A son of Apollo by Thyria or Hyria, the daughter of Amphinomus. He was a handsome hunter, living in the district between Pleuron and Calydon, and although beloved by many, repulsed all his lovers, and only one, Phyllius, persevered in his love. Cycnus at last imposed upon him three labors, viz. to kill a lion without weapons, to catch alive some monstrous vultures which devoured men, and with his own hand to lead a bull to the altar of Zeus.

Phyllius accomplished these tasks, but as, in accordance with a request of Heracles, he refused giving to Phyllius a bull which he had received as a prize, Cycnus was exasperated at the refusal, and leaped into lake Canope, which was henceforth called after him the Cycnean lake. His mother Thyria followed him, and both were metamorphosed by Apollo into swans.

Ovid, who relates the same story, makes the Cycnean lake arise from Hyria melting away in tears at the death of her son.



  • Antoninus Liberalis, 12.
  • Ovid. Metamorphoses vii, 350-403.
  • 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.