In Greek mythology, Alcyone (Ancient Greek: Ἁλκυόνη Halkyónē)
was the daughter of Aeolus, either by Enarete or Aegiale. She
married Ceyx, son of Eosphorus, the Morning Star.
They were very happy together in Trachis, and according to
Pseudo-Apollodorus's account, often sacrilegiously called each
other "Zeus" and "Hera". This angered Zeus, so while Ceyx
was at sea (going to consult an oracle according to Ovid's
account), the god threw a thunderbolt at his ship. Ceyx
appeared to Alcyone as an apparition to tell her of his fate,
and she threw herself into the sea in her grief. Out of
compassion, the gods changed them both into halcyon birds,
named after her.
Ovid and Hyginus both also recount the metamorphosis of
the pair in and after Ceyx's loss in a terrible storm, though
they both omit Ceyx and Alcyone calling each other Zeus and
Hera (and Zeus's resulting anger) as a reason for it. Ovid
also adds the detail of her seeing his body washed up onshore
before her attempted suicide...
Ἀλκυόνη), or HALCY'ONE.
1. A Pleiad, a daughter of Atlas and Pleione, by whom
Poseidon begot Aethusa, Hyrieus and Hyperenor. (Apollod.
3.10.1; Hygin. Praef. Fab. p. 11, ed. Staveren; Ov. Ep.
19.133.) To these children Pausanias (2.30.7) adds two
others, Hyperes and Anthas. 2. A daughter of Aeolus and
Enarete or Aegiale. She was married to Ceÿx, and lived so
happy with him, that they were presumptuous enough to call
each other Zeus and Hera, for which Zeus metamorphosed them
into birds, ἀλκυών and κήυξ. (Apollod. 1.7.3, &c.; Hyg. Fab.
65.) Hyginus relates that Ceÿx perished in a shipwreck, that
Alcyone for grief threw herself into the sea, and that the
gods, out of compassion, changed the two into birds. It was
fabled, that during the seven days before, and as many
after, the shortest day of the year, while the bird ἀλκυών
was breeding, there always prevailed calms at sea. An
embellished form of the same story is given by Ovid. (Met.
11.410, &c.; comp. Verg. G. 1.399.) 3. A surname of
Cleopatra, the wife of Meleager, who died with grief at her
husband being killed by Apollo. (Hom. Il. 9.562; Eustath. ad
Hom. p. 776; Hyg. Fab. 174.) - A Dictionary of Greek and
Roman biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.