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The origins of Naples and the myth of Partenope

Legends about the city of Naples

Le origins of Naples they are historical and mythological, because this city has been of great importance since ancient times.

Its great importance has moved into myth and literature, creating a series of very fascinating stories about the divine origins of this city. It is indeed a common practice to want to ennoble one's city and a divine lineage certainly goes in that direction. Throughout its history this city has always managed to carve out a very important position both from an economic and political and cultural point of view.

The origins of Naples start from the Greek world

According to all the evidence that has emerged, it was the Cumans who founded the Neapolitan city around the eighth century BC This city immediately had a great influence not only in Magna Graecia, but throughout the Hellenic world, making this city a very important center . Apparently, it was the privileged relations with Athens, which at the time was one of the most important cities in the world, that facilitated the transformation of the city by taking it from the province to the center of the world. This exponential growth led the city of Campania to be a cultural beacon for many areas of the south.

Partenope is therefore the mythological founder behind the origins of Naples

There are three stories that tell the birth of the city of Campania in relation to Partenope, thus creating three different legends about the genesis of the city of Campania.

The first story speaks of the siren Partenope who tried to make Ulysses fall in love with her melodious song, but when the hero refused the siren threw herself from the highest cliff to commit suicide. The waves brought Partenope to the Gulf of Naples on the island of Megaride. His body then vanished going to form the city bell with the head to Capodimonte and the tail to Posillipo.

In the version of the Serao instead one speaks of a Partenope in love with the Athenian hero Cimone, a love that however was hindered by the father who had promised it to another. The lovers escaped to today's Naples where they had twelve children, but over time the rest of the family went to join the two lovers, going to create the very first nucleus of the city.

The latest myth dates back to the nineteenth century, and also in this case we talk about the love between the siren Parthenope and the centaur Vulcan. Zeus did not welcome this relationship and transformed the centaur into a volcano and therefore she decided to commit suicide.