Greek Mythology

Procris was the wife of Cephalus (a grandson of Aeolus). They were very much in love, but one morning, the goddess Eos saw Cephalus and tried to seduce him. Cephalus spurned her advances, saying that he could only love Procris. Eos was enraged by his words, and she asked Cephalus if he thought Procris was as faithful to him as he was to her; Cephalus answered that yes, Procris was a faithful and loving wife. Eos told Cephalus to disguise himself as a stranger to test Procris' loyalty (some accounts say that Eos actually transformed Cephalus into a handsome stranger). Cephalus went to Procris, disguised, and presented her with gifts and promises of love. Procris gave in to the stranger's charms and allowed him to make love to her, at which point, Cephalus revealed his true self. Procris, out of shame or anger, fled from Cephalus, falling in with Artemis the huntress.

Some accounts of this myth say that Procris and Cephalus were reunited before her death, while others say that they remained apart. In either case, one day while hunting, Cephalus threw a spear at what he believed was an animal behind a bush. However, his target turned out to be Procris, who was pierced through the heart.

E2 Dictionary of Classical Mythology

Pro"cris (?) n. [L., the wife of Cephalus, Gr. .] Zool.

Any species of small moths of the genus Procris. The larvae of some species injure the grapevine by feeding in groups upon the leaves.


© Webster 1913.

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