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In Greek mythology, Celtine (Greek: Κελτίνη, Keltínē) was the daughter of Bretannus and mother of Keltos. She is known for having been one of the consorts of Heracles. Her story, recorded by Parthenius of Nicaea, is as follows.[1]

When Heracles was driving the cattle of Geryon to Greece, he stopped at Bretannus' house. Celtine fell in love with her father's guest and tricked him into consorting with her: she hid away the kine and told Heracles that in order to get the herd back, he had to make love to her.[2] Heracles, both anxious to bring the cattle safe to Eurystheus and overcome by Celtine's beauty, consented. From their union was born a son Celtus, eponym of the Celts.[1]

A version of this myth is also found in the Etymologicum Magnum. It refers to the heroine as Celto (Κελτώ), and tells that Heracles left her his bow, telling her that their future child – if it were a boy – would become king if strong enough to string the bow. In due time, a son Celtus was born. The same source also mentions an alternate tradition according to which Celtus was the son of Heracles by the Pleiad Sterope.[3]


  1. ^ a b Parthenius, Love Romances, 30. Transl. by S. Gaselee (1916) at Classical E-text
  2. ^ Patsi-Garin, Emmy. Επίτομο λεξικό Ελληνικής Μυθολογίας. Αθήνα: 1969.
  3. ^ Etymologicum Magnum, 502. 45 under Keltoi