"river of hate." Connected with the verb στυγέω (stygeō), to hate or abhor, is the name of the principal river in the nether world, around which it flows seven times.1
Styx is described as a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys,2 and as a nymph she dwelt at the entrance of Hades, in a lofty grotto which was supported by silver columns.3 As a river Styx is described as a branch of Oceanus, flowing from its tenth source,4 and the river Cocytus again is a branch of the Styx.5
By Pallas Styx became the mother of Zelus (zeal), Nike (victory), Bia (strength), and Cratos (power). She was the first of all the immortals that took her children to Zeus, to assist him against the Titans; and, in return for this, her children were allowed for ever to live with Zeus, and Styx herself became the divinity by whom the most solemn oaths were sworn.6 When one of the gods was to take an oath by Styx, Iris fetched a cup full of water from the Styx, and the god, while taking the oath, poured out the water.7
Zeus became by her the father of Persephone,8 and Peiras the father of Echidna.9
- Homer. Iliad ii, 755; viii, 369; xiv, 271; Virgil. Georgics iv, 480, Aeneid vi, 439.
- Hesiod. Theogony, 361; Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 2.2; Callimachus. Hymn to Zeus, 36.
- Hesiod. Theogony, 778.
- ibid., 789.
- Homer. Odyssey x, 511.
- Hesiod. Theogony, 383; Homer. Odyssey v, 185; xv, 37; Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 2.5; Apollonius Rhodius. Argonautica ii, 191; Virgil. Aeneid vi, 324; xii, 816; Ovid. Metamorphoses iii, 290; Silius Italicus, xiii, 568.
- Hesiod. Theogony, 775.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 3.1.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece viii, 18.1.
- 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.