Cassandra or Kassandra; Ancient Greek: Κασσάνδρα, pronounced [kas:ándra], also Κασάνδρα), (sometimes referred to as Alexandra) was a Trojan priestess of Apollo in Greek mythology cursed to utter true prophecies, but never to be believed.
As a child, I was an avid reader and devoured children’s books with retellings of ancient myths.
Cassandra’s character stood out: unlike other females, she wasn’t meek and obedient, waiting to be rescued. She had the courage to speak out, and this rebelliousness appealed to me.
Princess, priestess, and prophetess Cassandra of Troy lived under a terrible curse; she could see the future and had to speak the truth, but no one would ever believe her.
A character from Greek mythology, her story has fascinated me for many years.
She has become part of who I am, I identify that strongly with her that’s why I have chosen that beautiful name Cassandra.
Who Was Cassandra?
In Greek mythology, Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam, the ruler of Troy during the Trojan War, and his wife, Queen Hecuba. This made her a princess of the highest rank.
She was considered the most beautiful of King Priam’s daughters.
About Cassandra’s personality, little is known. Although, we may conclude that she was principled, passionate, and courageous. In some versions of the myth, Cassandra is presented as chaste, in others as devious.
Most versions say that Cassandra was a priestess in the temple of the Greek god Apollo, and that she was a seer or prophetess, possessing the gift and curse of prophecy.
In ancient Greek versions of the myth, starting with the play Agamemnon by Aeschylus, Cassandra has the ability to see accurately into the future. The curse is that no one ever believes her or her predictions, despite every prophecy being true.
As an added twist, she was also forced to always speak the truth. She can’t even trick people by telling lies or false prophecies, which they will disbelieve.
Ancient authors agree that Apollo desired the beautiful Cassandra and granted her the gift of prophecy in order to woo her as a lover, according to Greek mythology.
Cassandra accepted the gift of the ability to tell prophecies, but she rejected Apollo’s sexual demands.
Over the millennia, Cassandra has been put to use by writers to support their viewpoints.
Some have used the myth of Cassandra as an example of a chaste virgin because she fought to keep her herself pure. Others have held her up as an example of an evil seductress, because Cassandra used the power of her sexuality to lure Apollo.
Depending on whether or not she struck a deal selling her favours to Apollo, she is seen variously as a prostitute.
She has been portrayed as a bad woman, because she spoke up against the decisions of powerful men instead of keeping quiet as a woman should.
Yet others from the same period of history held her to be a wicked sorceress in the devil’s service because of her clairvoyance and disobedience.
With endless versions of Cassandra there is always a new one for you to discover…