Asia (mythology)

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Asia in Greek mythology was a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, the wife of the Titan Iapetus, and mother of Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus and Menoetius. Hesiod gives the name of another Oceanid, Clymene, in his Theogony (359) but the Bibliotheca (1.8) gives instead the name Asia as does Lycophron (1411). It is possible that the name Asia became preferred over Hesiod's Clymene to avoid confusion with the Clymene who was mother of Phaethon by Helios in some accounts and must have been perceived as a distinct figure. Herodotus (4.45.1) records the tradition that the continent Asia was named after Asia whom he calls wife of Prometheus rather than mother of Prometheus, perhaps here a simple error rather than genuine variant tradition. Both Acusilaus and Aeschylus in his Prometheus Bound call Prometheus' wife Hesione.

Herodotus relates also the Lydian tradition:[1] "yet the Lydians claim a share in the latter name, saying that Asia was not named after Prometheus' wife Asia, but after Asies, the son of Cotys, who was the son of Manes, and that from him the Asiad clan at Sardis also takes its name".

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