Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Ιυνξ Iynx Jinx Jinx, Wryneck-Bird
Κιναιδιον Kinaidion Cinaedion Wryneck-Bird

IYNX was an Arkadian Oreiad nymph who invented the magical love-charm known as the iynx--a spinning wheel with a wryneck bird attached. Iynx used her enchantments to make Zeus fall in love with her or, as some say, with the nymph Io. Hera was furious and transformed her into a wryneck bird. The English word "jinx" is derived from her name.

[1.1] EKHO (Suidas s.v. Iynx)
[1.2] PAN & EKHO (Other References)
[2.1] PEITHO (Suidas s.v. Iynx)


IYNX (Iunx), a daughter of Peitho and Pan, or of Echo. She endeavoured to charm Zeus, or make him, by magic means, fall in love with Io; in consequence of which Hera metamorphosed her into the bird called lynx (iynx torquilla). (Schol. ad Theocrit. ii. 17, ad Pind. Pyth. iv. 380, Nem. iv. 56; Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 310.) According to another story, she was a daughter of Pierus, and as she and her sisters had presumed to enter into a musical contest with the Muses, she was changed into the bird lynx. (Anton. lib. 9.) This bird, the symbol of passionate and restless love, was given by Aphrodite to Jason, who, by turning it round and pronouncing certain magic words, excited the love of Medeia. (Pind. Pyth. iv. 380, &c.; Tzetz. l. c.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.

Suidas s.v. Iynx (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Iynx: The daughter of Ekho or Peitho (Persuasion), also Aphrodite, conquerer in the games: bewitching Zeus with drugs she was turned to stone for such things by Hera. And she was called kinaidion (Wryneck) by some. There is also a little instrument which is called iynx, which enchantresses are accustomed to turn about as they cast charms on their beloveds. It is also a bird, which is believed to have the same power. Wherefore they bind [them] on wheels."

Suidas s.v. Iynx :
"Iynx: That which attracts the spirit to desire and love . . . It is a bird suited to the evils of love charms, say that it was the daughter of Ekho, some [say] of Peitho (Persuasion). ‘Kleopatra [i.e. Queen Cleopatra of Egypt] thought that by those same charms by which [she had overpowered] Caesar and Antony she would also overpower Augustus as the third.’"


  • Suidas - Byzantine Greek Lexicon C10th A.D.

Other references not currently quoted here : Photius s.v. Iynx; Callimachus Frag 685; Lucian Dialogues of the Gods