A son of Deucalion and Pyrrha, or, according to others, a son of Zeus and Dorippe,1 or of Prometheus and Clymene, and a brother of Deucalion.2 By the nymph Orseis, that is, the mountain nymph, he became the father of Aeolus, Dorus, and Xuthus, to whom some add Amphictyon.

Hellen, according to tradition, was king of Phthia in Thessaly, i.e. the country between the rivers Peneius and Asopus, and this kingdom he left to Aeolus. Hellen is the mythical ancestor of all the Hellenes or Greeks, in contradistinction from the more ancient Pelasgians. The name of Hellenes was at first confined to a tribe inhabiting a part of Thessaly, but subsequently it was extended to the whole Greek nation.

Hellen's sons became the ancestors of the four main divisions of Greeks: the Aeolians, after Aeolus; the Dorians, after Dorus, and the Ionians and Achaeans, through the sons of Xuthus: Ion and Achaeus.



  1. Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 7.2; Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, i, 118; Eustathius on Homer, p. 1644.
  2. Scholiast on Pindar's Olympian Odes ix, 68.


  • Herodotus. Histories i, 56.
  • Homer. Iliad ii, 684.
  • Pausanias. Description of Greece iii, 20.6.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
  • Strabo. Geography viii, p. 383.
  • Thucydides, i, 3.

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