Taenarus (mythology)


In Greek mythology, Taenarus (Ancient Greek: Ταίναρος) was the eponym of Cape Taenarum, Mount Taenarum and the city Taenarus at Peloponnese. In different accounts, he is given as:

  • Taenarus, son of Zeus and brother of Calabrus and Geraestus. The three brothers were said to have sailed to Peloponnese and to have seized a portion of land there, where Taenarus founded a sanctuary of Poseidon known as "Taenarum".[1]
  • Taenarus, son of Poseidon.[2]
  • Taenarus, son of Elatus, himself son of Icarius, and Erymede, daughter of Damasiclus; was said to have had the city, the mountain, and the harbor named after him.[3] Stephanus (who writes of him as a son rather than a grandson of Icarius) considers him to be a figure distinct from Taenarus, son of Zeus.[1]

Taenaran gateway: Taenarus, at the tip of the middle peninsula at the south of Peloponnese, was a conventional entrance to the underworld.[4]


  1. ^ a b Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Tainaros
  2. ^ Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, 1.179
  3. ^ Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, 1.102, also quoted in Stephanus of Byzantium
  4. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 10.13


  • Publius Ovidius Naso, Metamorphoses translated by Brookes More (1859-1942). Boston, Cornhill Publishing Co. 1922. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
  • Publius Ovidius Naso, Metamorphoses. Hugo Magnus. Gotha (Germany). Friedr. Andr. Perthes. 1892. Latin text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
  • Stephanus of Byzantium, Stephani Byzantii Ethnicorum quae supersunt, edited by August Meineike (1790-1870), published 1849. A few entries from this important ancient handbook of place names have been translated by Brady Kiesling. Online version at the Topos Text Project.
This article includes a list of Greek mythological figures with the same or similar names. If an internal link for a specific Greek mythology article referred you to this page, you may wish to change the link to point directly to the intended Greek mythology article, if one exists.