5. Aigypios

Aigypios was the son of Antheus son of Nomion. He lived in the far reaches of Thessaly, loved by the gods for his holiness and by mortals because he was generous and just. He fell in love with Timandre at first sight and, when he found out that she was a widow, brought her round with money and started having sex with her, becoming a frequent visitor at her house. Neophron, Timandre's son, was angry at this—he was the same age as Aigypios!—and devised a trap for him.

He gave a lot of gifts to Boulis, Aigypios' mother, and won her round. He took her to his house and slept with her. He then learned the hour that Aigypios usually visited Timandre, and got his mother to leave the house on some pretext. In her place he brought Aigypios' mother into the house and told her he would be back. In this way he fooled both mother and son. Aigypios, not at all suspecting what Neophron was planning against him, had sex with his mother in the belief that she was Timandre.

After he fell asleep, Boulis recognized her own son. Taking up a sword, she decided to gouged out his eyes and kill herself. By the will of Apollo sleep released Aigypios, and he, realizing the sort of deed Neophron had devised against him, raised his eyes to heaven and prayed that he, along with everyone involved, would be done away with.

Zeus changed them into birds. Aigypios and Neophron both became vultures, or "aigypioi." But although they share the same name they are not the same in coloration and size, for Neophron turned into a smaller "aigypios" vulture. Boulis became a poynx, and Zeus made her food nothing that grows from the earth, but rather the eyes of fish, birds or serpents becaust she was about to deprive her son of his eyes. Zeus made Timandre a titmouse. At no time are these birds seen in the same place.


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