Castor And Pollux, called also the Dioscuri, or sons of Zeus, famous heroes in Greek mythology. According to Homer, they were sons of Tyndareus and Leda, and brothers of Helen and Clytemnestra, and hence are often called the Tvndarida3. Castor excelled in taming horses, and Pollux in the game of boxing. Jhough buried, they were taken from the earth before the siege of Troy, became immortal and honored as gods, and sometimes appeared among men. The legend was complicated by subsequent poets. According to some, the Dioscuri were sons of Leda and of Jupiter disguised as a swan or a star; according to others, Pollux only had this divine origin and the privilege of immortality. The place of their birth was variously said to be Amyche, Mount Taygetus, and the island of Pephnos. They are fabled to have attacked and ravaged Attica, and to have brought back their sister Helen, who had been stolen away by Theseus. They took part in the Calydonian boar hunt, and accompanied the expedition of the Argonauts, during which Pollux vanquished with the effistus the giant Amycus, king of the Bebryces, and founded the city of Dioscurias in Colchis. Associated with Idas and Lyncens, sons of Aphareus, they plundered Arcadia; but in a quarrel which arose concerning the division of the spoil, Castor, the mortal, perished by the hands of Lynceus, who in his turn fell under the blows of Pollux, while Idas was struck with a thunderbolt by Jupiter. According to another tradition, Castor was slain in a war between Athens and Lacedaemon. Jupiter permitted Pollux to pass alternately one day with his brother on Olympus and another on the earth.
The worship of these brothers was established by the Achseans, adopted by the Dorians, and spread throughout Greece, Italy, and Sicily. They were the tutelary gods of hospitality, presided over gymnastic exercises, and were eminently the mighty helpers of man. They calmed tempests, appearing as light flames on the tips of the masts. They sometimes appeared in battle, riding on magnificent white steeds at the head of the army. By their assistance the Romans believed themselves to have gained the battle of Lake Regillus. Placed among the stars, they became the constellation Gemini. In works of art they are usually represented as young horsemen in white attire, with a purple robe, armed with the lance, and wearing a helmet crowned with stars. At Rome the men swore by the temple of Pollux, JEde-pol, and the women by that of Castor, AEcas-tor. Around the ancient temple consecrated to them in the forum the equites marched in magnificent procession every year on July 15.
Castor and Pollux.