H O M E W R I T E R 'S N I B S L I N K S B L O G C O N T A C T
C R I B B L I N G S
you steal from one author, it's plagiarism; if you steal from many, it's
Wilson Mizner, 1876-1933, American Author
WITH A THOUSAND SLIPPERS: ANIMAL HELPERS AND THE
by Doré Ripley, ©2008-22
When [Rhodopis] was bathing, an eagle snatched one of her
sandals from her maid and carried it to Memphis; and while the king
was administering justice in the open air, the eagle, when it arrived
above his head, flung the sandal into his lap; and the king, stirred
both by the beautiful shape of the sandal and by the strangeness of
the occurrence, sent men in all directions into the country in quest
of the woman who wore the sandal; and when she was found in the
city of Naucratis, she was brought up to Memphis and became the
wife of the king.
Strabo recorded this happily-ever-after Cinderella story around 20 AD as a rebuttal to the historian, Herodotus, who reported that one of the pyramids at Giza was the tomb of the Pharaoh's Cinderella wife. In his Geography, Strabo describes Rhodopis as a slave girl kidnapped from her native Greece and taken to Egypt where she became a household slave. But while she did attract the attention of the Pharaoh, the Pharaoh Amasis could not have built Rhodopis a pyramid tomb because, as Strabo clarifies, she eventually left the Pharaoh to become the "beloved of Charaxus, [the poetess] Sappho's brother, . . . who was engaged in transporting Lesbian wine to Naucratis for sale" (17.1.33).
. . . For the rest of the story, see Goddesses and World Culture, Vol. 1 Asia and Africa (Praeger, 2011) available at amazon.com or your local library.
Thumbnail illustration by Ed Young in Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China by Ai-Ling Louie.