Many years ago, while travelling along the southern coast of Turkey, I stopped in the ancient village of Silifke, the Seleucia of Antiquity. Across it, in the middle of the sea, stood the towers of an imposing medieval castle that seemed to emerge from the water.

Legend has it that in memorial times, be it during the Byzantine or perhaps already Ottoman era, a local lord had received a terrifying prediction from a witch. She told him that his only beloved daughter, the apple of his eye, would die by the bite of serpent.

In order to protect her, he built a fortress on a large rock in the middle of the sea in which he locked her up, surrounded by greatest luxury, a large court, and all the pleasures she could have wished for. But she was forbidden from ever setting foot on the shore.

That way he could be sure that no serpent could ever come to bite his darling child. And yet, one day, a merchant brought a basket of fruits to the fortress, destined for the princess. He was taken to her room.

Inside the basket was a viper, a viper that bit her. She died, just like Queen Cleopatra, but she had at least died voluntarily, while the poor princess of the castle died unwittingly and accidently.

by  Prince Michael of Greece