Philyra (mythology)

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Philyra or Phillyra (/ˈfɪlərə/: Greek: Φιλύρα, "linden-tree") is the name of three distinct characters in Greek mythology.

  • Philyra, an Oceanid and daughter of Oceanus and Tethys.[1] Chiron was her son by Cronus,[2][3] who chased her and consorted with her in the shape of a stallion, hence the half-human, half-equine shape of their offspring;[4][5] this was said to have taken place on Mount Pelion.[6] When she gave birth to her son, she was so disgusted by how he looked that she abandoned him at birth, and implored the gods to transform her into anything other than anthropomorphic as she could not bear the shame of having had such a monstrous child; the gods changed her into a linden tree.[7] Yet in some versions Philyra and Chariclo, the wife of Chiron, nursed the young Achilles;[8][9] Chiron's dwelling on Pelion where his disciples were reared was known as "Philyra's cave".[10][11][12] Chiron was often referred to by the matronymic Philyrides or the like.[13][14][15][16][17] Two other sons of Cronus and Philyra may have been Dolops[18] and Aphrus, the ancestor and eponym of the Aphroi, i.e. the native Africans.[19]
  • Philyra, one of the names given to the wife of Nauplius, who was the father of Palamedes, Oiax and Nausimedon. The mythographer Apollodorus reports that, in the Nostoi (Returns), an early epic from the Trojan cycle of poems about the Trojan War, Nauplius' wife was Philyra, and that according to Cercops his wife was Hesione, but that according to the "tragic poets" his wife was Clymene.[20]
  • Philyra or Phillyra, daughter of the river Asopus, and the mother of Hypseus by Peneius.[21] The same source points out that elsewhere Creusa is given instead of her.


  1. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 138. Compare with Callimachus, Hymn 1 to Zeus 33–36
  2. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 1200
  3. ^ Pliny the Elder, Natural History 7. 197
  4. ^ Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 2. 1231 ff
  5. ^ Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1. 554
  6. ^ Callimachus, Hymn 4 to Delos 104 ff
  7. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 138
  8. ^ Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 4. 813
  9. ^ Pindar, Pythian Ode 4. 102 ff
  10. ^ Pindar, Nemean Ode 3. 43
  11. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca, 48. 40
  12. ^ Callimachus, Hymn 4 to Delos, 118
  13. ^ Pindar, Pythian Ode 3. 1
  14. ^ Hesiod, Theogony, 1002
  15. ^ Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1. 554
  16. ^ Argonautica Orphica, 450
  17. ^ Virgil, Georgics 3. 549
  18. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae, Preface
  19. ^ Suda s.v. Aphroi
  20. ^ Hard, p. 236; Gantz, p. 604; Apollodorus, 2.1.5, 3.2.2, E.6.8; Dictys Cretensis, 1.1, 5.2.
  21. ^ Scholia on Pindar, Pythian Ode 9. 27a


  • Apollodorus, Apollodorus, The Library, with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F.B.A., F.R.S. in 2 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
  • Gantz, Timothy, Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, Two volumes: ISBN 978-0-8018-5360-9 (Vol. 1), ISBN 978-0-8018-5362-3 (Vol. 2).
  • Hard, Robin, The Routledge Handbook of Greek Mythology: Based on H.J. Rose's "Handbook of Greek Mythology", Psychology Press, 2004, ISBN 9780415186360. Google Books.

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