Alectryon (mythology)

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For the coterminous genus of plants, see Alectryon (plant)

Alectryon (Ancient Greek: ἀλεκτρυών) is the Ancient Greek word for "rooster".


In Greek mythology, Alectryon was a young soldier who was assigned by Ares to stand guard outside his door while the god indulged in illicit love with Aphrodite. He fell asleep on guard duty and the sun-god, Helios, discovered them the following morning. Helios then alerted Hephaestus, husband to Aphrodite, to the actions of the two, causing Hephaestus to create a net to ensnare and shame them. Furious, Ares punished Alectryon by turning him into a rooster which never forgets to announce the arrival of the sun in the morning by its crowing. He became the god of chickens and roosters therefore looking after all chickens and roosters for all eternity.

Both the words Alectryon and Halcyon might have been corrupted from Halaka, one of the old Persian appellations of the sun. In the 'Vendidad' it is said that the sacred bird Parodars, called by men kahrkatak, raises its voice at the dawn; and in the "Bundehasb", the sun is spoken of as Halaka, the cock, the enemy of darkness and evil, which flee before his crowing.[1]

According to Lucian, Alectryon was said to have been 'an adolescent boy, beloved of Ares, who kept company with the god at drinking parties, caroused with him, and was his companion in lovemaking'.[2]


  1. ^ Norman MacColl, ed. (1899). The Athenaeum: A Journal of Literature, Science, the Fine Arts, Music, and the Drama. J. Francis. p. 526.
  2. ^ Lucian Gallus 3. For the myth, see also the scholiast to Aristophanes Av. 835; Eustathius, Ad Odysseam 1.300; Ausonius, 26.2.27; Libanius, Progymnasmata 2.26.