In Greek mythology, Phoenix or Phoinix (Ancient Greek: Φοῖνιξ Phoinix, gen.: Φοίνικος means "sun-red") is the eponym of Phoenicia who together with his brothers were tasked to find their abducted sister Europa.

Phoenix-Agenor filius.jpg
Phoenix from Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum
Personal information
ConsortCassiopeia, Alphesiboea
ChildrenCarme, Cilix, Phineus, Doryclus, Adonis
ParentsAgenor and Telephassa
SiblingsCadmus, Cilix, Europa


Phoenix was a son of Agenor by either Telephassa, Argiope,[1] or Damno[2] and brother of Cadmus, Cilix, and Europa.[1][3] He was believed to have fathered a number of children with different women. By Cassiopeia, Phoenix had a daughter Carme[4] and three sons: Cilix, Phineus, and Doryclus[citation needed], as well as a stepson Atymnius, whose natural father was Zeus;[5] by Alphesiboea, he had Adonis.[6] He was also credited as the father of Cepheus, king of Ethiopia and husband of another Cassiopeia.[7]

According to the Iliad, Europa was not Phoenix's sister, but his daughter,[8] while Cadmus was identified as his son.[9] Europa is otherwise called one of his two daughters by Perimede, daughter of Oeneus, the other one being Astypalaea;[10] she is also included on the list of his children by Telephe, her siblings in this case being Peirus, Phoenice, and Astypale (apparently identical to the aforementioned Astypalaea).[11] Telephe, daughter of Epimedusa, is probably the same as Telephassa, whom Moschus[12] calls wife and not the mother of Phoenix.

Comparative table of Phoenix' family
Relation Names Sources
Hes. Hom. Sch. Ili. Pher. Hella. Bac. Sch. on Eur. Mosc. Con. Apollod. Hyg. Pau. Anton. Non. Tzet.
Parents Agenor and Damno
Agenor and Telephassa
Agenor and Argiope
Wife Cassiopeia
Children Europa [13] [13] [14]


When Europa was carried off by Zeus, her three brothers were sent out by Agenor to find her, but the search was unsuccessful. Phoenix eventually settled in a country in Asia which he named Phoenicia after himself.[3][15]

Argive family treeEdit


  1. ^ a b Hyginus. Fabulae, 6 & 178
  2. ^ Gantz, p. 208; Pherecydes fr. 21 Fowler 2001, p. 289 = FGrHist 3 F 21 = Scholia on Apollonius RhodiusArgonautica 3.1177-87f.
  3. ^ a b Pseudo-Apollodorus. Bibliotheca, 3.1.1
  4. ^ Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses, 40
  5. ^ Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 2. 178
  6. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 3. 14. 4
  7. ^ Hyginus. Astronomica, 2.9.1
  8. ^ Homer, Iliad, 14. 321
  9. ^ Scholia on Homer, Iliad B, 494, p. 80, 43 ed. Bekk. as cited in Hellanicus' Boeotica
  10. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7. 4. 1
  11. ^ Scholia on Euripides, Phoenician Women, 5
  12. ^ Moschus, Idylls, 2. 42
  13. ^ a b Though Europa was unnamed in this text, she was definitely the daughter of Phoenix who coupled with Zeus.
  14. ^ Europa's mother was not named by Apollodorus, if her father was Phoenix.
  15. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae, 178