Greek Mythology >> Greek Gods >> Rustic Gods >> River Gods >> Cephisus (Kephisos)


Greek Name

Κηφισος Κηφισσος


Kêphisos, Kêphissos

Latin Spelling

Cephisus, Cephissus


River Cephisus

KEPHISOS (Cephisus) was a river-god of Argos in the Peloponnese, southern Greece.

The Kephisos stream was a small tributary of the Inakhos (Inachus) river of Argos. Like that river and the Asterion it ran dry in summer. The same river-god may have presided over the Boiotian Kephisos and the two Kephisos streams of Attika




Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 15. 4 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"The oldest tradition in the region now called Argolis is that when Inakhos was king he named the river after himself and sacrificed to Hera. There is also another legend which says that Phoroneos (Phoroneus) was the first inhabitant of this land, and that Inakhos (Inachus), the father of Phoroneos, was not a man but the river. This river, with the rivers Kephisos (Cephisus) and Asterion, judged concerning the land between Poseidon and Hera. They decided that it belonged to Hera, and so Poseidon made their waters disappear. For this reason neither Inakhos nor either of the other rivers I have mentioned provides any water except after rain. In summer their streams are dry except those at Lerna."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 20. 6 :
"[In the town of Argos] is a sanctuary of Kephisos (Cephisos). It is said that the water of this river was not utterly destroyed by Poseidon, but that just in this place, where the sanctuary is, it can be heard flowing under the earth."

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 (Cephisus)."




A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.