PLOUTO (Pluto) was a nymph of Mount Sipylos in Lydia (western Anatolia) who was loved by the god Zeus. She bore him Tantalos who became the first King of Lydia.
FAMILY OF PLUTO
[1.1] HIMAS (Hyginus Fabulae 155)
[1.2] KRONOS or HIMANTES (Scholiast on Euripides Orestes 5, Scholiast on Pindar's Olympian 3.41)
[1.1] TANTALOS (by Zeus) (Pausanias 2.22.3, Antoninus Liberalis 36, Hyginus Fabulae 155, Nonnus Dionysiaca 1.145, Suidas)
PLUTO (Ploutô). A daughter of Cronos or Himantes, became by Zeus or Tmolus, the mother of Tantalus. (Schol. ad Eurip. Or. 5; Paus. ii. 22. § 4; Schol. ad Pind. Ol. iii. 41; Hygin. Fab. 155.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 22. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Tantalos (Tantalus) . . . who legend says was a son of Zeus and Plouto (Pluto)."
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 74. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"Tantalos (Tantalus) was a son of Zeus, and he possessed surpassing wealth (ploutos) and renown."
Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 36 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Tantalos, son of Zeus and Plouto (Pluto)."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 82 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Tantalus, son of Jove [Zeus] and Pluto."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 155 :
"Sons of Jove [Zeus] . . . Tantalus by Pluto, daughter of Himas."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 1. 145 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"Zeus Kronides (Cronides) had hurried to Plouto's (Pluto's) bed, to beget Tantalos (Tantalus), that mad robber of the heavenly cups; and he laid his celestial weapons well hidden with his lightning in a deep cavern. From underground the thunderbolts belched out smoke, the white cliff was blackened; hidden sparks from a fire-barbed arrow heated the watersprings; torrents boiling with foam and steam poured down the Mygdonian gorge, until it boomed again.
Then at a nod from his mother, the Earth [Gaia], Kilikian (Cicilian) Typhoeus stretched out his hands, and stole the snowy tools of Zeus, the tools of fire."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 48. 729 ff :
"The bride of Zeus Berekyntian Plouto (Pluto), so unhappy in the son Tantalos whom she bore."
Suidas s.v. Tantalou talanta talantizetai (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Tantalos is said to be the son of Plouto (Pluto) and Zeus."
Himantes and Tantalos were probably Hellenic versions of King Manes and Atyllos (Atys) of Lydian myth.
Herodotus, Histories 1. 7 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"The kings of this country [Lydia] before Agron, were descendants of Lydos (Lydus), son of Atys, from whom this whole Lydian district got its name; before that it was called the land of the Meii [from Manes]."
Herodotus, Histories 1. 94 :
"In the reign of Atys son of Manes there was great scarcity of food in all Lydia."
Plouto was the daughter of Himantes. In Greek himantes were strips of toughened ox-hide wrapped around the hands and wrists of a boxer.
This may have a Greek attempt to translate the Lydian name Manes who, according to Herodotus, was the first King of Lydian myth. His son Atyllos was probaby the counterpart of the Greek Atlas or Tantalos. The Lydian kingdom was notoriously wealthy hence the Greeks insert Plouto (Wealth) into the royal genealogy.
Nonnus appears to identify Plouto with the Phrygian goddess Kybele (Cybele), attaching the Kybelian epithet Berekyntia to her name. Indeed, Mount Sipylos, the home of Plouto, was a well-known cult centre of Kybele.
One ancient scholiast calls Plouto a daughter of Kronos (Cronus) clearly identifying her with Demeter, the goddess of agricultural prosperity (plouton). Demeter was also sometimes identified by the Greeks with the Asian Kybele.
An Okeanis Nymphe named Plouto also appears in the lists of Hesiod. It is unclear if she was connected with Plouto the mother of Tantalos.
- Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History - Greek History C1st B.C.
- Pausanias, Description of Greece - Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
- Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses - Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.
- Nonnus, Dionysiaca - Greek Epic C5th A.D.
- Suidas, The Suda - Byzantine Greek Lexicon C10th A.D.
Other references not currently quoted here: Scholiast on Euripides Orestes 5, Scholiast on Pindar's Olympian Ode 3.41.
A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.