Occurs as a surname of several gods.

  1. Of Zeus, who is described by it as the god who descends in thunder and lightning. Under this name he had an altar at Olympia.1 Places which had been struck by lightning, i.e. on which Zeus Cataebates had descended, were sacred to him.2
  2. Of Acheron, being the first river to which the shades descended in the lower world.
  3. Of Apollo, who was invoked by this name to grant a happy return home (κατάβασις) to those who were traveling abroad.3
  4. Of Hermes, who conducted the shades into Hades.4



  1. Pausanias. Description of Greece v, 14.8; Lycophron, 1370.
  2. Pollux, ix, 41; Suides and Hesychius, s.v.
  3. Euripides. Bacchae, 1358; Scholiast on Euripides' Phoenician Women, 1416.
  4. Scholiast on Aristophanes' Peace, 649.


  • 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.