Cephalus in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology

(*Ke/falos). 1. A son of Hermes and Herse, was carried off by Eos, who became by him the mother of Tithonus in Syria. (Apollod. 3.14.3.) Hyginus (Hyg. Fab. 160, 270) makes him a son of Hermes by Creusa, or of Pandion, and Hesiod (Hes. Th. 986) makes Phaeton the son of Cephalus instead of Tithonus. On the pediment of the kingly Stoa in the Cerameicus at Athens, and on the temple of Apollo at Amyclae, the carrying off of Cephelus by Hemera (not Eos) was represented. (Paus. 1.3.1, 3.18.7.)2. A son of Deion, the ruler of Phocis, and Diomede, was married to Procris or Procne, by whom he become the father of Archius, the father of Laertes. He is described as likewise beloved by Eos (Apollod. 1.9.4; Hyg. Fab. 125; Schol. ad Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 209), but he and Procris were sincerely attached, and promised to remain faithful to each other. Once when the handsome Cephalus was amusing himself with the chase, Eos approached him with loving entreaties, which, however, he rejected. The goddess then bade him not break his vow until Procris had broken hers, but advised him to try her fidelity. She then metamorphosed him into a stranger, and gave him rich presents with which he was to tempt Procris. Procris was induced by the brilliant presents to break the vow she had made to Cephalus, and when she recognized her husband, she fled to Crete and discovered herself to Artemis. The goddess made her a present of a dog and a spear, which were never to miss their object, and then sent her back to Cephalus. Procris returned home in the disguise of a youth, and went out with Cephalus to chase. When he perceived the excellence of her dog and spear, he proposed to buy them of her; but she refused to part with them for any price except for love. When he accordingly promised to love her, she made herself known to him, and he became reconciled to her. As, however, she still feared the love of Eos, she always jealously watched him when he sent out hunting, but on one occasion he killed her by accident with the never-erring spear. (Hyg. Fab. 189.) Somewhat different versions of the same story are given by Apollodorus (3.15.1) and Ovid. (Met. 7.394, &c.; comp. Ant. Lib. 41; Schol. ad Eurip. Orest. 1643.) Subsequently Amphitryon of Thebes came to Cephalus, and persuaded him to give up his dog to hunt the fox which was ravaging the Cadmean territory. After doing this he went out with Amphitryon against the Teleboans, upon the conquest of whom he was rewarded by Amphitryon with the island which he called after his own name Cephallenia. (Apollod. 2.4.7; Strab. x. p.456; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 307, &c.) Cephalus is also called the father of Iphiclus by Clymene. (Paus. 10.29.2.) He is said to have put an end to his life by leaping into the sea from cape Leucas, on which he had built a temple of Apollo, in order to atone for having killed his wife Procris. (Strab. x. p.452; comp. Paus. 1.37.4; Hyg. Fab. 48.) - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.

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