Pollux & Castor|
Brothers and lovers
The Dioscuri ("the sons of Zeus"), the mysterious twin sons of Leda, queen of Sparta, were known to the Greeks as Castor and Polydeuces, and to the Romans as Castor and Pollux. They were twin and half-brothers (!), sons of Leda, but had different fathers. King Tyndareus, was Castor's father, along with Clytemnestra, thus Castor was a mortal. Pollux was a son of Zeus, along with Helen, thus he was immortal. These four children were all born at the same time.
The twin brothers were most affectionate: they never strove in rivalry for the leadership, and they never acted without consulting each other, which is a distinctive mark of real love and brotherhood. Both grew up to be great athletes. Castor was a great horse tamer and Polydeuces was a great boxer. But were most famous for their bravery and skill in fighting.
They were both Argonauts in their youth, and members of the Calydonian Boar hunt. The Dioscuri were still alive when the seducer Paris abducted their sister Helen, but they had already left this world when the Trojan War broke out. They were involved in various fights: in their last fight Castor, being a mortal, was killed and went down to the underworld, the Ades.
Because of the love for one another, the brothers missed each other terribly. Pollux, despite being immortal, could not tolerate living without his twin brother and lover, so asked to be relieved of his immortality and thus allowed to die so that he could be reunited with Castor.
Zeus then allowed them to alternate each day, one in the Olympus and one beneath the earth in the Ades, and Poseidon gave them the power to aid shipwrecked men, stilling winds and waves. Moreover, their image was hung in stars as a constellation called the Heavenly Twins or Gemini.
The Dioscuri were revered by the Spartans and Romans in particular. Roman soldiers swore that the presence of Castor and Pollux on the battlefield secured for them victories against all the odds.