Web Theoi
PLEIONE
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Πληιονη Plêionê Pleione More, Plenty (pleiôn)
Αιθρη Αιθρα Aithrê, Aithra Aethra Clear Sky (aithrê)

PLEIONE was an Okeanid nymph of Mount Kyllene (Cyllene) in Arkadia (southern Greece). She was the wife of the Titan Atlas, who bore him a bevy of beautiful daughters.

She may have been numbered amongst the Epimelides (nymphs of the flocks) and presided over the multiplication of the animals, for her name means "to increase in number" and her grandson, Hermes, was the god of animal husbandry.

PARENTS
[1.1] OKEANOS (Apollodorus 3.110; Hyginus Fabulae 192)
[1.2] OKEANOS & TETHYS (Ovid Fasti 5.79)
OFFSPRING
[1.1] THE PLEIADES (by Atlas) (Apollodorus 3.110, Ovid Fasti 5.79)
[1.2] THE PLEIADES, THE HYADES, HYAS (by Atlas) (Hyginus Preface & Astronomica 2.21, Ovid Fasti 5.164)

ENCYCLOPEDIA

PLEI′ONE (Plêïonê), a daughter of Oceanus, and mother of the Pleiades by Atlas. (Apollod. iii. 10. § 1; Pind. Fragm. 53.)

AETHRA (Aithra). A daughter of Oceanus, by whom Atlas begot the twelve Hyades, and a son, Hyas. (Ov. Fast. v. 171; Hygin. Fab. 192.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 110 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"To Atlas and Okeanos' daughter Pleione were born, on Arkadian Kyllene (Cyllene), seven daughters called the Pleiades, whose names are Alkyone, Merope, Kelaino (Celaeno), Elektra, Sterope, Taygete, and Maia."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Atlas and Pleione [were born]: Maia, Calypso, Alcyone, Merope, Electra, Celaeno."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 21 :
"The Pleiades were so named, according to Musaeaus, because fifteen daughters were born to Atlas and Aethra, daughter of Oceanus. Five of them are called Hyades . . . their brother was Hyas . . . The remaining ten brooded over the death of their sisters, and brought death on themselves; because so may experienced the same grief, they were called Pleiades.
Alexander says they were called Hyades because they were daughters of Hyas and Boeotia, Pleiades, because born of Pleio, daughter of Oceanus, and Atlas.
But ancient astronomers placed these Pleiades, daughters of Pleione and Atlas, as we have said, apart from the Bull. When Pleione once was travelling through Boeotia with her daughters, Orion, who was accompanying her, tried to attack her. She escaped, but Orion sought her for seven years and couldn’t find her. Jove [Zeus], pitying the girls, appointed a way to the stars."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 2. 750 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Atlantius [i.e. Hermes], Pleione's grandson."
[N.B. Hermes is titled Atlantios, since he is a son of Maia, daughter of Atlas and Pleione.]

Ovid, Fasti 5. 79 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Titan Tethys was once married to Oceanus, whose translucent waters scarf the broad earth. Their child Pleione couples with sky-lifting Atlas--so the story is--and bears the Pleiades."

Ovid, Fasti 5. 164 ff :
"[The Hyades] granddaughters of Tethys and old Oceanus. Atlas did not shoulder the load of Olympus yet, when lovely, eye-catching Hyas was born. Oceanus' daughter, Aethra, bore him and the Nymphae in timely births, but Hyas was born first . . . [Hyas] sought the lair and brood of the whelped lioness and was bloody prey to the Libyan beast. His mother sobbed for Hyas, his sad sisters sobbed and Atlas."

Ovid, Heroides 16. 62 ff (trans. Showerman) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"[Hermes] propelled on pinions swift, the grandchild of mighty Atlas and Pleione."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 3. 330 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"I [Elektra] was ever born myself one of those Pleiades, seven girls whom our mother [Pleione] once carried under her heart in labour, seven times having called Eileithyia (goddess of childbirth) at her lying-in to lighten the pangs of birth after birth."


Sources:

  • Apollodorus, The Library - Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.
  • Hyginus, Fabulae - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.
  • Hyginus, Astronomica - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.
  • Ovid, Metamorphoses - Latin Epic C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
  • Ovid, Fasti - Latin Poetry C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
  • Ovid, Heroides - Latin Poetry C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
  • Nonnos, Dionysiaca - Greek Epic C5th A.D.