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"As she talks, her lips breathe spring roses: I was Chloris, who am now called Flora." Ovid

In Greek mythology, the name Chloris (/ˈklɔːrɪs/; Greek Χλωρίς Khlōris, from χλωρός khlōros, meaning "greenish-yellow", "pale green", "pale", "pallid", or "fresh") appears in a variety of contexts. Some clearly refer to different characters; other stories may refer to the same Chloris, but disagree on details.

Chloris, the Nymph[edit]

Chloris was a Nymph who was associated with spring, flowers and new growth, believed to have dwelt in the Elysian Fields. Myths had it that she was abducted by Zephyrus, the god of the west wind (which, as Ovid himself points out, was a parallel to the story of his brother Boreas and Oreithyia), who transformed her into a deity known as Flora after they were married. Together, they have a son, named Karpos. She was also thought to have been responsible for the transformations of Adonis, Attis, Crocus, Hyacinthus and Narcissus into flowers.[1][2]

Chloris, wife of Neleus[edit]

Chloris is the daughter of a different Amphion (himself son of Iasus, king of Orchomenus)[3] by "Persephone, daughter of Minyas" [sic].[4] Chloris was said to have married Neleus and become queen in Pylos. It is, however, not always clear whether she or the below Chloris is mentioned in this role.

Chloris and Zephyr had twelve sons including Nestor, Alastor and Chromius - named in Book 11 of the Odyssey - a daughter Pero. Chloris also gave birth to Periclymenus while married to Neleus, though by some accounts Periclymenus's father was Poseidon (who was himself Neleus's father as well). Poseidon gave Periclymenus the ability to transform into any animal. Other children include Taurus, Asterius, Pylaon, Deimachus, Eurybius, Phrasius, Eurymenes, Evagoras and Epilaus (or Epileon).[5] Some say that Chloris was mother only of three of Neleus' sons (Nestor, Periclymenus and Chromius), whereas the rest were his children by different women,[6] but other accounts explicitly disagree with the statement.[7]

Odysseus is said to have encountered Chloris on his journey to Hades.[8] Pausanias describes a painting by Polygnotus of Chloris among other notable women in the underworld, leaning against the knees of her friend Thyia.[9]

Chloris, the Niobid[edit]

Meliboea was one of Niobe and Amphion's fourteen children (the Niobids), and the only one (or one of two) spared when Artemis and Apollo killed the Niobids in retribution for Niobe's insult to their mother Leto, bragging that she had many children and Leto had only two. Meliboea was so frightened by the ordeal, she turned permanently pale, changing her name to Chloris ("pale one").[10][11][12] Pausanias mentioned a statue of Chloris near the sanctuary of Leto in Argos.[13] In another version, she is a daughter of Teiresias.[14]

Chloris, mother of Mopsus[edit]

Chloris, daughter of Orchomenus,[15] married the seer Ampyx (son of Elatus), with whom she had a child Mopsus who also became a renowned seer and would later join the Argonauts.[16][17] The Argonautica Orphica calls her by a different name, Aregonis.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ovid, Fasti, 5. 195 ff
  2. ^ - Chloris
  3. ^ Homer, Odyssey, 11. 284: "the youngest daughter"; Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9. 36. 8; cf. also Strabo, Geography, 8. 3. 19
  4. ^ Scholia on Odyssey, 11. 281, citing Pherecydes
  5. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 1. 9. 9
  6. ^ Aristarchus in scholia on Iliad, 11. 692; Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 1. 152 — apparently following Odyssey 11. 285, where only Nestor, Chromius and Periclymenus are enumerated
  7. ^ Bibliotheca 1. 9. 9; Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 4. 68. 6; Hyginus, Fabulae, 10
  8. ^ Homer's Odyssey, 11, 281-296
  9. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10. 29. 5
  10. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 3. 5. 6, referring to Telesilla
  11. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae, 9-10
  12. ^ Tzetzes, Chiliades, 4. 422
  13. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2. 21. 9
  14. ^ Scholia on Pindar, Nemean Ode 9. 57; in scholia on Euripides, Phoenician Women, 834 were mentioned the names of her mother (Xanthe?), herself and her two siblings, but the text is badly corrupt.
  15. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 881
  16. ^ Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 1. 65
  17. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae, 14
  18. ^ Argonautica Orphica, 126

External links[edit]