C to Celaeno Celeos to Chthonios Chthonios to Confusion Copais to Cymatolege Cyme to Cyzicos

Cyme to Cyzicos (2)

Cyme (1)

An ancient Greek coastal city in Lydia in Asia Minor; the largest and most influential of the twelve Ionian cities founded by the Aeolians; the birthplace of the poet Hesiod; named after anAmazon queen, Kyme.

Cyme (2)

An Amazon queen; her image survives on ancient coins from the as late as 300 BCE; the Aeolian city of Kyme in Asia Minor was named after her.


One of the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris collectively known as the Nereids, i.e. the daughters of the Nereus; her name means Wavy.


One of the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris collectively known as the Nereids, i.e. the daughters of the Nereus; her name means Wave-Receiver.


A daughter of Poseidon (lord of the Sea) and the wife of Briareos; her name means Wave-Walker.

Her name may also be rendered as Kymopolea or Cymopolea.


One of the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris collectively known as the Nereids, i.e. the daughters of the Nereus; her name means Wave-Swift.


The name of a work about hunting by Xenophon (circa 430-355 BCE); usually called On Hunting.


The cynics were a school of philosophy founded by Antisthenes and Diogenes of Sinope.

Cynics were reputed to believe that all cultural trappings were unnecessary and degraded the human condition; there are several explanations as to where the cynics got their name:

  1. The name comes from the root word Kynikos, meaning Dog-Like or
  2. The name was taken from the first part of the word Kynosarge, meaning the gymnasium at Athens where Antisthenes taught.

The first woman to become an Olympic champion; a Spartan by birth.

In 392 BCE she drove her chariot to victory in the Olympian Games; she was honored by having a statue of her victory team included as a primary decoration of the Temple of Zeus in Olympia; her name literally means Female-Dog and may also be rendered as Kynisca.


The wife of the cowherd, Mitradates, who raised Kyrus (Cyrus) as her son; in Greek her name was Kyno but her Median name was Spako.

Her name played an important part in the legend that made Kyrus such a powerful and charismatic leader because Kyno and Spax mean female dog in Greek and Median respectively.

The story begins with the Median king, Astyages and his daughter, Mandane; Astyages wanted his daughter’s infant son murdered and gave the foul task to one of his trusted kinsmen, Harpagus; when Harpagus gave thought to the matter he decided to keep his hands clean and give the dirty deed to someone of lower rank; he ordered a herdsman named Mitradates to take the baby into the wilderness and leave it to the beasts and elements.

Mitradates took the baby back to his home and found that his wife, Kyno, had just given birth but that her baby had been born dead; Kyno persuaded Mitradates to spare the life of the king’s grandson and to present their dead baby to Harpagus and declare that the evil deed had been done; Harpagus believed Mitradates’ story and gave the matter no more thought.

Mitradates and Kyno raised the child as their own and all went well until the young boy had a dispute with his playmates; a group of boys were playing a game and Mandane’s son was chosen to play the role of the king; when one of the boys disobeyed a “royal” command, the “king” ordered that he be beaten; the boy who had been punished took offense at such base treatment because his family was of noble birth and a mere herdsman’s son had ordered him beaten; the boy’s father took the insulting matter to king Astyages for justice; Astyages called Mitradates and his “son” to stand trial but when Astyages saw the family resemblance of the boy to his daughter, and to himself, he realized that Mandane’s son was still alive.

Astyages demanded the truth from Mitradates and he soon understood the entire sequence of events; the young boy was taken from Mitradates and Kyno and given to his natural mother and father, Mandane and Kambyses; the boy was named Kyrus and as he grew to manhood he was the best and brightest of his peers; as an adult, Kyrus united the Persians and led a successful revolt against king Astyages.

In order to add an element of divine intervention to the life of Kyrus, his mother and father told a slightly augmented version of his early life; they claimed that he had been left in the wilderness, as Astyages had ordered, and that he had been nursed by a female dog, i.e. a Kyno, until he was old enough to take revenge on his grandfather, Astyages, and end the rule of the Medes.


The ancient Greek name for the constellation Ursa Minor, i.e. the Little Bear, which we now call the Little Dipper.


A name for the goddess, Artemis, because she was born on Mount Kynthus (Cynthus) on the sacred island of Delos.


A name for Apollon meaning, “born on Kynthus;” he was born on Mount Kynthus (Cynthus) on the sacred island of Delos.


Mount Kynthus; located on the sacred island of Delos and the birthplace of Artemis and Apollon.


The Kypria; one of the fragmentary remains of the Epic Cycle which elaborate on the Trojan War and its aftermath; Kypria is another name for the goddess of Love, Aphrodite and the poem revolves around her.

The poem was originally in eleven books but all that remain are twenty two fragments; the author of the Kypria is alternately given as Homer, Stasinus and Hegesias; a brief narrative about the Trojan War is augmented by a series of disjointed facts and sometimes contradictory statements regarding such characters as Helen, Theseus and Nemesis.

The Kypria tells the story (in abbreviated form) of the, so called, Judgment of Paris in which the Trojan prince, Alexandros (Paris), is summoned to the wedding of Thetis and Peleus to judge which goddess is most beautiful: Hera, Athene (Athena) or Aphrodite; he chose Aphrodite and won her favor but, at the same time, inflamed the wrath of Athene and Hera.

Aphrodite then suggested that Alexandros build a ship and ordered another of her sons, Aineias (Aeneas), to sail with him; the seers, Helenos and Kassandra (Cassandra) told Alexandros his future but exactly what they told him is lost to us; Alexandros and Aineias sailed to Lakedaemon (Lacedaemon) where they were entertained by Helen and, her husband Menelaos (Menelaus); after Menelaos left for the island of Cyprus, Aphrodite cast a spell on Alexandros and Helen to make them become lovers; they loaded Alexandros’ ship with treasure and sailed away; a storm blew the ship off course and they were carried to Sidon, where Alexandros sacked the city before returning to Troy to marry Helen (or, also according to the Kypria, the two sailed to Troy in three days).

Meanwhile, Helen’s brothers, Kastor (Castor) and Polydeukes (Polydeuces or Pollux), were caught stealing the cattle of Idas and Lynkeus (Lynceus); Kastor was killed by Idas and then he and his brother, Lynkeus, were killed by Polydeukes; Zeus made Kastor and Polydeukes immortal with the condition that while one of them lived on the surface of the earth, the other would reside in the Underworld.

The goddess, Iris, told Menelaos of Helen’s infidelity and he gathered the Greeks to attack Troy; at this point in the remaining fragments of the Kypria, Menelaos consulted Nestor and it becomes obvious that, had the Kypria remained intact, we would have a wealth of information concerning many of the greatest heroes of Greece; as you may recall from The Iliad, Nestor was a storyteller; when he was asked a question or his opinion, he would always digress into a series of tales from his youth and never give a simple or concise answer; if you were in a hurry, I can see how this might be annoying but for someone seeking knowledge, and not just facts, Nestor would have been the perfect mentor; mentioned in the Kypria, but not elaborated upon, are: the story of king Oedipus, the foiled love of Epopeus, the madness of Herakles (Hercules) and the pretense of madness by Odysseus to avoid joining the expedition to Troy.

When the Greeks assembled at the island of Aulis, the seer, Kalkhas (Calchas) correctly read the omen of the serpent and the birds and predicted victory after ten years of fighting; when the fleet sailed from Aulis, they mistook Teuthrania for Troy and sacked the city; the fleet was then scattered and finally returned to Aulis.

The commander of the Greeks, Agamemnon, killed a deer while hunting and boasted that his skill as a bowman surpassed the goddess, Artemis; the enraged goddess sent heavy seas and prevented the fleet from sailing; the seer, Kalkhas, perceived the nature of their plight and advised Agamemnon to send for his daughter, Iphigenia, so that she could be sacrificed to appease Artemis; Agamemnon sent for Iphigenia under the pretense that she was to marry Akhilleus (Achilles); when she was about to be sacrificed, Artemis snatched her from the altar and put a stag in her place; Iphigenia was then made immortal and transported to Tauris.

The winds abated and the fleet left Aulis and proceeded towards Troy; when they stopped at the island of Tenedos, one of the soldiers, Philoktetes (Philoktetes), was bitten by a snake and left on the island of Lemnos; the fleet arrived at Troy and the first Greek soldier killed was Protesilaus; Akhilleus killed Poseidon’s son, Kyenus, and stole the cattle of Aineias (Aeneas); the Greeks demand the return of Helen but the Trojans refused; the Greeks then laid waste to the surrounding cities, taking slaves and plunder; at this point of the Kypria, the Trojan War narrative abruptly ends and the remaining fragments are very abbreviated, some are only a few sentences.

The historian, Herodotus, mentions the Kypria in relation to the abduction of Helen by Alexandros; Herodotus reasons that the lines in the Kypria which differ from Homer’s account of the abduction, in The Iliad, prove that Homer was not the author of the Kypria but he does not state who might have been the true author of this remarkable poem.

For the complete translations of the Epic Cycle I recommend the Loeb Classical Library volume 57, ISBN 0674990633; you can sometimes find this book at the library or you can order it from the Book Shop on this site which is linked to

Cyprian (1)

The Kyprian; an epithet of Aphrodite (goddess of Love); the name is derived from the island of Cyprus where her worship was most fervent.

Cyprian (2)

Noting or pertaining to the island of Cyprus.


An island in the northwestern corner of the Mediterranean Sea with an area of 3,572 square miles (9,251 square kilometers).

The temple of Aphrodite (goddess of Love) on Cyprus was modeled after the temple of Aphrodite Orania in ancient Syria.

The Egyptians, under the rule of king Amasis (circa 525 BCE), were the first to conquer the island of Cyprus and demand a tribute (tax).

When the Persians, under the leadership of Kambyses (Cambyses) circa 522 BCE were expanding their dominion over Egypt and the western Mediterranean Sea, the inhabitants of the island of Cyprus voluntarily submitted to the Persians; as part of the Persian Empire, the island of Cyprus was lumped together with Palestinian Syria and Phoenicia and the three nations were required to pay a total of 350 talents of gold, i.e. 19,950 pounds of gold, to support the Empire.

When the Greek colonies in Ionia revolted against the Persians they asked the Athenians and the Spartans for help; the Athenians agreed but the Spartans declined; the Greeks, led by Aristagoras of Miletus, burned the city of Sardis (circa 498 BCE); as the revolt was gaining momentum, an ambitious man named Onesilos used the tumult to usurp the leadership of the city of Salamis from his brother, King Gorgos (Gorgus), and forced most of the people of Cyprus to join in the revolution; the city of Amathus was the only city to reject Onesilos and stay loyal to the Persians.

Circa 497 BCE, the Persians, assisted by the Phoenician navy, mounted an attack on the island of Cyprus; it was decided that the navy of the Ionian nations would meet the Phoenician navy and that Onesilos would face the Persian army; the Phoenicians were defeated but the Persians won the land battle and decapitated Onesilos; Gorgos was reinstated as the king of Salamis; the Ionian navy retreated and left Cyprus to the Persians; the inhabitants of Cyprus were, after one year of freedom, returned to the status of slaves of the Persian Empire.

Cypselus (1)

A tyrant of the city of Korinth (Corinth) from 655-625 BCE and the father of Periander.

Kypselus was the son of Eetion and Labda; Labda was a daughter of the ruling family of Korinth, the Bakkhiadae (Bacchiadae), and was forced to marry below her social station because she was lame; when Kypselus was born, the oracle at Delphi predicted that the boy would overthrow the Bakkhiadae and establish a new ruling dynasty in Korinth; members of the Bakkhiadae plotted to kill Kypselus but Labda hid Kypselus in a chest and he lived to fulfill the prophecy by ousting the Bakkhiadae and becoming the new tyrant of Korinth; his name comes from the Greek word Kypsele, meaning Chest or Vessel.

Cypselus (2)

The father of Miltiades; he was a descendant of Aeakus (Aeacus), Aegina, Philaeus and Aias (Ajax); an Athenian statesman and renowned chariot racer.


A school of philosophy founded by Aristippus of Kyrene (Cyrene); he taught that pleasure is the only rational aim of life.


An ancient district in north Africa; also called Barka (Barca); it was said to be in eastern Libya but in ancient times, Libya was all of north Africa east of Egypt so the actual location remains unknown.

The name may also be rendered as Kyrenaica.

Cyrene (1)

An ancient Greek city and colony in Kyrenaika (Cyrenaica) in northern Africa.

Cyrene (2)

A young maiden who lived in the district of Elis on the Peloponnesian Peninsula.

Apollon became infatuated with Kyrene and took her as his lover; he removed her to Libya and turned her into a nymph so that she could have long life and live as one of the Immortals; she and Apollon had a son which they named Aristaios who was also called Hunter and Shepherd.

(Argonautika, book 2, lines 500-527)

Cyrus the Great

King of the Persian Empire from 559-529 BCE.

The Persians had once ruled western central Asia but from 687-559 BCE the Medes took control of the entire region (except for a brief period (634-606) when the Skythians (Scythians) temporarily ruled).

Kyrus was the son of the Median princess, Mandane, and a Persian named Kambyses (Cambyses); Mandane’s father, Astyages, was the Median king and had a dream in which Mandane’s son took control of the Median empire; to prevent such an event he ordered his trusted kinsman, Harpagus, to leave the infant in the wilderness to die; the baby was saved by a herdsman named Mitradates and his wife, Kyno (Cyno).

It wasn’t until the boy was a young adult that Astyages realized that Mandane’s son had not been murdered as he had commanded; Astyages blamed Harpagus for the fact that the boy was still alive and punished him by killing Harpagus’ son and feeding the cooked child to Harpagus at a celebratory dinner; Harpagus retained his composure but nurtured a long and bitter hatred for Astyages.

Astyages was still not sure if the boy was a threat to his throne so he consulted his seers, the Magi; they assured him that the boy was harmless but just to be safe, Astyages sent him to live amongst the Persians with his natural parents Mandane and Kambyses; the boy was then named Kyrus and as he grew to manhood he was the best and brightest of his peers.

Harpagus waited through the long years and courted Kyrus with gifts and praise; finally, when he deemed the time was right, he sent a secret message to Kyrus stitched inside a dead rabbit so that Astyages’ spies would not intercept the message; he urged Kyrus to lead the Persians in a revolt to take back the land the Medes had stolen from them only four generations hence.

Kyrus was intrigued by the idea and thought long and hard as to the most subtle way to incite a revolution against the Medes; he called an assembly of the highest ranking Persian families and cleverly persuaded them to join him in a revolt against Astyages; on the first day of the assembly, Kyrus bade the Persians to clear a large field of brush and brambles; on the next day he served the Persians a feast and asked them which they preferred: hard toil or luxury; the meaning was clear to the assembled Persians, they could toil like slaves or they could unite behind Kyrus and take back their country.

Harpagus had spent many years sewing the seeds of discontent throughout Astyages’ empire and when the time came to fight the Persians, Astyages was unable to muster an army to defend his throne; the masters were now slaves and the slaves were now masters; Kyrus repaid Harpagus for his assistance by making him a general in the Persian army, in which he assisted in the Persian conquest of Ionia and southern Asia.

One of Kyrus’ most notable victories was against the Lydians; the king of Lydia, Kroesus (Croesus), was a vain and aggressive leader; he wanted to challenge the power of the newly founded Persian empire and consulted the oracle at Delphi; the pythia told Kroesus that if he attacked the Persians a mighty nation would fall; the pythia was unclear as to which nation would fall but Kroesus incorrectly assumed that he would be the victor in the confrontation with the Persians; after his utter defeat at the hands of Kyrus, Kroesus became the captive and advisor of Kyrus and throughout his life, gave frank and valuable advice to Kyrus and his son, Kambyses.

The Persian capture of Babylon was a feat of patience and military prowess; Kyrus diverted the Euphrates River which flowed through Babylon and, when the water level was low enough, his troops were able to enter the city unhindered and capture the wealthiest city in Asia.

Kyrus was not satisfied with the extent of his victories and finally marched to his doom against the insignificant armies of the Massagetae; when the Persians entered the land of the Massagetae, the queen, Tomyris, ordered Kyrus to retreat but Kroesus provided Kyrus with a clever plan by which he could defeat the Massagetae with minimal bloodshed; Kyrus feigned a retreat but left wagons full of food and wine for the Massagetae army to capture; when the Massagetae, who were poor and unsophisticated, came upon the food and wine they gorged themselves and fell into a sated stupor; Kyrus easily captured or slew the drunken Massagetae army and took the queen’s son, Spargapises, as a hostage; he then demanded that Tomyris surrender; she refused and vowed to drown Kyrus in blood; Kyrus did not take the threat seriously and marched boldly into the Massagetae homeland; the Persians were utterly defeated and, true to her word, Tomyris killed Kyrus and filled an animal skin with blood and put it over his head.

Kyrus had ruled for 29 years and, under his leadership, the Persians had expanded their empire to include Asia Minor, Assyria and Syria; Kyrus was admired by the Greeks for his strength and equanimity and affectionately called The Father by the Persians; he was succeeded by his son, Kambyses.

Cyrus the Younger

The second son of the Persian king, Darius II and Parysatis.

When Darius died, the eldest son, Artaxerxes, became king; Artaxerxes was a suspicious man and was easily convinced that Kyrus was plotting against him and trying to steal the throne; Artaxerxes had Kyrus arrested and only through the intervention of Parysatis was Kyrus allowed to return to his duties as the satrap of western Asia Minor; Kyrus never forgave the indignity his brother had heaped upon him and, if he had not been his brother’s enemy before his arrest, he was surely his enemy afterwards.

Kyrus very deliberately used his influence to sway various Persian officials and to befriend the Greeks so that he might solicit their aid when he moved to dethrone his brother; his friendly relations with the Spartans helped them defeat the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War (circa 407 BCE) and thus his close contact with the Greeks of Ionia made him a respected and trusted ally.

After the Peloponnesian War was over there were thousands of Greek warriors who had been soldiers all of their adult lives (the war lasted for 27 years) and they had no intention of returning to their homes to become shopkeepers or farmers; Kyrus enlisted these battle-hardened men to form a mercenary army and march against his brother, Artaxerxes; the historian, Xenophon, was with the mercenary army of Kyrus when they made their failed attempt to take the Persian throne from Artaxerxes; Kyrus was killed in the battle of Kunaxa (Cunaxa) in 401 BCE and his head and hands were severed and put on display; as leader of the mercenary army, Kyrus is also called Kyrus of the Ten Thousand.

For an account of the Greek mercenaries who assisted Kyrus, read the book, Anabasis, by Xenophon; it is an excellent story that is historically revealing as well as a dramatic view of a soldier’s life in the ancient world; I suggest the Loeb Classical Library version of this book (ISBN 0674991001) which is sometimes available at the library or can be ordered through the Book Shop on this site which is linked to


An island off the southern coast of Lakonia (Laconia); after Aphrodite (goddess of Love) rose from the blood of Ouranos (the Heavens) and the foam of the sea, she went ashore on Kythera and is thus called Kytherean.

Approximate east longitude 22.58 and north latitude 36.20.


A name for Aphrodite (goddess of Love) because, after she rose from the blood of Ouranos (the Heavens) and the foam of the sea, the island of Kythera (Cythera) was the first land she encountered.


One of the islands in the Kyklades (Cyclades) Group located in the southern Aegean Sea directly between the islands of Keos (Ceos) and Seriphos.

Approximate east longitude 24.42 and north latitude 37.42.


One of the four sons of Phrixus and Khalkiope (Chalciope).

Kytissoros and his brothers were raised in Kolkhis (Colchis) but after their father died, he and his brothers left Kolkhis to avenge their father’s ill treatment by king Athamas of Orkhomenos (Orchomenos) and were stranded on the Island of Ares (god of War) in the Euxine (Black Sea); they were rescued from the island by the Argonauts; he and his brothers joined the crew of the Argo and returned to Kolkhis.

Later in life, Kytissoros managed to confront Athamas but he did not avenge his father as he had intended; he came upon Athamas in Akhaia (Achaea) in the town of Alus; the Akhaians (Achaeans), at the advice of an oracle, were preparing to sacrifice Athamas; Kytissoros saved Athamas and incurred the wrath of Zeus; from that time forward, the eldest member of Athamas’ family was forbidden, on penalty of death, to enter the town hall.

Kytissoros’ brothers were: Argus, Phrontis and Melas.

His name may also be rendered as Kytissorus or Cytissorus.

Cyzicos (1)

The son of Aineios and Ainete; ruler of the Doliones who dwelt on a peninsula attached to the Phrygian mainland and jutting into the Propontis (Sea of Marmara).

When Iason (Jason) and the Argonauts chanced to encounter the Doliones, Kyzikos had just celebrated his marriage but left the bridal chamber to greet the illustrious crew of the Argo; after the formalities of hospitality had been observed, the Argonauts continued on their quest for the Golden Fleece and Kyzikos returned to his bride, Kleite (Cleite).

After taking their leave of king Kyzikos, the Argonauts lost their way in the night and contrary winds blew them back to the peninsula; when the Doliones saw the Argo approaching in the night, they mistakenly assumed that they were being invaded by their enemies and attacked the Argonauts in the darkness; Iason (Jason) killed Kyzikos in the heat of battle without realizing who he was fighting.

When the light of day revealed the horrible mistakes both sides had made, the Argonauts and the Doliones mourned the needless death of Kyzikos; Kleite, Kyzikos’ new bride, could not endure the loss of her beloved husband and hanged herself; the nymphs of the grove cried such tears that a fountain formed and was named after Kyzikos’ devoted wife, Kleite.

His name may also be rendered as Kyzikus or Cyzikus.

Cyzicos (2)

A peninsula which juts into the Propontis (Sea of Marmara) from the Phrygian mainland and a city on that peninsula.

Although not really an island, the peninsula of Kyzikos is often called Bear Island as well as Bear Mountain; a narrow isthmus connects the peninsula with the mainland and the city of Kyzikos is located on the isthmus.

Kyzikos was controlled by various factions of the Greeks until 387-6 BCE when the Persians took the town as part of the Peace of Antalkidas (Antalcidas).

The name may also be rendered as Kyzikus or Cyzicus.

Approximate east longitude 27.90 and north latitude 40.41.

Cyme to Cyzicos (2)

C to Celaeno Celeos to Chthonios Chthonios to Confusion Copais to Cymatolege Cyme to Cyzicos


Home • Essays • People, Places & Things • The Immortals
Greek Myths Bookshop • Fun Fact Quiz • Search/Browse • Links • About