In Greek mythology, Cranaus or Kranaos (/ˈkræniəs/;[1] Greek: Κραναός) was the second King of Athens, succeeding Cecrops I.


Cranaus married Pedias, a Spartan woman and daughter of Mynes, with whom he had three daughters: Cranaë ("stony"[2]), Cranaechme ("rocky point"[2]) or Menaechme, and Atthis.[3] Atthis gave her name to Attica after dying, possibly as a young girl,[3][4][5] although in other traditions she was the mother, by Hephaestus, of Erichthonius. Rarus was also given as a son of Cranaus.[6]


Cranaus was supposed to have reigned for either nine or ten years and was an autochthonous (born from the earth), like his predecessor. During his reign the flood of the Deucalion story was thought to have occurred. In some accounts, Deucalion is said to have fled Lycorea to Athens with his sons Hellen and Amphictyon.[7][8] Deucalion died shortly thereafter and was said to have been buried near Athens. Amphictyon is said to have married one of the daughters of Cranaus.

Cranaus was deposed by Amphictyon son of Deucalion, who was himself later deposed by Erichthonius.[9] Cranaus fled to Lamptrae, where he died and was buried. His tomb was still there in the times of Pausanias.[10] Cranaus was venerated as hero in Athens; his priests came from the family Charidae.[11]

The people of Attica were referred to as Kranaoi[12] after Cranaus, and Athens as Kranaa[13] or Kranaai.[14]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Cecrops I
King of Athens Succeeded by


  1. ^ compare Danaus for pronunciation
  2. ^ a b Robert Graves. The Greek Myths (1960)
  3. ^ a b Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 3. 14. 5
  4. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1. 2. 6
  5. ^ Strabo, Geography, 9. 1. 18
  6. ^ Hesychius of Alexandria s. v. Kranaou hyios
  7. ^ Parian Chronicle, 4 - 7
  8. ^ Eusebius, Chronicle, 2, p. 26
  9. ^ Ps.-Apollod. 3. 14. 6
  10. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1. 31. 3
  11. ^ Hesychius of Alexandria s. v. Kharidai
  12. ^ Aristophanes, Birds 123; Herodotus, Histories, 8. 44; Suda s. v. Kranaōn; Aeschylus, Eumenides 993: "children of Cranaus"
  13. ^ Aristophanes, Acharnians, 75; Lysistrata, 481; Stephanus of Byzantium s. v. Kranaē
  14. ^ Pindar, Olympian Ode 7. 82


  • Apollodorus; Gods & Heroes of the Greeks: The Library of Apollodorus, Michael Simpson (translator), The University of Massachusetts Press, (1976). ISBN 0-87023-205-3.
  • Herodotus; Histories, A. D. Godley (translator), Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1920; ISBN 0-674-99133-8. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
  • Pausanias, Description of Greece. W. H. S. Jones (translator). Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. (1918). Vol. 1. Books I–II: ISBN 0-674-99104-4. (Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.)