THE STORY OF CASSANDRA
In Greek mythology, Cassandra was a princess of Troy, the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba and the fraternal twin sister of Helenus. According to legend, Cassandra had dark brown curly hair and dark brown eyes, and was both beautiful and clever, but considered insane. Cassandra was cursed to utter prophecies which were true but which no one believed.
A common version of her story relates how, in an effort to seduce her, Apollo gave her the power of prophecy. When she refused him, he spat into her mouth to inflict a curse that nobody would ever believe her prophecies. Her cursed gift from Apollo became a source of endless pain and frustration to Cassandra. She was seen as a liar and a madwoman by her family and by the Trojan people. In some versions of the story, she was often locked up in a pyramidal building on the citadel on the orders of her father, King Priam. She was accompanied there by the wardress, who cared for her under orders to inform the King of all of his daughter’s “prophetic utterances”. She was driven truly insane by this in the versions where she was incarcerated.
Cassandra made many predictions, and all of her prophecies were disbelieved except for one, when she foresaw who Paris was and proclaimed that he was her abandoned brother. That took place after he had sought refuge in the altar of Zeus from their brothers’ wrath, which resulted in his reunion with their family. Cassandra foresaw that Paris’ abduction of Helen for his wife would bring about the Trojan War and cause the destruction of Troy. She did warn Paris not to go to Sparta. Helenus echoed her prophecy, but their warnings were ignored. Cassandra saw Helen coming into Troy when Paris returned home from Sparta. Cassandra furiously snatched away Helen’s golden veil and tore at her hair, for she had foreseen that Helen’s arrival would bring the calamities of the Trojan War and the destruction of Troy. The Trojan people, however, welcomed Helen into their city.
In The Fall of Troy, told by Quintus Smyrnaeus, Cassandra had attempted to warn the Trojan people that Greek warriors hiding in the Trojan Horse while they were celebrating their victory over the Greeks with feasting. They disbelieved her, calling her names and degrading her with insults. She grabbed an axe in one hand and a burning torch in her other, and ran towards the Trojan Horse, intent on destroying it herself to stop the Greeks from destroying Troy. The Trojan people stopped her before she could do so. The Greeks hiding inside the Horse were relieved that the Trojans had stopped Cassandra from destroying it, but they were surprised by how clearly she had seen their plan to defeat Troy.
Cassandra was taken as a concubine by King Agamemnon of Mycenae, but unbeknown to Agamemnon, while he was away at war, his wife, Clytemnestra, had begun an affair with Aegisthus. Clytemnestra and Aegisthus then murdered both Agamemnon and Cassandra. She was sent to the Elysian Fields after her death, because her soul was judged worthy due to her dedication to the gods, and her religious nature during her life. Cassandra was buried either at Amyclae or Mycenae. Heinrich Schliemann was certain that he had discovered Cassandra’s tomb when he had excavated Mycenae, because he found the remains of a woman and two infants in one of the circle graves at Mycenae. Source: Wikipedia