Web Theoi
KEPHISOS
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Κηφισος
Κηφισσος
Kêphisos
Kêphissos
Cephisus
Cephissus
River Cephisus

KEPHISOS (or Cephisus) was a River-God of Attika, in southern Greece.

There were two Rivers named Kephisos in Attika over which this god presided. The first had its headwaters in the foothills of Mount Parnes, flowing past Athens to enter the Saronic Gulf just south of Peiraios. The second flowed from Mount Kithairon, through the Nysian plain, to enter the sea near the town of Eleusis. It is possible that the same river-god presided over the Kephisos River of northern Boiotia and the Kephisos stream of Argos. The most important neighbouring rivers were the twin streams of the Asopos to the north and west, and the Athenian Ilissos to the south.

PARENTS
Presumably OKEANOS & TETHYS
OFFSPRING
[1] DIOGENEIA (Apollodorus 3.196)
[2] Perhaps KALLIGENEIA, ARGIOPE

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 196 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Erekhtheus [King of Athens] married Praxithea, daughter of Phrasimos and Kephisos' daughter Diogeneia."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 34. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[In the sanctuary of Amphiaraus in Oropos, Attika :] The altar shows parts . . . The fifth is dedicated to the Nymphai and Pan, and to the rivers Akheloos and Kephisos."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 37. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"By the river [Kephisos in Athens] is a statue of Mnesimakhe, and a votive statue of her son cutting his hair as a gift for Kephisos. That this habit has existed from ancient times among all the Greeks may be inferred from the poetry of Homer, who makes Peleus vow that on the safe return of Akhilleus from Troy he will cut off the young man’s hair as a gift for the Sperkheios."

Aelian, Historical Miscellany 2. 33 (trans. Wilson) (Greek rhetorician C2nd to 3rd A.D.) :
"The nature of rivers, and their streams, are visible to us. But men who honour them, and have statues made of them, in some cases set up anthropomorphic statues, while others give them bovine form. A likeness to cattle is attributed . . . by the Argives to the Kephisos [i.e. the other river Kephisos] . . . The Athenian portray the Kephisos [i.e. their river Kephisos] as a human bust but with horns just showing."


Sources:

  • Apollodorus, The Library - Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.
  • Pausanias, Description of Greece - Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
  • Aelian, Historical Miscellany - Greek Rhetoric C2nd-3rd A.D.