Ingenious, Of Much Thought (poluphrôn)
POLYPHE was the Okeanid-nymph mother of the goddess Hippeia Athena by Poseidon. "Hippeia Athena" was probably the island-goddess Rhode who was often identified with Athena.
Polyphe's name means "Of Much Thought" from the Greek word polyphê. It is quite similar to Metis "Of Good Counsel", Athena's usual mother.
Polyphe resembles several other water-nymph described as the mother of Athena:--the Okeanis Metis by Zeus (parents of the Olympian Athena), Halia by Poseidon (parents of the Rhodian Athena), and Tritonis by Poseidon or Triton (parents of the Libyan Athena).
OKEANOS (Suidas s.v. Hippeia Athena)
ATHENA (by Poseidon) (Suidas s.v. Hippeia Athena)
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
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 (Oceanus); 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 (Telchines) 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 actually Rhode--patron goddess of the island of Rhodes. This is probably the Hippeia Athena described by Suidas above.]
- Strabo, Geography - Greek Geography C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
- Suidas, The Suda - Byzantine Greek Lexicon C10th A.D.
A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.