A daughter of the Titan Coeus (according to Hyginus1 of Polus) and Phoebe. She was the sister of Leto, and, according to Hesiod,1 the wife of Perses, by whom she became the mother of Hecate. Cicero3 makes her the mother of the fourth Heracles by Zeus. But according to the genuine and more general tradition, she was an inhabitant of Olympus and beloved by Zeus. In order to escape from his embraces, she got metamorphosed into a quail (ὄρτυξ), threw herself into the sea, and was here metamorphosed into the island Asteria (the island which had fallen from heaven like a star), or Ortygia, afterwards called Delos.4



  1. Fabulae: Preface.
  2. Theogony, 409.
  3. On the Nature of the Gods iii, 16.
  4. Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 2.2, 4.1; Athenaeus, ix, 392; Hyginus. Fabulae, 53; Callimachus. Hymn to Delos, 37; Servius on Virgil's Aeneid iii, 73.


  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.