From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

In Greek mythology, Epaphus (/ˈɛpəfəs/; Ancient Greek: Ἔπᾰφος), also called Apis, was a king of Egypt.


Epaphus was the son of Zeus and Io who married his stepfather Telegonus, king of Egypt. The name/word Epaphus means "Touch". This refers to the manner in which he was conceived, by the touch of Zeus' hand. He was born in Euboea, is the cave Boösaule (Herodotus, Strabo), or, according to others, in Egypt, on the river Nile, after the long wanderings of his mother. He was then concealed by the Curetes, by the request of Hera, but Io sought and afterward found him in Syria.

Epaphus is regarded in the myths as the founder of Memphis, Egypt. With his wife, Memphis (or according to others, Cassiopeia); he had one daughter, Libya. Another of his daughters bore the name of Lysianassa.[1]

Epaphus also criticized Phaëton's heraldry, which prompted him to undertake his fateful journey in his father Phoebus' chariot of the sun. Belus, another mythological king of Egypt, is a grandson of Epaphus.

David Rohl identifies Epaphus with the Hyksos pharaoh Apophis.[2]

Argive genealogy[edit]

Argive genealogy in Greek mythology
Inachus Melia
Zeus Io Phoroneus
Epaphus Memphis
Libya Poseidon
Belus Achiroë Agenor Telephassa
Danaus Pieria Aegyptus Cadmus Cilix Europa Phoenix
Mantineus Hypermnestra Lynceus Harmonia Zeus
Sparta Lacedaemon Ocalea Abas Agave Sarpedon Rhadamanthus
Eurydice Acrisius Ino Minos
Zeus Danaë Semele Zeus
Perseus Dionysus
Colour key:



  1. ^ Apollod. ii. 1. §§ 3, 4, 5. § 11; Gaius Julius Hyginus Fabulae 145, 149, 275; comp. Herod. iii. 27, 28. (cited by Schmitz)
  2. ^ David Rohl: The Lords of Avaris. London, Arrow Books 2007