In the legend of Nisus and Scylla there is a trace of the custom which was still observed in classical times in the sacrifice of animals.
NISUS, in Greek mythology, king of Megara, brother of Aegeus, king of Athens.
Megara was captured, and Nisus, who died fighting (or slew himself), was changed into a sea-eagle.
In Virgil, Scylla, the daughter of Nisus, is confused with the sea-monster, the daughter of Phorcys.
Nisus was the eponymous hero of the harbour of Nisaea, and local tradition makes no mention of his betrayal by his daughter.
According to Roscher (in his Lexikon der Mythologie), who identifies the ciris with the heron, the story of Nisus and Scylla (like these of Acdon, Procne, Philomela and Tereus) was invented to give an aetiological explanation of the characteristics of certain birds.
Berlin, 1884), holds that the purple or golden hair of Nisus is the sun, and Scylla the moon, and that the origin of the legend is to be looked for in a very ancient myth of the relations between the two, which he endeavours to explain with the aid of Indian and German parallels.