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The ancient Greek word aithôn means "burning", "blazing" or "shining." Less strictly, it can denote the colour red-brown, or "tawny."[1] It is an epithet sometimes applied to animals such as horses at Hom. Il. 2.839 ; oxen at Od.18.372; and an eagle at Il. 15.690 (cf. Hyginus' calling the eagle that tormented Prometheus an aethonem aquilam at Fabulae 31.5.).[2] The eagle who tormented Prometheus, Aethon, was the child of the monsters Typhon and Echidna.[3] In English, aithôn may be written Aethon, Aithon or Ethon.[4] In Greek and Roman mythology there are a number of characters known as Aethon. Most are horses, variously belonging to:

The name is twice applied to humans. In Odyssey 19.183, it is the pseudonym a disguised Odysseus assumes during his interview with Penelope upon his return to Ithaca. According to fr. 43a.5 of Hesiod's Catalogue of Women, Erysichthon of Thessaly was also known as Aethon due to the "burning" hunger (aithôn limos) he was made to endure by Demeter.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert (1940). "A Greek-English Lexicon". Perseus Digital Library. Clarendon Press. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Hygini genealogiis, volgo fabulae". Bibliotheca Augustana (in Latin). Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  3. ^ de:Ethon
  4. ^ Harris, John; Todd, mark (2005). My Monster Notebook. Getty Publications. ISBN 978-1-60606-050-6. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  5. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 2.153
  6. ^ Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica 8.239
  7. ^ Homer, Iliad 8.184
  8. ^ Vergil, Aeneid 11.89
  9. ^ cf. Callimachus' Hymn to Demeter 6.65ff