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

In Greek mythology, Thyia[pronunciation?] (Greek: Θυία Thuia) is a female figure associated with cults of several major gods. The name is derived from the verb θύω "to sacrifice". The name was applied to the white cedar and its genus, Thuja, by Linnaeus (1753).

According to a quotation from Hesiod's lost work the Catalogue of Women, preserved in the De Thematibus of Constantine Porphyrogenitus and in Stephanus of Byzantium's Ethnika, Thyia was the daughter of Deucalion and Pyrrha and mother of Magnes and Makednos (the claimed ancestor of the Macedonians) by Zeus.[1]

In the Delphic tradition, Thyia was also the naiad of a spring on Mount Parnassos in Phocis (central Greece), daughter of the river god Cephissus.[2] Her shrine was the site for the gathering of the Thyiades (women who celebrated in the orgies of the god Dionysos). She was said to have been the first to sacrifice to Dionysus, and to celebrate orgies in his honour. Hence, the Attic women, who every year went to Mount Parnassus to celebrate the Dionysiac orgies with the Delphian Thyiades, received themselves the name of Thyades or Thyiades (synonymous with Maenads).[3]

She was said to have been loved by Apollo and bore him Delphos, the eponymous founder of town Delphi, beside the oracular shrine. She was also closely associated with the prophetic Castalian Spring, from which she was sometimes said to have been born (Pausanias follows a tradition that made her daughter of the autochthon Castalius). Thyia was also related to Castalia, the nymph of the spring; Melaena, an alternative mother for Delphos; and the Corycian nymphs, Naiades of the springs of the holy Corycian Cave.[3]

Thyia was also reported to have had an affair with Poseidon, and to have been a close friend of Chloris.[4]

A sacred precinct of Thyia was reported to have been located in the city of the same name, with an altar to the Anemoi set up during the Greco-Persian Wars.[2]


  1. ^ Constantine Porphyrogenitus, De Thematibus, 2 (p. 86 sq. Pertusi); Stephanus of Byzantium s. v. Makedonia
  2. ^ a b Herodotus, Histories 7. 178. 1
  3. ^ a b Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 6. 4
  4. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10. 25. 9


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSchmitz, Leonhard (1870). "Thyia". In Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 3. p. 1116.