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Greek Mythology > Immortals >
Helios HE le ohs
There are conflicting accounts of the parentage of Helios (the Sun). In the Homeric Hymn to Helios, we are told that Hyperion married his sister, Eryphaesa, and begot tireless Helios, rosy Eos (the Dawn) and fair tressed Selene (the Moon).
However, in Hesiod’s Theogony (line 372), the mother of Eos, Helios and Selene is listed as Theia. She and Hyperion were Titans of the same generation as Kronos (Cronos), and like Kronos, were the children of Gaia (Earth) and Ouranos (the Heavens).
In The Odyssey of Homer (book 8, line 266), a singer, Demodokos, tells the tale of how Aphrodite and Ares (the god of War) secretly laid together in the bed of her husband, Lord Hephaistos (Hephaestus). Helios, who sees everything that his light touches, observed the lovers and told Hephaestus of the deception. Hephaestus promptly set a trap and humiliated the lovers in front of all the Immortals.
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The Children of Helios
The children of Helios and Perseis, daughter of Okeanos (Ocean), are said to be Kirke (Circe) and king Aeetes (Aietes). Kirke is famous for her love of the long suffering Odysseus. She would lure sailors to her palace with beautiful song and, once there, she would drug them and, magically, turn them onto swine. Hermes warned Odysseus of Kirke’s tricks, allowing him to ensnare Kirke with oaths before she could do him harm. (Theogony, line 957)
King Aeetes was later cast as the villain who wouldn’t surrender the Golden Fleece to Iason (Jason) and the Argonauts. The story of Iason is told in detail by Pindar (518-438) and although it’s beautiful to read, it was written one thousand years after the ’fact’. Pindar writing about Iason is similar to Shakespeare writing about Julius Caesar. The ’events’ were common knowledge but the details were purely to product of the authors imagination.
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Helios in The Iliad (listed by book and line)
- 03.104 ...As Menelaos (Menelaos (Menelaus) prepares to fight Alexandros (Paris), he says they should sacrifice three lambs; one each for Gaia (Earth), the Sun God (Helios) and Zeus
- 03.277 ...As Menelaos (Menelaus) prepares to fight Alexandros (Paris), Agamemnon calls upon Zeus, Helios (who sees and hears all), the earth, the rivers and ‘he who dwells under the earth’ to take vengeance on anyone who does not stay true to their oath
- 14.344 ...As Zeus draws a golden cloud around himself and Hera, he tells her that not even Helios can see them
- 18.240 ...Hera drove the unwilling Helios into the depths of Okeanos (Oceanus) so that the Trojans and the Argives would stop fighting
- 19.197 ...Agamemnon, in an attempt to apologize to Akhilleus (Achilles), wants to feast on a boar and dedicate it to Zeus and Helios
- 19.259 ...Agamemnon swears an oath to Akhilleus (Achilles) and calls upon Zeus, Helios and the Furies to make him true to his word
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Helios in The Odyssey (listed by book and line)
- 01.008 ...Odysseus’ companions were denied their homecoming because they devoured the oxen of Helios
- 03.001 ...As Telemakhos (Telemachus) came to Pylos, Helios rose over the water
- 08.271 ...Helios told Hephaistos (Hephaestus) that Ares was laying in love with Aphrodite
- 08.302 ...Hephaistos returned to his home when Helios told him that Ares was laying in love with Aphrodite
- 10.138 ...The malignant king Aeetes (Aietes) and the nymph Kirke (Circe) are the children of Helios
- 10.191 ...On Kirke’s (Circe) island, Odysseus tells his crew that they are lost because they do not know where Helios rises or sets
- 11.015 ...At the entrance to the Underworld, Odysseus and his crew beached their ship on a mist covered shore where the radiant Helios never sheds his light
- 11.109 ...Kirke (Circe) warns Odysseus not to eat the cattle or fat sheep of Helios
- 12.004 ...Kirke’s (Circe) island is at the place where Eos (Dawn) and Helios rise from Okeanos (Oceanus)
- 12.128 ...Kirke (Circe) warns Odysseus that the island of Thrinakia (Thrinacia) is where Helios keeps his immortal herds of cattle and fat sheep
- 12.269 ...The ghost of the dead prophet, Teiresias, and Kirke (Circe) had both warned Odysseus to avoid the island of Thrinakia (Thrinacia), which is sacred to Helios
- 12.274 ...The ghost of the dead prophet, Teiresias, and Kirke (Circe) had both warned Odysseus to avoid the island of Thrinakia (Thrinacia), which is sacred to Helios
- 12.323 ...Odysseus warned his crew not to eat the immortal cattle and sheep of Helios
- 12.343 ...Eurylokhos (Eurylochus), contrary to all of Odysseus’ warnings, urged the other crewmembers to sacrifice and eat Helios’ cattle
- 12.346 ...Eurylokhos (Eurylochus) tells the other crewmembers that it will be alright to eat Helios’ cattle if they build a temple to the god when they return to Ithaka (Ithaca)
- 12.353 ...Odysseus’ crew kill Helios’ cattle
- 12.384 ...Helios threatens Zeus that he will go to Hades and shine his light on the dead if Odysseus and his crew are not punished for killing his cattle
- 12.385 ...Zeus promises Helios that Odysseus’ crew will be punished for killing his cattle
- 12.398 ...Odysseus’ crew feasted on Helios’ cattle for seven days
- 19.275 ...Odysseus tells the tale of how his crew was lost because they earned the hatred of Zeus and Helios by killing Helios’ cattle
- 22.388 ...The suitors Odysseus killed were laying dead, like dried fish baked by Helios
- 23.329 ...Odysseus tells the tale of how his crew killed the cattle of Helios
- 24.012 ...Hermes led the souls of the dead suitors past the stream of Okeanos (Oceanus), the White Rock, the gates of Helios and the country of dreams
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