Harmonia (mythology)

   In Greek mythology, Harmonia is the daugh­ter of Ares and Aphrodite. Though of im­mortal parentage Harmonia was born to trouble. Her mother was the wife of He­phaestus (Vulcan), given to him by Zeus himself, and she naturally enough incurred the displeasure of the artist god by the favoritism of Ares. Hephaestus chose to be avenged upon the innocent daughter. He was very cunning, however, and hid his evil designs in beautiful gifts. Harmonia was married to King Cadmus of Thebes. All the gods left Olympus to attend the wedding. Among the gifts, Hephaestus placed a brilliant necklace and a robe of beautiful coloring. The necklace was a gift which brought death to every mortal into whose possession it came. The robe or peplus was dyed in crimes and was destined to lead the children of Harmonia into wick­edness and impiety. Moreover, Harmonia's husband, Cadmus, was under the displeas­ure of the gods on account of his having killed the sacred serpent of Mars. The couple endured great misfortunes and much unhappiness on account of their children. Finally, the god took pity on them, since neither merited such trouble, and trans­formed them into serpents.