In Greek mythology, Cepheus (/ˈsfiəs, -fjs/; Ancient Greek: Κηφεύς Kephéus) was the successor of his father Aleus as the king of Tegea, Arcadia. He and his brother Amphidamas are counted among the Argonauts.[1][2][3]



Cepheus' mother was named as Neaera or Cleobule, and he was the brother of Amphidamas, Lycurgus of Arcadia, Auge and Alcidice. Cepheus had twenty sons, one of whom was named Aeropus,[4] and at least three daughters, Sterope,[5] Aerope[6] and Antinoe.[7]


Cepheus and his sons joined Heracles in his campaign against Hippocoon, while Sterope was given by Heracles a lock of Medusa to protect Tegea in the absence of men. According to various authors, Cepheus lost either all or seventeen of his sons, and himself was killed in that campaign.[8][9]

The city of Caphyae was believed to have received its name from Cepheus.[10] Cepheus was said to be the founder of the town of Kyrenia in Cyprus.[11]


  1. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1.9.16
  2. ^ Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1.161
  3. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 14
  4. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.5.1.
  5. ^ Also known as Asterope (Suda s. v. πλόκιον Γοργάδος). The fluctuation is the same as in the case of Sterope (Pleiad)
  6. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 8.44.7
  7. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 8.8.4
  8. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2.7.3
  9. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 4.33.5
  10. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 8.23.3
  11. ^ Hill (2010), p. 87.


  • Gaius Julius Hyginus, Fabulae from The Myths of Hyginus translated and edited by Mary Grant. University of Kansas Publications in Humanistic Studies. Online version at the Topos Text Project.
  • Hill, George, A History of Cyprus, Volume 1, Cambridge University Press, 2010. ISBN 9781108020626.
  • Pausanias, Description of Greece with an English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., and H.A. Ormerod, M.A., in 4 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1918. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library
  • Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio. 3 vols. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
  • Pseudo-Apollodorus, The Library with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F.B.A., F.R.S. in 2 Volumes, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same website.