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In Greek mythology, Apemosyne was a daughter of Catreus, the son of Minos,[1] and king of Crete. She had a brother Althaemenes, and two sisters Aerope and Clymene.

We know of Apemosyne through the account of Apollodorus.[2] According to Apollodorus, Catreus received an oracle saying that he would be killed by one of his children. And although Catreus hid the oracles, his son Althaemenes found out. Fearing that he would be the one to kill Catreus, Althaemenes took Apemosyne and fled with her to Rhodes.

There, Hermes fell in love with Apemosyne, but Apemosyne fled from him and Hermes could not catch her, because she ran faster than him. On her way back from a spring, Apemosyne slipped on freshly skinned hides that Hermes had laid across her path. And so Hermes caught and raped her. Later, when Apemosyne told her brother what had happened, he doubted her and became angry, thinking that she was lying about being molested by the god. In his anger, he kicked her to death.

Cook,[3] saw in the myth of Apemosyne an historical element reflecting the relationship between Minoan Crete and Rhodes, as well as a possible etiological aspect explaining an ancient Rhodian custom involving human sacrifice.


  1. ^ Apollodorus, 3.2.1; Diodorus Siculus, 4.60.4. Pausanias, 8.53.4 says that, while the Cretans claim Catreus was the son of Minos, according to the Tegeans, Catreus was the son of Tegeates.
  2. ^ Apollodorus, 3.2
  3. ^ Cook, 923–924


  • Apollodorus, Apollodorus, The Library, with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F.B.A., F.R.S. in 2 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921.
  • Cook, A. B., Zeus: A Study in Ancient Religion Volume 2 Part II, Cambridge University Press, Oct 21, 2010. ISBN 978-1-108-02131-9.
  • Diodorus Siculus, Diodorus Siculus: The Library of History. Translated by C. H. Oldfather. Twelve volumes. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, Ltd. 1989. Vol. 3. Books 4.359–8. ISBN 0-674-99375-6.
  • Pausanias, Pausanias Description of Greece with an English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., and H.A. Ormerod, M.A., in 4 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1918. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.