his head in disbelief at the fantastical story. “I don’t suppose you came across the four pillars when you were swimming to the island,” he said with a wry grin. “You did swim here, didn’t you?” he added, thinking there wouldn’t have been a way to hide a boat from those that had paid witness to the duke’s supposed drowning.
The duke offered a shrug before he leaned in closer. “I came across dozens of them, in fact,” he claimed, ignoring Harry’s question. “The artifacts on the sea bed, especially off the north shore, are incredible,” he added with an arched brow. “I could spend the rest of my life just on those sunken treasures.”
Turn in tomorrow for more!