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A monument depicting the twins in Sparta

Kastor and Polydeukes, alternatively Castor and Pollux, were legendary twins in Greco-Roman mythology, known together as the Dioskouroi.


Descendants of the legendary hero Perseus and Andromeda through their daughter Gorgophone, Kastor and Polydeukes were also related to Helen and Klytaimnestra.[1]

According to the myth, the twins were born at the same time by Leda, though they had different fathers; Polydeukes was fathered by Zeus, Kastor by Leda's husband, the king of Sparta Tyndareus. They were also said to have been born on Mount Taygetos,[2] though Amyklai Farm was regarded as their home.[3]


By the Peloponnesian War, an altar dedicated to the twins had been raised in the Forest of Eurotas in Lakonia, Greece, and they were central to the Spartan rituals, especially those preceding the beginning of a military campaign.[2]

Later, when a zodiac was created, the two became part of it as the Gemini, also known as the Great Twins.[4] While the Greeks held their belief that the Great Twins were Kastor and Polydeukes, the Egyptians observed them as two he-goats, rising from the underworld.[5]


Behind the scenes

In Greek, Kastor and Polydeukes were known as Διόσκουροι (Dióskouroi) meaning 'the youths of Zeus'. In Latin, this became Dioscuri. Colloquially, this has come to mean an inseparable couple.

In some stories, the Dioskouroi are counted among the Argonauts.