According to Greek Mythology, Zeus took many different forms in order to seduce and mate with his desired partners. He took the form of a swan to seduce Leda, a beautiful Spartan queen who he greatly admired. Seeking protection from a pursuing eagle, the swan fell into her arms. Their consummation took place on the banks of the river Eurotas. Resulting from the union with the god was the generation of two eggs, from which hatched Helen of Troy, Clytemnestra and Castor and Pollux. Leda and the swan was a popular subject in ancient art, strongly linked with Homer’s Iliadic epic poem.
To discover more about the ancient origins of oil lamps, visit our relevant post: Oil Lamps in Antiquity.