previous next

[3]

Herse had by Hermes a son Cephalus, whom Dawn loved and carried off,1 and consorting with him in Syria bore a son Tithonus, who had a son Phaethon,2 who had a son Astynous, who had a son Sandocus, who passed from Syria to Cilicia and founded a city Celenderis, and having married Pharnace, daughter of Megassares, king of Hyria, begat Cinyras.3 This Cinyras in Cyprus, whither he had come with some people, founded Paphos; and having there married Metharme, daughter of Pygmalion, king of Cyprus, he begat Oxyporus and Adonis,4 and besides them daughters, Orsedice, Laogore, and Braesia. These by reason of the wrath of Aphrodite cohabited with foreigners, and ended their life in Egypt.


1 See above, Frazer on Apollod. 1.9.4, where Cephalus is said to have been a son of Deion by Diomede; compare Apollod. 2.4.7; Apollod. 3.15.1. Pausanias also calls Cephalus a son of Deion (Paus. 1.37.6; Paus. 10.29.6), and so does Ant. Lib. 41. The Scholiast on Hom. (Od. xi.321) calls his father Deioneus. Hyginus in two passages (Hyginus, Fab. 189, 270) describes Cephalus as a son of Deion, and in another passage (Hyginus, Fab. 160) as a son of Hermes (Mercury) by Creusa, daughter of Erechtheus. Euripides tells how “Dawn with her lovely light once snatched up Cephalus to the gods, all for love”( Eur. Hipp.454ff.).

2 According to Hes. Th. 986ff. and Paus. 1.3.1, Phaethon was a son of Cephalus and the Dawn or Day. According to another and seemingly more usual account the father of Phaethon was the Sun. See Diod. 5.23; Paus. 1.4.1; Paus. 2.3.2; Lucian, Dial. Deorum xxv.1; Tzetzes, Chiliades iv.357ff.; Eustathius on Hom. Od. xi.325, p. 1689; Scholiast on Hom. Od. xvii.208; Ov. Met. 2.19ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 152, 156; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. i.221; Scholia in Caesaris Germanici Aratea, p. 421, ed. Fr. Eyssenhardt, in his edition of Martianus Capella; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 37, 93, 208 (First Vatican Mythographer 118; Second Vatican Mythographer 57; Third Vatican Mythographer iii.8.14); Serv. Verg. A. 10.189. The mother who bore him to the Sun is usually called Clymene (so Lucian, Tzetzes, Eustathius, Ovid, Hyginus, Lactantius Placidus, the Vatican mythographers, and Servius); but the Scholiast on Hom. Od. xvii.208 calls her Rhode, daughter of Asopus. Clymene herself, the mother of Phaethon, is said to have been a daughter of Ocean and Tethys (Tzetzes, Chiliades iv.359; Ov. Met. 2.156) or of Iphys or Minyas (Eustathius). Apollodorus passes over in silence the famous story how Phaethon borrowed the chariot of the Sun for a day, and driving too near the earth set it on fire, and how in his wild career he was struck dead by Zeus with a thunderbolt and fell into the river Eridanus, where his sisters mourned for him till they were turned into poplar trees, their tears being changed into drops of amber which exuded from the trees. The story is told at great length and with many picturesque details by Ovid, (Metamorph. ii.1ff.). Compare Lucretius v.396ff.; Diodorus Siculus, Lucian, the Scholiast on Homer, Hyginus, and the Latin Mythographers. Euripides wrote a tragedy on the subject, of which some considerable fragments survive. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 599ff. For some similar stories, see Frazer's Appendix on Apollodorus, “Phaethon and the Chariot of the Sun.”

3 According to Hyginus, Fab. 142, Cinyras was a son of Paphus.

4 A different and apparently more prevalent tradition represented Adonis as the son of Cinyras by incestuous intercourse with his daughter Myrrha or Smyrna. See Scholiast on Theocritus i.107; Plut. Parallela 22; Ant. Lib. 34 (who, however, differs as to the name of Smyrna's father); Ov. Met. 10.298ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 58, 164; Fulgentius, Mytholog. iii.8; Lactantius Placidus, Narrat. Fabul. x.9; Serv. Verg. Ecl. 10.18, and Serv. Verg. A. 5.72; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. p. 60 (First Vatican Mythographer 200). Similar cases of incest with a daughter are frequently reported of royal houses in antiquity. They perhaps originated in a rule of transmitting the crown through women instead of through men; for under such a rule a widowed king would be under a strong temptation to marry his own daughter as the only means of maintaining himself legitimately on the throne after the death of his wife. See Adonis, Attis, Osiris, 3rd ed., i.43ff. The legend of the incestuous origin of Adonis is mentioned, on the authority of Panyasis, by Apollodorus himself a little lower down.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Sir James George Frazer)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Syria (Syria) (2)
Cyprus (Cyprus) (2)
Paphos (Cyprus) (1)
Hyria (Italy) (1)
Egypt (Egypt) (1)
Cilicia (Turkey) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (9 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: