Asia (Oceanid)

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In Greek mythology, Asia (Ancient Greek: Ἀσία) was one of the 3,000 Oceanids, daughters of the Titans Oceanus and his sister-spouse Tethys.[1][2][3] In some accounts, her mother was called Pompholyge and sister of Libye.[4]


According to Apollodorus, she was the wife of the Titan Iapetus, and mother of Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus and Menoetius[5] although Hesiod gives the name of another Oceanid, Clymene, as their mother.[6]

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.[citation needed] Herodotus 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.[7]

Both Acusilaus and Aeschylus in his Prometheus Bound call Prometheus' wife Hesione.

Herodotus also relates a Lydian tradition "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".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Apollodorus, 1.2.2
  2. ^ Bell, Robert E. (1991). Women of Classical Mythology: A Biographical Dictionary. ABC-CLIO. p. 74. ISBN 9780874365818.
  3. ^ Bane, Theresa (2013). Encyclopedia of Fairies in World Folklore and Mythology. McFarland, Incorporated, Publishers. p. 36. ISBN 9780786471119.
  4. ^ Andron of Halicarnassus fr. 7 Fowler = FGrHist 10 F 7 (Fowler 2000, p. 42; Fowler 2013, p. 13; Bouzek and Graninger, p. 12. Fowler 2013, p. 15, calls Pompholyge, a name found nowhere else, an ad hoc invention.)
  5. ^ Apollodorus, 1.2.3
  6. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 507–511.
  7. ^ Herodotus, 4.45.3