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""Phorkys Mosaic Bardo.jpg
Abode "Sea
Personal information
Consort "Ceto
Children "The Hesperides, "The Gorgons, "The Graeae, "Thoosa, "Scylla, "Echidna, "the Sirens, and "Ladon
Parents "Pontus and "Gaea
Siblings "Nereus, "Thaumas, "Ceto and "Eurybia

In "Greek mythology, Phorcys ("/ˈfɔːrsɪs/; "Ancient Greek: Φόρκυς, Phorkus) is a "primordial "sea god, generally cited (first in "Hesiod) as the son of "Pontus and "Gaia (Earth). According to the "Orphic hymns, Phorcys, "Cronus and "Rhea were the eldest offspring of "Oceanus and "Tethys.[1][2] Classical scholar "Karl Kerenyi conflated Phorcys with the similar sea gods "Nereus and "Proteus.[3] His wife was "Ceto, and he is most notable in myth for fathering by Ceto a host of monstrous children. In extant Hellenistic-Roman mosaics, Phorcys was depicted as a fish-tailed merman with crab-claw forelegs and red, spiky skin.




"Hesiod's "Theogony lists the children of Phorcys and Ceto as the "Graeae (naming only two: "Pemphredo, and "Enyo), the "Gorgons ("Stheno, "Euryale and "Medusa),[4] probably "Echidna (though the text is unclear on this point)[5] and Ceto's "youngest, the awful snake who guards the apples all of gold in the secret places of the dark earth at its great bounds",[6] also called the Drakon Hesperios ("Hesperian Dragon", or dragon of the Hesperides) or "Ladon. These children tend to be consistent across sources, though Ladon is often cited as a child of Echidna by "Typhon and therefore Phorcys and Ceto's grandson.[7]

According to "Apollodorus, "Scylla was the daughter of "Crataeis, with the father being either Trienus ("Triton?) or Phorcus (a variant of "Phorkys).[8] "Apollonius of Rhodes has Scylla as the daughter of Phorcys and a conflated "Crataeis-Hecate.

The Scholiast on Apollonius of Rhodes cites Phorcys and Ceto as the parents of the "Hesperides, but this assertion is not repeated in other ancient sources.

Homer refers to "Thoosa, the mother of "Polyphemus, as a daughter of Phorcys.

Family tree[edit]

"Pontus "Thalassa
"Nereus "Thaumas Phorcys "Ceto "Eurybia "The Telchines Halia "Aphrodite [9]
"Echidna "The Gorgons[10] "Graeae "Ladon "The Hesperides "Thoösa


  1. ^ Kerenyi, p. 42.
  2. ^ Plato. Timaeus 40e. Translated by W.R.M. Lamb. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1925.
  3. ^ Kerenyi pp. 42-43.
  4. ^ "Hesiod, "Theogony, 270-276.
  5. ^ "Hesiod, "Theogony, 295-297. Though "Herbert Jennings Rose says simply that it is "not clear which parents are meant", "Athanassakis, p. 44, says that Phorcys and Ceto are the "more likely candidates for parents of this hideous creature who proceeded to give birth to a series of monsters and scourges". The problem arises from the ambiguous referent of the pronoun "she" in line 295 of the Theogony. While some have read this "she" as referring to Callirhoe (e.g. Smith "Echidna"; Morford, p. 162), according to Clay, p. 159 n. 32, "the modern scholarly consensus" reads Ceto, see for example Gantz, p. 22; Caldwell, pp. 7, 46 295–303; Grimal, "Echidna" p. 143.
  6. ^ "Hesiod, "Theogony, 333–335.
  7. ^ "Pherecydes of Leros, fr. 16b Fowler (Fowler, p. 286); "Apollodorus, Library 2.5.11; "Hyginus, "Fabulae Preface, 151.
  8. ^ "Apollodorus, E7.20. Similarly the Plato scholiast, perhaps following Apollodorus, gives the mother as Crataeis and the father as Tyrrhenus or Phorcus, while "Eustathius on Homer, Odyssey 12.85 gives the father as Triton. "Homer, "Odyssey 12.124–125; "Ovid, "Metamorphoses 13.749, have Crataeis as mother with no father mentioned; see also "Servius on "Virgil "Aeneid 3.420; and schol. on "Plato, "Republic 588c. For discussions of the parentage of Scylla, see Fowler, p. 32, Ogden, p. 134; Gantz, pp. 731–732; and Frazer's note to Apollodorus, E7.20.
  9. ^ There are two major conflicting stories for Aphrodite's origins: "Hesiod ("Theogony) claims that she was "born" from the foam of the sea after Cronus castrated Uranus, thus making her Uranus' daughter; but "Homer ("Iliad, book V) has Aphrodite as daughter of Zeus and Dione. According to "Plato ("Symposium 180e), the two were entirely separate entities: "Aphrodite Ourania and Aphrodite Pandemos.
  10. ^ Most sources describe Medusa as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, though the author "Hyginus ("Fabulae Preface) makes Medusa the daughter of "Gorgon and Ceto.


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