). In Greek mythology, the beautiful son of
Aëthlius (or, according to another story, of Zeus) and Calycé, daughter of
Aeolus, king of Elis, father of Epeus, Aetolus, and Paeon, the first of whom won the
government of the country by conquering in a race which his father had set on foot. He was
loved by Selené, the moon-goddess, by whom he had fifty daughters. They were
supposed to symbolize the fifty lunar months which intervened between the Olympic Games. His
grave was at Olympia. Another story made him a shepherd or hunter on Mount Latmos in Caria.
Zeus bestowed on him eternal youth and eternal life in the form of unbroken slumber.
Selené descended every night from heaven to visit and embrace the beautiful sleeper
in his grotto. The usual story, however, makes Selené to have thrown him into a
sleep so that she might kiss and caress him without his knowledge. A beautiful statue in the
British Museum represents Endymion, and the legend inspired Keats to write one of the most
exquisite poems in English literature.