=Ox ford. The Thracian Bosphorus, or Bosporus, unites the Sea
of Marmora with the Euxine (2 syl.) or Black Sea. According to Greek
fable, Zeus (Jupiter) greatly loved Io, and changed her into a white
cow or heifer from fear of Hera or Juno; to flee from whom she swam
across the strait, which was thence called bos poros, the
passage of the cow. Hera discovered the trick, and sent a gadfly to
torment Io, who was made to wander, in a state of phrenzy, from land to
land. The wanderings of Io were a favourite subject of story with the
ancients. Ultimately, the persecuted Argive princess found rest on the
banks of the Nile.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus
and Valeriùs Flaccus give this account, but Accarion says it
was a ship, with the prow of an ox, sent by some Thracians through the
straits, that gave name to this passage.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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