200px-Danaïdes tuant leurs maris BnF Français 874 fol. 170v

Automate (Danaid) and the other Danaids killing their husbands on their wedding night


Automate was the daughter of King Danaus and Europe.  She took part in the mass marriage of the fifty sons of King Aigyptos.  She was wed to Busiris.  That night, she and fourty-eight of her fourty-nine sisters and half sisters killed (on her fathers command) her husband.


When Automate and the other Danaids who had murdered their husbands they were sent to Tartarus and were forced to carry water from the river Styx in bowls (or jars according to some) with holes over to a tub which leaks at multiple parts.  Automate and the others were told only when they lled the tub could they wash away their sins. The Danaids continue this essentially impossible task to this very day.


King Danaus and Europe

Spouse & Lovers


Ancient Text

"...of the rest Busiris, Enceladus, Lycus, and Daiphron obtained by lot the daughters that had been borne to Danaus by Europe, to wit, Automate, Amymone, Agave, and Scaea."