ISMENE was the Naiad Nymph of the Ismenian spring of Thebes in Boiotia (central Greece). She was a daughter of the Boiotian-Sikyonian River-God Asopos, and the wife of Argos, the eponymous king of the region.
She was a daughter of the River-God Asopos and the wife of King Argos, the eponymous founder of the town of Argos. The couple were the ancestors of the royal houses of Argos and Thebes, which were established Kings Danaos and Kadmos
The town of Thebes also had a spring called Ismene which was associated with an oraclular shrine of the god Apollon. Both names derives from the word ismê, knowledge.
Ismene, as the Nymphe of the Ismenian spring, was essentially the same as Melia, the wife of Inakhos, and Melia, the love of Apollon. The stories of these three however appear in rival unrelated sagas.
|ASOPOS (Apollodorus 2.5)
| IASOS (by Argos) (Castor Frag, Apollodorus 2.5)
ARGOS PANOPTES (by Argos) (Hesiod Cercopes Frag, Apollodorus 2.6)
ISME′NE (Ismênê). A daughter of Asopus and Metope, and wife of Argus, by whom she became the mother of Iasus and Io. (Apoiiod. ii. 1 § 3.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 5 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"To Okeanos and Tethys was born a son Inakhos, after whom the Inakhos (Inachus) River in Argos is named. By Melia, daughter of Okeanos, he had sons named Phoroneus and Aegialeus. Although Aegialeus died childess, his whole land was called Aegialeia. Phoroneus ruled the entire regionn later called the Peloponnesos, and by a Nymphe named Teledike fathered Apis and Niobe . . . Niobe, the first mortal woman with whom Zeus had sex, bore Zeus a son Argos . . . As for Argos, he got the rule and named the Peloponnesos Argos after himself. He married Euadne, daughter of Strymon and Neaera, and sired Ekbasos, Peiras, Epidaruos, and Kraioss, who also inhereited the rule. Argos and Asopos' daughter Ismene had a son Iasos, who is alleged to be the father of Io, although the chronicler Kastor and many of the tragic poets hold that Io is Inakhos' daughter."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 6 :
"Argos Panoptes [with the hundred eyes] . . . Kerkops [poet C6th B.C.] calls him a son of Argos and Asopos' daugher Ismene."
- Apollodorus, The Library - Greek Mythography C2nd BC