Cephissus (mythology)

Cephissus (Greek: Κηφισός, Kephisos) is a river god of ancient Greece, associated with the river Cephissus in Attica and/or with the river Cephissus in Boeotia, both in Greece. He was a son of Pontus and Thalassa.[1]

The same author names as daughters of this Cephissus:

  • the naiad Lilaea (10.33.4) the eponym of Lilaea at its source,
  • Daulis (10.4.7) the eponym of the city of Daulis,
  • Melaeno (10.6.4) mother of Delphus by Apollo, though he also gives two other accounts of Delphus' mother. However one of these alternate versions is that Thyia daughter of the aboriginal Castalius was Delphus' mother, almost certainly the same Thyia whom Herodotus (7.178.1) claims was daughter of Cephissus to whom the Delphians built an altar to the winds and who was eponym of the Thyiades.

A mortal son of Cephissus was Eteocles by Euippe, daughter of Leucon, son of Athamas. This Euippe was wife of King Andreus of Orchomenus and Eteocles inherited Andreus' throne (9.34.9). Eteocles or Eteoclus, son of Cephissus, is confirmed from Hesiod's Catalogue (Fr. 70) and Pindar (Ol. 14). He first made offering to the Charites by the side of the river Cephissus.

Cephissus was also father of Narcissus according to Ovid's Metamorphoses (3.342), Hyginus (271), and Statius' Thebaid (7.340), Narcissus' mother being an otherwise unknown naiad named Liriope according to Ovid.


  1.  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Leonhard Schmitz, Leonhard (1870). "Cephissus". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. p. 671.
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