Alcyone and Ceyx

Alcyone and Ceyx

Alcyone and Ceyx (in ancient Greek Ἀλκυόνη καὶ Κήϋξ / Alkyónē kaì Kḗÿx) are a famous couple from Greek mythology.


Céyx, son of Éosphoros (the Morning Star), is king of Trachis in Thessaly. His wife Alcyone passes, according to the authors, either for the daughter of Aeolus master of the Winds, or for the daughter of Aeolus son of Hellen.

Céyx receives Heracles who flees Eurystheus. The hero thanks him by helping him to chase the Dryopes from his kingdom. One of Céyx's sons, Hippase, is killed during the expedition led by Héraclès against king Eurytos.

Céyx becomes the guardian of Heracles' children after his death. He entrusts them to Theseus, to protect them from the hatred of Eurystheus. Ceyx also shelters Peleus, exiled from Aegina for the murder of Phocos.

There are two versions of the legend of Alcyone and Ceyx:

Céyx goes to Claros to consult an oracle, but he drowns during the crossing. Warned by Morpheus of the death of her husband, Alcyone goes in search of his body and ends up finding him. Pitying her grief, the gods transformed the couple into kingfishers. This version explains the fact that a period of calm at sea is known as "Alcyonic days".

Caught up in vanity, the couple dared to assimilate themselves to Zeus and Hera. For this sacrilege, Alcyone was transformed into an alkyon (kingfisher) and Ceyx into a gannet or a gull.

The alkyon of the pseudo-Platon

In the pseudo-Platonist dialogue also attributed to Lucien of Samosate, Alcyone has gone around the world to find Ceyx and she is transformed by the gods as a reward for her love.


The episode 29 of La petite Olympe et les dieux (Le rêve d'Alcyone) is devoted to the myth of the couple.