Maera was a name given to various figures in Greek mythology. This was the name of the daughter of the Titan Atlas, who later married Tegeates, while another one was a Nereid, daughter of Nereus and Doris. A different Maera was one of the daughters of the river god Erasinus; she and her sisters Anchirhoe, Byze and Melite were linked to the primordial deity Britomartis.
However, the better known Maera was a hound that belonged to Erigone, daughter of Icarius of Athens. Icarius, follower of Dionysus, was killed by shepherds while travelling. Erigone, worried that her father had not returned, took Maera and started searching for him. Maera found his grave, and they were both overcome with grief. Erigone eventually killed herself from grief, while Maera threw herself off a cliff. After their death, Dionysus decided to turn them into constellations; Icarius became the constellation Bootes, Erigone became Virgo, and Maera became the star Procyon.
See Also: Atlas, Nereus, Doris, Britomartis, Dionysus
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