From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Member of Titans
ParentsUranus and Gaia
OffspringLeto, Asteria

In Greek mythology, Coeus (/ˈsəs/;[1] Ancient Greek: Κοῖος, romanizedKoîos, "query, questioning" or "intelligence"[2]), also called Polus,[3] was one of the Titans, one of the three groups of children born to Uranus (Sky) and Gaia (Earth).


Coeus was an obscure figure,[4] and like most of the Titans he played no active part in Greek mythology—he appears only in lists of Titans[5]—but was primarily important for his descendants.[6] With his sister, "shining" Phoebe, Coeus fathered two daughters, Leto[7][8] and Asteria.[9] Leto copulated with Zeus (the son of fellow Titans Cronus and Rhea) and bore Artemis and Apollo. Asteria became the mother of Hecate by Perses (son of fellow Titan Crius and half-sister Eurybia).

Along with the other Titans, Coeus was overthrown by Zeus and the other Olympians in the Titanomachy. Afterwards, he and all his brothers (sans Oceanus) were imprisoned in Tartarus by Zeus. Coeus, later overcome with madness, broke free from his bonds and attempted to escape his imprisonment, but was repelled by Cerberus.[10]

Tacitus wrote that Coeus was the first inhabitant of the island of Kos, which claimed to be the birthplace of his daughter Leto.[11] Coeus's name was modified from Κοῖος (Koîos) to Κῶιος (Kōios), leading to his association with the island.[12]

Eventually Zeus freed the Titans, presumably including Coeus.[13]


Coeus's family tree [14]
The RiversThe OceanidsHeliosSelene [15]EosAstraeusPallasPerses
IapetusClymene (or Asia[16]Themis(Zeus)Mnemosyne
Atlas [17]MenoetiusPrometheus [18]EpimetheusThe HoraeThe Muses


  1. ^ Gardner, Dorsey (1887). Webster's Condensed Dictionary. George Routledge and Sons. p. 714. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  2. ^ Robert Graves. The Greek Myths, section 14 s.v. Births of Hermes, Apollo, Artemis, and Dionysus
  3. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae Preface and 140
  4. ^ Ovid in Metamorphoses (VI.185) alludes to Coeus' obscure nature: "Latona, that Titaness whom Coeus sired, whoever he may be." (nescio quoque audete satam Titanida Coeo): M. L. West, in "Hesiod's Titans" (The Journal of Hellenic Studies 105 [1985:174–175]) remarks that Phoibe's "consort Koios is an even more obscure quantity. Perhaps he too had originally to with Delphic divination", and he suspects that Phoebe, Koios and Themis were Delphic additions to the list of Titanes, drawn from various archaic sources.
  5. ^ Such as Hesiod, Theogony 133; Apollodorus, 1.1.3; Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 5.66.3; Clement of Alexandria, Recognitions 31.
  6. ^ Hesiod included among his descendants Hekate, daughter of Asteriē, as Apostolos N. Athanassakis, noted, correcting the OCD, noted (Athanassakis, "Hekate Is Not the Daughter of Koios and Phoibe" The Classical World 71.2 [October 1977:127]); R. Renehan expanded the note in "Hekate, H. J. Rose, and C. M. Bowra", The Classical World, 73.5 (February 1980:302–304).
  7. ^ Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, 61; in the Orphic Hymn to Leto she is Leto Koiantis, "Leto, daughter of Koios".
  8. ^ "Hymn 3 to Apollo, line 47". Retrieved 2024-02-24.
  9. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 404 ff; Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1.2.2
  10. ^ Valerius Flaccus, "Argonautica" 3.224 ff
  11. ^ "Cornelius Tacitus, The Annals, BOOK XII, chapter 61". Retrieved 2024-02-24.
  12. ^ Herodas 2009, p. 65.
  13. ^ Pindar, Pythian Odes 4.289-291; additionally, Aeschylus' lost play Prometheus Unbound features a chorus of freed Titans.
  14. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 132–138, 337–411, 453–520, 901–906, 915–920; Caldwell, pp. 8–11, tables 11–14.
  15. ^ Although usually the daughter of Hyperion and Theia, as in Hesiod, Theogony 371–374, in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes (4), 99–100, Selene is instead made the daughter of Pallas the son of Megamedes.
  16. ^ According to Hesiod, Theogony 507–511, Clymene, one of the Oceanids, the daughters of Oceanus and Tethys, at Hesiod, Theogony 351, was the mother by Iapetus of Atlas, Menoetius, Prometheus, and Epimetheus, while according to Apollodorus, 1.2.3, another Oceanid, Asia was their mother by Iapetus.
  17. ^ According to Plato, Critias, 113d–114a, Atlas was the son of Poseidon and the mortal Cleito.
  18. ^ In Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 18, 211, 873 (Sommerstein, pp. 444–445 n. 2, 446–447 n. 24, 538–539 n. 113) Prometheus is made to be the son of Themis.


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