THE ALKYONIDES (Alcyonides) were seven nymph-daughters of Alkyoneus (Alcyoneus), king of the Gigantes (Giants). When Herakles slew their father, they cast themselves into the sea in despair and were transformed by the goddess Amphitrite into kingfishers.
ALKYONEUS (Hegesande Memoirs Frag, Suidas s.v. Alkyonides)
PHOSTHONIA, ANTHE, METHONE, ALKIPPA, PALLENE, DRIMO, ASTERIE (Hegesande Memoirs Frag, Suidas s.v. Alkyonides)
ALCYO′NIDES (Alkuonides), the daughters of the giant Alcyoneus. After their father's death, they threw themselves into the sea, and were changed into ice-birds. Their names are Phthonia, Anthe, Methone, Alcippe, Pallene, Drimo, and Asteria. (Eustath. ad Hom. p. 776 ; Suidas, s. v. Alkuonides.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Suidas s.v. Alkyonides (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Alkyonides emerai : Days of fine weather. People differ on their number. For Simonides [Greek poet C6th to 5th B.C.] in Pentathla says they are eleven, as does Aristotle [Greek writer C4th B.C.] in the History of Animals, but Demagoras of Samos [says] seven, and Philokhoros (Philochorus) nine. Hegesande tells the myth about them in his Memoirs as follows. They were the daughters of the giant Alkyoneus (Alcyoneus) : Phosthonia, Anthe, Methone, Alkippa (Alcippa), Pallene, Drimo, Asterie. After the death of their father they threw themselves into the sea from Kanastraion (Canastraeum), which is the peak of Pellene, but Amphitrite made them birds, and they were called alkyones (halcyons) from their father. Windless days with a calm sea are called Alkyonides [i.e. Halcyon-days]."
Suidas s.v. Alkippa :
"Alkippa : One of the Alkyonides."
Suidas s.v. Anthe :
"Anthe : One of the Alkyonides."
Suidas s.v. Asterie :
"Asterie (Starry) : One of the Alkyonides."
Suidas s.v. Drimo :
"Drimo : One of the Alkyonides."
Suidas s.v. Methone :
"Methone : The city [of that name]. [Also] one of the Alkyonides. Demosthenes in [the] Philippics would seem to be speaking of the one in Thrake (Thrace), during his siege of which Philip lost his right eye."
Suidas s.v. Pallene :
"Pallene : One of the Alkyonides."
Suidas s.v. Phosthonia :
"Phosthonia : Name of one of the Alkyonides."
NAMES OF THE ALCYONIDES
Bloom (anthê) *
Of Methone (town)
Of Pallene, Brandishing (pallô)
Strong Horse (alkê, hippos)
Piercing, Sharp (drimus)
Starry (astêr) *
* Anthê and Asteriê may have been eponyms of the towns Anthemous and Assera in Thrakian Khalkidike (Chalcidice). Their sisters Pallene and Methone were named for places in the region.
- Suidas, The Suda - Byzantine Greek Lexicon C10th A.D.
Other references not currently quoted here: Eustathius on Homer's Odyssey 776.
A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.