K to Keres Kerigo to Kleomenes I Kleomenes II to Kronikos Kronos to Kyzikos 2

K to Keres


Kappa; the uppercase form of the tenth letter of the Greek alphabet; lower case: κ.


A group of gods, probably of eastern origin, who were worshipped on the islands of Lemnos and Samothrake (Samothrace); because of their skill with metals, they were reputed to be the sons of Hephaistos (Hephaestus).


The ancient inhabitants of the city of Thebes; Kadmus (Cadmus) was the mythical founder of Thebes; the inhabitants of Thebes were called Thebans and/or Kadmeans.


The son of Agenor and the brother of the maiden, Europa, and the blind seer, Phineus.

With his wife, Harmonia, Kadmus had five children: Autonoe, Ino, Agaue, Polydorus and Semele.

When Zeus abducted Europa, Agenor sent Kadmus to retrieve her; Kadmus could find no trace of his sister, Europa, and finally, at the advice of the oracle at Delphi, gave up the search and set off to found a new city; the pythia at Delphi instructed Kadmus to follow a cow from Delphi and build his city on the spot where the cow laid down to rest; Kadmus did as he was instructed and built the Kadmea (Cadmea) as the first structure of the city that was to become Thebes.

Kadmus killed the dragon which guarded the spring near the site of the proposed city and, at the advice of the goddess Athene (Athena), planted the teeth of the dragon in the earth; a group of fully armed warriors sprang from the dragons teeth; Kadmus tossed a rock into their midst and started a fight amongst the warriors; only five warriors, called the Sparti, i.e. Sown-Men, survived and they became the founders of the noble families of Thebes.

Kadmus is also credited with the introduction of writing to the Greeks because he is reputed to be responsible for introducing the old (sixteen letter) alphabet to Greece.

His name is also spelled Kadmos or Cadmos.


The father of the Argonaut, Koronus (Coronus); Kaeneus died valiantly while fighting the Centaurs; he was separated from the other fighters and was killed alone by an overwhelming force of Centaurs.


The personification of the North-East Wind.

There are two types of winds:

  1. The divinely created winds, i.e. Boreas (North Wind), Notos (South Wind), Zephyros (West Wind) and the Etesian winds, and
  2. The ill-favored winds that were created by the monster, Typhoeus, when Zeus imprisoned him under the earth.

The divinely created winds nourish and bless the earth but the winds of Typhoeus are wild and destructive; Kaikias is one of the winds of Typhoeus.

  • Theogony, lines 869-880
  • Kaikos

    A river god; one of the many sons of Tethys and Okeanos (Ocean); the Kaikos river is located in Asia Minor and flows into the Candarli Gulf which is south and east of the island of Lesbos and is now known as the Bakir.

    Zeus gave the Rivers, Apollon and the Okeanids the special obligation of having the young in their keeping.


    The winged son of Boreas (North Wind) and Oreithyia.

    As one of the Argonauts, Kalais and his brother, Zetes chased away the Harpies so that the blind prophet, Phineus, could eat once more; while Kalais and Zetes were pursuing the Harpies, the messenger goddess, Iris, intervened at Zeus’ request and forbade the brothers from harming the winged women.


    The seer who was with the Greeks at the siege Troy; he was the son of Thestor and was given the gift of divination by Apollon.

    When the Argive fleet was about to sail for Troy from the island of Aulis, Boreas (North Wind) would not let the ships leave the harbor; the seer, Kalkhas, said that unless Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter, Iphianassa, to the goddess Artemis, the fleet would not be allowed to leave Aulis.

    Kalkhas also prophesied that the war with Troy would last for ten years when he saw a blood-red snake eat eight baby sparrows and the mother; he reasoned that the nine birds symbolized a weakening of the Trojans and that the tenth year would bring victory for the Greeks.

    His name may also be rendered as Kalchas.


    The archon of the city of Athens when the invading Persian army, led by king Xerxes, burned and looted the city circa 480 BCE; the Persians captured an empty city because the citizens and government officials had fled.


    A site near ancient Troy; the name literally means Fair-Hill.


    A mid-fifth century BCE Greek architect who, together with Iktinus (Ictinus), designed the Parthenon for the city of Athens.


    A Greek poet, grammarian and critic (circa 310-240 BCE); he is thought to have been a teacher in Alexandria, Egypt, where he taught Apollonius of Rhodes.

    Kallinus of Ephesus

    A poet presumed to have lived in the seventh century BCE; only a few fragments of his work are extant; he is considered an elegiac poet, i.e. one who wrote sad, sorrowful poems with the first line a dactylic hexameter and the second line a pentameter.


    One of the nine Muses; she is the Muse of epic poetry; her name means Beautiful-Voiced; she is considered the primary sister of the Muses; the mother of the master musician, Orpheus; the prefix Kalli literally means beautiful.


    A painter from the island of Samos credited with some of the works at the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.


    A Greek astronomer; fl. forth century BCE; also spelled Kalippus or Calippus.

    Kallirhoe (1)

    An Okeanid, i.e. one of the three thousand daughters of Okeanos (Ocean) and Tethys; she was the wife of Khrysaor (Chrysaor) and the mother of three-headed Geryon and the snake bodied nymph, Ekhidna (Echidna).

    Zeus gave the Okeanids, Apollon and the Rivers the special obligation of having the young in their keeping.

    Her name is sometimes rendered as Kallirrhoe or Callirrhoe.

    Kallirhoe (2)

    A fountain in the city of Athens from which water was taken as part of wedding day ceremonies; the name literally means “with nine springs;” sometimes spelled Kallirron or Callirron.


    The man who is credited with the 24 letter Greek alphabet; a native of the island of Samos.


    The original name of the island Thera; located in the southern Aegean Sea in the Kyklades (Cyclades) group; the island has an area of 30 square miles (78 square kilometers).

    The island was magically created from a clod of earth which was presented to one of the Argonauts, Euphemos, by the half-fish, half-man Triton.

    Triton guided the Argonauts out of the desert wastes of Libya and gave Euphemos a clod of earth as a gift; Euphemos had a divinely inspired dream about the clod of earth and threw it into the sea; an island arose and a descendant of Euphemos, Theras, migrated to the island and named it after himself; when the island first arose from the sea it was called Kalliste; the island is now called Thera.


    A Greek philosopher, circa 360-327 BCE; he chronicled the conquests of Alexander the Great but none of his work exists today.

    Kallisto (1)

    A nymph who was an attendant of Artemis and became the consort of Zeus.

    Her son, Arkas (Arcas), became the ancestor of the Arkadians (Arcadians); Kallisto incurred the wrath of one of the Immortals (Artemis or Hera) and was turned into a bear; years later, Arkas was hunting and came upon his mother but before he could harm her Zeus turned Kallisto into the constellation Ursa Major (the Great Bear) and Arkas into the star Arcturus, i.e. the guardian of the bear.

    Kallisto (2)

    The daughter of the king of Arkadia (Arcadia), Lykaon (Lycaon); her name literally means Most-Beautiful.


    (fl. forth century BCE) An Athenian orator and statesman who organized the Second Athenian Confederacy.

    The failure of the Confederacy jeopardized the security of the city of Athens and Kallistatus suffered such dissatisfaction that he was sentenced to death; he fled Athens but, years later when he returned to the city, he was put to death.

    His name may also be rendered as Kallistratos (Callistratos).


    The ancient Greek name for the Rock of Gibraltar, i.e. the stone peninsula on the south-central coast of Spain; 1,396 feet (426 meters) in height; located at the western extreme of the Mediterranean Sea where it connects with the Atlantic Ocean.

    Gibraltar and Jebel Musa were called the Pillars of Herakles (Heracles) by the ancients; Gibraltar was known as Kalpe and Jebel Musa was known as Abyla.


    A hydra (water jar) having a rounded shoulder and a small back handle.


    An ancient city in western Greece, in Aetolia.


    The daughter of Aiolos (Aeolus); by Zeus, she was the mother of Aethlios (Aethlius); her siblings were: Alkyone (Alcyone), Athamas, Kanake (Canace), Makareos (Macareus), Salmoneus, and Sisyphus.

    Kalypso (1)

    The sea nymph who detained Odysseus on the island of Ogygia.

    Kalypso is the daughter of the Atlas; she was finally ordered by Zeus to allow Odysseus to leave the island and return to his home on Ithaka (Ithaca).

    Hesiod says that she and Odysseus had two sons: Nausithoos and Nausinoos; later myths say that she and Odysseus had a son, Auson; her name might be translated as She Who Conceals.

    For more information on Kalypso I suggest that you consult the Immortals section of this site.

    Kalypso (2)

    An Okeanid, i.e. one of the three thousand daughters of Okeanos (Ocean) and Tethys.

    Zeus gave the Okeanids, Apollon and the Rivers the special obligation of having the young in their keeping.


    The second king of the Persian Empire; the son of Kyrus (Cyrus) the Great and Kassandane (Cassandane); he ruled the Persian Empire from 529-522 BCE (seven years and five months).

    According to the historian Herodotus, Kambyses was so harsh and arrogant that the Persians called him The Master, whereas Kyrus was known as The Father and Kambyses’ successor, Darius, was known as The Huckster; he ruled the empire with callous contempt for his subjects and his family.

    While Kambyses was occupied with the subjugation of Egypt, he had a dream that implied that his brother, Smerdis, was going to usurp the throne of Persia in his absence; he sent an assassin back to Persia and had Smerdis secretly murdered (this covert act would nearly cause the downfall of the Persian Empire).

    While Kambyses was in Africa, he conducted unsuccessful military campaigns against the city of Carthage, the city of Ammon, and the nation of Ethiopia; the mercenary sailors that Kambyses hired refused to engage the Carthaginians for fear of jeopardizing their trade cartel in the Mediterranean Sea; the fifty thousand soldiers he sent to burn the oracle of Zeus in Ammon disappeared in the desert and the army he led against Ethiopia nearly starved to death before they were forced to abandon their march; the frustration of these failed campaigns combined with Kambyses’ cruel nature caused him to commit every type of blasphemy against the Egyptian gods and their temples.

    Contrary to Persian tradition, Kambyses married two of his sisters and murdered one of them; Kambyses’ madness progressed as he stayed in Egypt and when he finally decided to return to Persia he was hated and feared by the Egyptians, the Persians and his closest advisors; Kambyses had inherited the captured Lydian king, Kroesus (Croesus), from his father and, while in Egypt, Kroesus was forced to flee for his life because he dared to contradict Kambyses and offer criticism for the mad deeds that Kambyses inflicted on all those around him.

    The oracle at Buto had told Kambyses that he would die in the city of Agbatana and Kambyses believed that he would die of old age in the Persian city by that name but while he was traveling through Syria, he stopped at the Syrian city of Agbatana and died of a wound from his own sword; before he died Kambyses received news from his capital city, Susa, that his brother, Smerdis, had assumed the throne; Kambyses knew that his brother was dead and he correctly surmised that an imposter was on his throne; he called the highest ranking Persians of his army to his death-bed and told them that he had ordered the murder of his brother and that he could not possibly be on the throne of the Persian empire; he told them that a false-Smerdis had assumed the throne and must be deposed at all costs; the Persians, who were accustomed to Kambyses’ madness, simply refused to believe him and accepted the false-Smerdis as their new king; after a life of manipulation and indulgence, Kambyses died without heirs, respect or honor.


    A northwest promontory of the island Euboea.


    A daughter of Aiolos (Aeolus) who committed suicide at her father’s command because of her incestuous relationship with her brother, Makareos (Macareus).

    Her other siblings were: Sisyphus, Alkyone (Alcyone), Athamas, Salmoneus and Kalyke (Calyce); she was the consort of Poseidon (lord of the Sea) and the mother of the Giants: Otos and Ephialtes.


    The son of Abas and the father of the Argonaut, Kanthos (Canthos); from the island of Euboea.

    His name may also be rendered as Kanethus or Canethus.


    A deep bowl connected to a flat base by a slender stem with two handles that rise above the brim and then curve downward to join the body.


    One of the Argonauts; the son of Kanethos (Canethos) from the island of Euboea.

    After the Argonauts had successfully obtained the Golden Fleece and were headed home, they were stranded in Libya; when they began a desperate search for water, Kanthos encountered a flock of sheep that belonged to the grandson of Apollon, Kaphauros (Caphauros); as Kanthos was leading the sheep away, Kaphauros challenged and killed him; the other Argonauts avenged their comrade’s death by killing Kaphauros.

    His name may also be rendered as Kanthus or Canthus.


    One of the commanders in the army known as Seven Against Thebes who was destroyed by Zeus for blasphemy.

    In the play, Oedipus at Kolonus (Colonus) by Sophokles (Sophocles), Kapaneus was so hostile towards the king of the city of Thebes, Eteokles (Eteocles), that he wanted to reduce the city to a pile of ashes.


    The husband of Prokris (Procris) and the victim of a tragic misunderstanding.

    Eos (Dawn) fell in love with Kaphalus and Prokris became jealous; to ease Prokris’ anger, Artemis (or perhaps Minos) gave her the gift of a hound that always caught its prey and a spear that never missed its mark; Prokris gave the hound and spear to Kaphalus as an act of reconciliation but she was still suspicious of Eos’ intentions; she followed Kaphalus when he went hunting; Kaphalus heard some noise in the bushes and hurled the spear into Prokris, killing her.


    The grandson of Apollon and Akakallis (Acacallis) and the brother of Nasamon; he slew the Argonaut, Kanthos (Canthos), for trying to steal his sheep; when the other Argonauts found out about the death of their comrade, they killed Kaphauros.

    His name may also be rendered as Kaphaurus or Caphaurus.


    The tenth letter of the Greek alphabet; upper case: Κ; lower case: κ.


    A Greek settlement located on the coast of the Aegean Sea in southern Asia Minor; located north of Lykia (Lycia) and south of Lydia; the entire area is generally referred to as Ionia; the principal city of Karia was Miletus.


    The Greek name for the Carthaginians, i.e. the residents of the city of Carthage in northern Africa.


    A Greek philosopher circa 214?-129? BCE; he taught at the Academy in Athens and is considered to be typical of the teachings of what is called the New Academy; he taught that our perceptions are our only reference to Truth but that the nature of individual perceptions make Certainty a matter of perspective.


    A nine day festival held at Sparta in honor of Apollon during the month Metageitnion which would be the modern equivalent of the last half of August and the first half of September.


    A Greek island mid-way between the islands of Crete and Rhodes.


    An epithet for Demeter and her daughter, Persephone; the word literally means Fruit-Bearer or Fruit-Tribute.


    A city in Lakonia (Laconia) on the Peloponnesian Peninsula.

    Approximate east longitude 22.50 and north latitude 37.30.


    Columns shaped to look like women draped in flowing dresses.

    The most famous Karyatids are the ones which were placed in the southern portico of the Erekhtheum (Erechtheum) on the Akropolis (Acropolis) in Athens; the Karyatids are representative of Artemis as the Maiden of Karyae (Caryae), i.e. a city in Lakonia (Laconia).


    A name for Artemis derived from the city in Lakonia, Karyae (Caryae), which had a famous temple dedicated to Artemis; the name means Maiden of Caryae and was the theme for the female-shaped columns called the Karyatids (Caryatids) found in temples throughout Greece.


    (circa 354-279 BCE) The king of Makedon (Macedon) from 301-297 BCE; the son of Antipater.


    The daughter Priam and Hekabe (Hecabe); as a member of the royal household of Troy she was witness to the fall of her father’s city and the tragic enslavement and/or murder of the population.

    In The Iliad, Cassandra is portrayed as the devoted daughter of the king and queen but in later tragedies, such as Agamemnon by Aeskhylus (Aeschylus), she was given a darker, more tragic countenance; she was said to have been loved by Apollon but rejected him; as a punishment, Apollon gave her the gift of prophecy with the condition that no one believe her predictions; when she tried to warn her father that Troy was going to be overrun by the Greeks, she was ignored.

    After Troy was reduced to ashes and her parents were dead, Agamemnon took her to his home as a concubine; she tried to warm him of his impending murder but, because of the curse of Apollon, she was disbelieved and finally killed as a witch.


    The wife of Kepheus (Cepheus) and mother of Andromeda; she and Kepheus ruled Ethiopia.

    Kassiopeia boasted that her lovely daughter, Andromeda, was more beautiful than the immortal Nereids; the Nereids were insulted by such immodest boasting and prevailed on Poseidon (lord of the Sea) to send one of his ketos, i.e. sea monsters, to lay waste to Ethiopia; when Kassiopeia and Kepheus consulted an oracle they were told that if Andromeda was sacrificed to the Immortals the devastation could be averted; with no other alternatives, Kassiopeia and Kepheus prepared to sacrifice Andromeda and save their land from certain destruction; at this opportune time, Perseus was returning from his battle with the Gorgons and had the severed head of Medusa in his kibisis; he confronted the ketos and, with the magical powers instilled in the head of Medusa, turned the beast to stone and saved Andromeda.


    The famous but mysterious Tin Islands which the historian Herodotus mentioned in his Histories; Kassiterides literally means Tin-Producing; assumed to be Cornwall in the British Isles; tin was vital to the making of bronze and, other than the islands in the Indian Ocean, the British Isles were the closest source.


    He and his brother, Polydeukes (Polydeuces or Pollux), were called the Dioskuri (Dioscuri); they were the twin sons of Leda and Zeus and the brothers of Helen, Klytemnestra (Clytemnestra) and Phoibe (Phoebe).

    In The Iliad (book 3, line 243) Kastor and Polydeukes were merely mortals but later stories gave the brothers a more supernatural countenance; as examples:

    1. When Helen was a young girl, she was kidnapped by Theseus and Pirithous; Kastor and Polydeukes saved her with the help of Akademus (Academus) or perhaps Dekelus (Decelus);
    2. While they were with the Argonauts, the two brothers became involved with the daughters of Leukippus (Leucippus), Hilaeira and Phoibe (Phoebe), and, for one reason or another, Kastor was killed; Polydeukes was supposedly immortal and did not want to live if his brother was dead; Zeus had mercy on the devoted brothers and allowed Kastor to return from the land of the dead on the condition that Polydeukes would take his place; that meant that, alternately, one of the brothers would be condemned to the Underworld while the other would be free on the face of the earth; eventually they were introduced into the heavens as the constellation, Gemini, i.e. the Twins.

    An elaboration of the death of Kastor survives in the fragmentary remains of the Kypria; the author (not Homer) says that the two brothers 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.

    Kaukasos Mountains

    The mountain range which runs from northwest to southeast between the Euxine (Black Sea) and the Caspian Sea; the highest peak is Mount Elbrus which rises to a height of 18,480 feet (5,633 meters).

    When Prometheus stole fire and gave it to the mortal humans, Zeus had him chained to the Caucasus Mountains until Herakles (Heracles) freed him.


    A comic poet before circa 450 BCE.


    A snake-like being who was thought to be the first king of the city of Athens; his name became synonymous with Attika (Attica).

    Gaia (Earth) and Hephaistos (Hephaestus) had a son named Erikhthonius; Gaia gave the infant Erikhthonius to Athene (Athena) for protection; Athene put Erikhthonius in a chest and gave it to the three daughters of Kekrops to guard, with the admonition that they never open the chest; as you can imagine, the women could not resist opening the chest; when they beheld the snake-like appearance of Erikhthonius, they went mad and threw themselves from the rocky plateau of the Akropolis (Acropolis) at Athens.

    It’s one of the mysteries of Greek mythology as to why three women, whose father was snake-like, would be driven mad by the snake-like appearance of Erikhthonius; perhaps they were driven mad not by his appearance but because they disobeyed Athene and were punished for their effrontery.


    An epitaph for Artemis as the goddess of the hunt; specifically, the noise of the hunt.


    One of the seven daughters of Atlas known as the Pleiades.

    The hunter, Orion, relentlessly pursued the girls until they were changed into pigeons by Zeus and eventually put into the night sky as a constellation; her sisters are: Alkyone (Alcyone), Asterope, Elektra (Electra), Maia, Merope and Taygete.


    An ovoid krater having handles that drop almost vertically to the shoulder from the horizontal extensions on the rim.


    The king of the city of Eleusis who unwittingly took the goddess, Demeter, into his home to be a nurse for his son, Demophoon.

    Keleos and his wife, Metaneira, did not recognize Demeter because she was disguised as an old woman; when Metaneira caught Demeter placing Demophoon into the fireplace to make him immortal, Demeter revealed her true identity and promised to make Eleusis the site of her most sacred temple.


    A race of beasts having the head, trunk and arms of a man but with the body of a horse.

    Centaurs are noted for a variety of noble and depraved acts but when they provoked the Lapithae they more or less ended their habitation of the slopes of Mount Pelion and were forced to dwell on the Peloponnesian Peninsula; the “most noble” of the Centaurs was Kheiron (Chiron) who was the teacher of the heroes: Asklepios (Asclepius), Iason (Jason) and Akhilleus (Achilles).


    One of the islands of the Kyklades (Cyclades) group located near the coast of Attika (Attica) with an area of 60 square miles (155 square kilometers).

    Approximate east longitude 24.33 and north latitude 37.62.


    Largest of the Ionian Islands located in the Ionian Sea off the western coast of Greece; with an area of 287 square miles (743 square kilometers); now known as Kefallinia or Kefalonia.

    Approximate east longitude 20.30 and north latitude 38.20.

    Kepheus (1)

    One of the sons of Aldus; brother of Amphidamas, Auge, and Lykurgus (Lycurgus); one of the Argonauts.

    His name may also be rendered as Kepheos or Cepheos.

    Kepheus (2)

    The Ethiopian king; the husband of Kassiopeia (Cassiopeia) and father of Andromeda.

    His homeland was nearly destroyed when his wife, Kassiopeia, offended the Nereids by saying that her daughter was more lovely than the Nereids; the Nereids were insulted by such immodest boasting and prevailed on Poseidon (lord of the Sea) to send one of his ketos, i.e. sea monsters, to lay waste to Ethiopia; when Kassiopeia and Kepheus consulted an oracle they were told that if Andromeda was sacrificed to the Immortals the devastation could be averted; with no other alternatives, Kassiopeia and Kepheus prepared to sacrifice Andromeda and save their land from certain destruction; at this opportune time, Perseus was returning from his battle with the Gorgons and had the severed head of Medusa in his kibisis; he confronted the ketos and, with the magical powers instilled in the head of Medusa, turned the beast to stone and saved Andromeda.


    The god of the river Kephisos and the father of Narkissus (Narcissus).


    One of the many children of Nyx (Night); her name means Fate, i.e. inevitable death; she is referred to as Black Fate which gives her dominion a more negative connotation, as in Doom.

    In the poem, Shield of Herakles (Heracles), she is described as almost ghoulish in nature, i.e. she is dragging dead and wounded men across the battlefield and her clothing is stained with blood.

    Her name may also be rendered as Ker or Cer.


    An offspring of the monster Ekhidna (Echidna) and the snake-bodied Typhaon; he was the ferocious watchdog of the Underworld and was said to have fifty heads, a dragon tail and snakes writhing from his body; the artistic and written descriptions of Kerberos differ as to the number of heads but the common theme is constant in that he was a beast of untamed savagery who only obeyed the voice of Hades (lord of the Dead) or his bride, Persephone.

    Kerberos stands at the gates of the House of Hades and fawns on the dead as they enter but will savagely eat anyone trying to pass back through the gates and return to the land of the living.

    To complete his Twelfth Labor, Herakles (Heracles) was required to descend into the Underworld and bring Kerberos to the surface; Herakles descended into the Underworld and confronted his uncle, Hades. Either through consideration for Herakles or intimidation by Zeus’ wrath, Hades agreed to let Herakles temporarily take Kerberos into the sunlight on the condition that no weapons be used to subdue the beastly hound; when Herakles presented Kerberos to his cousin and taskmaster, Eurystheus, he hid in a giant urn in the ground.

    His name may also be rendered as Kerberus or Cerberos.


    A child of Nyx (Night); the personification of Misery.

    K to Keres

    K to Keres Kerigo to Kleomenes I Kleomenes II to Kronikos Kronos to Kyzikos 2


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