She is mentioned in the myth of Erichthonius, one of the first kings of Athens. When the god Hephaestus tried to rape the goddess Athena, she tried to evade him; however, his semen fell on her leg. Athena, disgusted, wiped it with a piece of wool and threw it away. Where the wool touched the earth, it impregnated the goddess of earth Gaea, resulting in the birth of a baby, named Erichthonius. Athena tried to hide the baby in a box and gave it to Herse and her sisters, instructing them never to open it. Nevertheless, the curiosity of the three sisters got the better of them and opened it. What they saw differs in the various accounts; some say that they saw a serpent wrapped around the baby; others that the baby was in fact half human and half serpent. In any case, the sisters were driven insane and jumped off the Acropolis.
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