The myth of Ixion


As I can remember, and learning Greek Mythology by Al (he was my teacher in every stuff), Prometheus was the one who got the punishment by being hanged on the mountain Caucasus, because of bringing fire to human, and his liver being eaten by an eagle.

The ancient Greek myth of Titan Prometheus and his punishment for deceiving Zeus and protecting mankind is known to most members of the scientific community who study hepatic diseases!!, Mainly because Prometheus’ liver was the target of torture. However, the myth of Prometheus is known and cherished by many, because, according to one version, Prometheus created the first man. The ancient poet Hesiod (8th century BC)  records that Prometheus twice tricked the gods. First, he offered mortals the best meat from a slaughtered cow and gave the fat and bones to the gods. Then, when an infuriated Zeus punished man by taking fire, Prometheus stole it back for mankind. Accordingly, Zeus punished him in two ways. First, Prometheus was bound on the mountain Caucasus. More explicitly, for students of the liver, an eagle fed from his liver each day, but the liver regenerated overnight. Secondly, Zeus sent Pandora to the world where she released all hitherto unknown evils to humans.

And after I saw the name Ixion in this post down there, I have searched for it because I haven’t heard of his name: Ixion.
But there was another name which I never heard as well: Tityus. Who was the son of Elara; his father was Zeus. Zeus hid Elara from his wife, Hera, by placing her deep beneath the earth. Tityos grew so large that he split his mother’s womb, and he was carried to term by Gaia, the Earth. Once grown, Tityos attempted to rape Leto at the behest of Hera. He was slain by Leto’s protective children Artemis and Apollo. As punishment, he was stretched out in Tartarus and tortured by two vultures who fed on his liver, which grew back every night. This punishment is comparable to that of the Titan Prometheus.

While Prometheus is well recognised, less is known about another figure in legends who received the same punishment and whose myth could also be used by modern hepatologists as an ancient example of the phenomenon of liver regeneration. According to Greek mythology, Tityus (Τιτυóς or Τιτυ´ας in Greek), son of Zeus and Elara, was a gigantic chthonic being, living in Phocis and Euboea. When Elara became pregnant by Zeus, he hid her deep in the earth so that his wife Hera would not learn of this. There Elara gave birth to Tityus, who was nursed by Gaia (goddess of earth) and grew to enormous proportions. Tityus was so large that his body was said to cover nine acres. In another version of the myth, Tityus was gigantic even as a fetus and, because he ruptured his mother’s womb, he had to be carried to term by Gaia herself; most likely making her the first surrogate mother in human “myth-history”. When Tityus grew up he made the mistake of assaulting goddess Leto, mother of Apollo, the god of light, and of Artemis, Goddess of hunting. Specifically, when Leto was traveling from Panopeus in Phocis on her way to Delphi, Tityus attempted to rape her, possibly encouraged by Hera. Leto cried out to her children who immediately came to her rescue and tried to kill the giant with their arrows. Tityus, however, was immortal but could be punished by Zeus who had him bound in Hades, the ancient kingdom of the Dead, where two vultures were fed on his liver which, as in the Prometheus legend, regenerated perpetuating the torture eternally. More here

Ixion in Hades geworfen, 1876
(Ixion Thrown into Hades, 1876 )
Jules Elie Delaunay

Now, as the punishments all belong to the human’s life, we can understand it well, but let’s learn thereabout a little more by Greek Mythology, what else. I would say!

Punishment of Ixion.
Fresco of the Fourth style. 60—79 CE.
Pompeii, Archaeological Park, House of the Vettii (VI. 15. 1. p)
(Pompei, Parco Archeologico, Casa dei Vettii (VI. 15. 1. p)).

Ixion was the son of Ares, or Leonteus, or Antion and Perimele, or the notorious evildoer Phlegyas, whose name connotes “fiery”.Peirithoös was his son (or stepson, if Zeus were his father, as Zeus claims to Hera in Iliad 14). Wikipedia

Now, as the punishments all belong to the human’s life, we can understand it well, but let’s learn thereabout a little more by Greek Mythology, what else. I would say! With, as always, a great thank, to http://SearchingTheMeaningOfLife

By SearchingTheMeaningOfLife

In Greek mythology, Ixion (Ixionas) was one of the Lapiths, king of Thessaly (probably based in Iolkos) and son of Flegias. His son was Peirithus. He married Zeus, daughter of Dionysus or Dionas, son of Aeolus, king of Phocis. He promised his father-in-law a valuable gift, but he broke his promise. In retaliation, Dionysus stole some of Ixion’s horses. The latter hid his anger and invited his father-in-law to a festive dinner in Larissa.

As soon as Dionysus arrived, Ixion killed him, pushing him into the fire. Ixion violated the sanctity law of hospitality for the Greeks with this horrible act, whose patron was Xenios Zeus. Neighbouring lords, offended, refused to offer him asylum or perform rituals that would allow him to be cleared of his guilt. Since then, Ixionas was outlawed, lived as waste and was avoided by everyone. By killing his father-in-law, he became the first person in Greek mythology to kill a relative. The punishment that followed was terrible.

Once, Ixionas, to escape from his persecutors, took refuge in a temple of Zeus. He took pity on Ixion for the situation and brought him to Olympus with him.

So! Ixionas, from one moment to the next, was among the 12 Gods of Olympus who received immortality by eating their divine food, ambrosia, and drinking nectar and lived among them. He soon began to desire Hera, the queen of the other gods and the protector of marriage. At first, Hera tried to repel him discreetly, but soon the aspirations of Ixion became apparent to the other Gods, even to Zeus. For this reason, he called to him a nymph of heaven, Nefeli, and gave her the form of Hera. So, Ixion, falling into this delusion, united with Nefeli and from this union, the first Centaur was born. However, outraged by the filth and disrespect shown to him by Ixion, Zeus inflicted a terrible eternal torment on him, since he too could not die after he had become immortal.

Ixionas was struck by lightning and expelled from Olympus. Jupiter ordered Mercury to tie Ixion to a wheel. Thus bound, Ixion wanders eternally in Tartarus.

The instrument of Ixion’s punishment, the wheel, is rarely described. According to the Commentator on the “Phoenicians” of Euripides (1185), the wheel consisted of flaming rays. Apollonius of Rhodes (3,62) states that Ixion was held in the wheel by bronze shackles, and according to Virgil (Agricultural 3, 38 and Myth. Vat. I 14, II 106) by snakes. Also again according to Virgil (Agricultural 4, 484), the wheel with Ixion was chased by two snakes. Concerning perhaps the first crime: as the punishment for harassing Hera, was the perpetual moving wheel.

source: /

13 thoughts on “The myth of Ixion

  1. That was fascinating and informative.
    I’ve learned a lot about mythology over the last few years. However, I am far from competent in remembering everything, to the point of retelling.
    Honestly, I had never heard of Ixion until now. So, this is most interesting.
    I know the most about Athena, Mnemosyne and Artemis.
    That is because I made Art Gowns about them.

    I think I found a garage door with art about Dionysus. I’ll try to post it soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh my goodness, dearest Lara, please don’t send me so high in the sky. My wings might be burned by Sun, like Icarus! 😂😂Jokes aside, I thank you so much for giving me such inspiration, but I think we are all unknowing humans, and there is still a lot to learn. 🙏🤗💖💖

      Liked by 1 person

  2. elainemansfield

    I didn’t know the details of this myth, but like many mythologies from Greece, Egypt, India, and other places, I’m reminded how violence is always part of the human and divine condition. That’s a sobering thought. Thank you, Aladin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thank you too, my dear Elaine, always, for your wise comments. I am happy to discover something new from the great Greek Mythology. And indeed, we could permanently be surprised how humans could be. 🙏💖

      Liked by 1 person

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