World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000079908
Reproduction Date:

Title: Coeus  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Greek mythology, Leto, Rhea (mythology), Cronus, Titan (mythology)
Collection: Greek Gods, Greek Mythology, Offspring of Gaia, Titans
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


In Greek mythology, Coeus (Ancient Greek: Κοῖος, Koios, "query, questioning") was one of the Titans, the giant sons and daughters of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth). His equivalent in Latin poetry—though he scarcely makes an appearance in Roman mythology[1]—was Polus,[2] the embodiment of the celestial axis around which the heavens revolve. The etymology of Coeus' name provided several scholars the theory that Coeus was also the Titan god of intellect, who represented the inquisitive mind.

Like most of the Titans he played no active part in Greek religion—he appears only in lists of Titans[3]—but was primarily important for his descendants.[4] With his sister, "shining" Phoebe, Coeus fathered Leto[5] and Asteria.[6] Though it is not explicitly mentioned, Lelantos was implied to be a son of Coeus, or at least Leto's male counterpart. Leto copulated with Zeus (the son of fellow Titans Cronus and Rhea) and bore Artemis and Apollo.

Given that Phoebe symbolized prophetic wisdom just as Coeus represented rational intelligence, the couple may have possibly functioned together as the primal font of all knowledge in the cosmos. Along with the other Titans, Coeus was overthrown by Zeus and the other Olympians in the Titanomachy. Afterwards, he and all his brothers were imprisoned in Tartarus by Zeus. Coeus, later overcome with madness, broke free from his bonds and attempted to escape his imprisonment, but was repelled by Cerberus. [7]


  1. ^ Ovid in Metamorphoses (VI.185) alludes to Coeus' obscure nature: "Latona, that Titaness whom Coeus sired, whoever he may be." (nescio quoque audete satam Titanida Coeo): M. L. West, in "Hesiod's Titans" (The Journal of Hellenic Studies 105 [1985:174–175]) remarks that Phoibe's "consort Koios is an even more obscure quantity. Perhaps he too had originally to with Delphic divination", and he suspects that Phoebe, Koios and Themis were Delphic additions to the list of Titanes, drawn from various archaic sources.
  2. ^ Specifically in the surviving epitome of Hyginus' Preface to the Fabulae; the name of Coeus is repeated in the list of Gigantes.
  3. ^ Such as Hesiod, Theogony 133; Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke 1.2–1.3; Diodorus Siculus, 5.66.1.
  4. ^ Hesiod included among his descendents Hekate, daughter of Asteriē, as Apostolos N. Athanassakis, noted, correcting the OCD, noted (Athanassakis, "Hekate Is Not the Daughter of Koios and Phoibe" The Classical World 71.2 [October 1977:127]); R. Renehan expanded the note in "Hekate, H. J. Rose, and C. M. Bowra", The Classical World, 73.5 (February 1980:302–304).
  5. ^ Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, 61; in the Orphic Hymn to Leto she is Leto Koiantes, "Leto, daughter of Koios".
  6. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 404 ff; Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke 1.8.
  7. ^ Valerius Flaccus, "Argonautica" 3. 224 ff


  • Historiae Romanorum: Coeus
  • Stewart, Michael. "People, Places & Things: Coeus", Greek Mythology: From the Iliad to the Fall of the Last Tyrant.

External links

  • Theoi Project: Koios
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.