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Of Sinope (town)

SINOPE was the Naiad-nymph of the main fountain or spring of the Greek colony of Sinope in Pontus or Assyria on the Black Sea (north-central Anatolia). She was a daughter of the Greek river-god Asopos who was abducted to the region by Zeus. Sinope outwitted three gods--Zeus, Apollon and Halys--and preserved her virginity.


[1.1] ASOPOS (Corinna Frag 654, Bacchylides Frag 9, Apollonius Rhodius 2.944)
[1.2] ASOPOS & METOPE (Diodorus Siculus 4.72.1-5)


[1.1] SYROS (by Apollon) (Diodorus Siculus 4.72.1-5)


SINO′PE (Sinôpê), a daughter of Asopus by Metope, or of Ares by Aegiua or Parnassa. Apollo carried her off from Boeotia, and conveyed her to Paphlagonia on the Euxine, where she gave birth to Syrus, and where the town of Sinope was named after her. (Diod. iv. 72; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. ii. 946.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


Corinna, Fragment 654 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (C5th B.C.) :
"Of these nine daughters [of Asopos] . . . Leto's son [Apollon] is in possession of Sinope and Thespia."

Bacchylides, Fragment 9 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (C5th B.C.) :
"The bright-belted daughters [of Asopos] whom gods settled with happy fortunes as founders of invoilate cities. Who does not know of the well-built town of . . . fair-robed Sinope."

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 2. 944 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
"The Assyrian coast [i.e. Pontos on the Black Sea], where Zeus himself had once given a home to Sinope daughter of Asopos, granting her the boon of virginity. He was trapped by his own promise. In his passion for the girl he had solemnly sworn to fulfil her dearest wish, whatever that might be; and she very cleverly had said, ‘I wish to remain a virgin.’ By the same ruse the outwitted Apollon when he made lover to her; and the River-God Halys as well. Men fared no better than the gods; this woman never was possessed by any lover."

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 72. 1-5 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"Asopos made his home in Phlios (Phlius) [Sikyonia], where he married Metope, the daughter of Ladon, to whom were born two sons, Pelasgos and Ismenos, and twelve daughters, Korkyra (Corcyra) and Salamis, also Aigina (Aegina), Peirene, and Kleone (Cleone), then Thebe, Tanagra, Thespeia, and Asopis, also Sinope, and finally Ornia and Khalkis (Chalcis) . . .
Sinope, was seized by Apollon and carried off to the place where now stands the city of Sinope, which was named after her, and to her and Apollon was born a son Syros (Syrus), who became king of the Syrians, who were named after him."

Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 5. 109 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"Embosoming Assyrian bays stands rich Sinope [a city on the southern shores of the Black Sea], once a Nympha and onw who mocked Jove's [Zeus'] ardent wooing, unmoved by heavenly suitors; not Halys [the local river-god] only or Apollo were deceived by the trickery of the Nympha they loved."





Other references not currently quoted here: Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius 2.964.


A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.