Greek Mythology >> Greek Gods >> Rustic Gods >> River Gods >> Ladon


Greek Name




Latin Spelling



River Ladon

River-god Ladon and Naiad Psanis | Greco-Roman mosaic from Daphne | Hatay Archeology Museum, Antakya
River-god Ladon and Naiad Psanis, Greco-Roman mosaic from Daphne, Hatay Archeology Museum

LADON was a river-god of Arkadia in the Peloponnese, southern Greece.

The Ladon was a tributary of the Alpheios (Alpheus) River. Its headwaters were located on Mount Kyllene (Cyllene) in north-eastern Arkadia and, flowing the length of the country, it merged with the Alpheios near the Eleian border.


[1] OKEANOS & TETHYS (Hesiod Theogony 337)


[1] METOPE (Apollodorus 3.156)
[2] DAPHNE (Pausanias 10.7.8, Philostratus Life of Apollonius of Tyana 1.16, Statius Thebaid 4.289. Nonnus Dionysiaca 42.386)
[3] THELPOUSA, THEMIS (Pausanias 8.52.2, 8.42.2)
[4] SYRINX, THE LADONIDES (Ovid Metamorphoses 1.689)


LADON (Ladôn). A river god of Arcadia, is described as a son of Oceanus and Thetys, and as the husband of Stymphalis, by whom he became the father of Daphne and Metope. (Hes. Theog. 344; Schol. ad Pind. Ol. vi. 143; Diod. iv. 72 Paus. viii. 20. § 1, x. 7, in fin.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


Hesiod, Theogony 337 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) :
"Tethys bore to Okeanos (Oceanus) the swirling Potamoi (Rivers) . . . great Sangarios, and Ladon, and Parthenios [in a list of rivers]."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 156 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Metope, herself a daughter of the river Ladon, married him [the River Asopos] and bore two sons, Ismenos and Pelagon, and twenty daughters."

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 72. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"Asopos (Asopus) made his home in Phlios (Phlius), where he married Metope, the daughter of Ladon, to whom were born two sons, Pelasgos and Ismenos, and twelve daughters."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 20. 2 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"The Ladon [of Arkadia] is the most lovely river in Greece, and is also famous for the legend of Daphne that the poets tell."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 25. 2 :
"[The town of Thelpousa (Thelpusa) in Arkadia] was named after Thelpousa, a Nymphe, and that she was a daughter of Ladon."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 7. 8 :
"Apollon fell in love with the daughter of Ladon [i.e. Daphne]."

Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 1. 16 (trans. Conybeare) (Greek biography C1st to 2nd A.D.) :
"[In Antiokhos (Antioch) in Asia Minor is] the temple of Apollon Daphnaios (Daphnaeus), to which the Assyrians attach the legend of Arkadia (Arcadia). For they say that Daphne, the daughter of Ladon, there underwent her metamorphosis, and they have a river flowing there, the Ladon, and a laurel tree is worshipped by them which they say was substituted for the maiden."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 1. 689 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"The Nympha [Syrinx] fled through the wilderness and came at last to Ladon's peaceful sandy stream, and there, her flight barred by the river, begged her Watery Sisters (Sorores Liquidae) to change her."

Statius, Thebaid 4. 289 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"Ladon, almost, O Pythian [Apollon], the father of thy bride [Daphne]."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 42. 386 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"The daughter [Daphne] of Ladon, that celebrated river, hated the works of marriage and the Nymphe became a tree."





A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.