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Βυβλις

By her father Miletus Byblis was the great-granddaughter of Minos (see Acacallis) or, in some versions of the story, his granddaughter (Table 28). There are a number of conflicting traditions about her mother's name. Sometimes it is said to have been Cyane, daughter of Meandra, sometimes Tragasia, daughter of Celaeno, or again Idothea, the daughter of the king Eurytus. She had a twin brother named Caunus, and she loved him with a guilty passion. Filled with horror for his sister, Caunus fled from Miletus, his birthplace, and went to found the town of Caunus in Caria. Babylis, overcome with grief, went mad and wandered over the whole of Asia Minor. Just as she was about to cast herself from the summit of a rock and thus put an end to both her misery and her life, the Nymphs, who pitied her, turned her into an inexhaustible stream, like the girl's own tears.

There is another contrasting tradition: according to this Caunus conceived a guilty passion for his sister, and this was the reason why he fled from his father's house and why Byblis hung herself. Her name was given to two towns in memory of her, namely Byblis in Caria and Byblos in Phoenicia.

{E2 DICTIONARY OF CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY}

Table of Sources
- Nonnus, Dion. 13, 518ff.
- Parthen. Erot. Path. 11
- Antoninus Liberalis, Met. 9
- Ovid, Met. 9, 451ff.
- Conon, Narr. 2
- schol. on Theocr. 7, 115
- Paus. 8, 5, 10
- Steph. Byz. s.v. Καυνος.

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