Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Πολυφη Polyphê Polyphe Ingenious, Of-Much-
Thought (poluphrôn)
POLYPHE was an Okeanid nymph who, according to one account, was the mother of the goddess Athena by Poseidon.

Her daughter "Hippeia Athena" is probably the goddess Rhode.

OKEANOS (Suidas s.v. Hippeia Athena)
ATHENA (by Poseidon) (Suidas s.v. Hippeia Athena)

Suidas s.v. Hippeia Athene (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Hippeia Athene (Athena-of-Horses): They say she is a daughter of Poseidon and Polyphe, daughter of Okeanos; she was the first to use a chariot and was called ‘of-Horses’ because of this."

Strabo, Geography 14. 1. 18 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Some say that, of the nine Telkhines who lived in Rhodes, those who accompanied Rhea to Krete (Crete) and reared Zeus in his youth (kouros) were named Kouretes (Curetes); and that Kyrbas (Cyrbas), a comrade of these, who was the founder of Hierapytna [in Krete (Crete)], afforded a pretext to the Prasians for saying among the Rhodians that the Korybantes (Corybantes) were certain Daimones, sons of Athena and Helios (the Sun)."
[N.B. "Athena" wife of Helios is Rhode, the patron goddess of the island of Rhodes. This is no doubt the "Athena" referred to by Suidas above.]

She appears to be closely related to several other water Nymphai which were variously called the mother of Athena, including the Okeanis Metis by Zeus (Olympian Athena), Halia by Poseidon (the Rhodian Athena), and Tritonis by Poseidon or Triton (the Libyan Athena). See also the goddess Rhode.
Her name is similar in meaning to that of Metis, polyphê "of much thought", mêtis "of good counsel".


  • Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History - Greek History C1st B.C.
  • Suidas - Byzantine Lexicn C10th AD