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Cinyras 1

Smyrna, already turned into a tree, gives birth to Cinyras 1's son Adonis. 4730: Marcantonio Franceschini 1648-1729: Die Geburt des Adonis, gegen 1700. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden.

Prosperous king of Cyprus

Cinyras 1 came to Cyprus and founded Paphos where he reigned prosperously, although he is also remembered as king of Assyria, and as founder of the city of Smyrna, which he named after his daughter. His wealth became proverbial, for he could be name in contexts like this:

"... though he be richer even than Cinyras or Midas, if he be unjust, he is a wretched man and lives a miserable life." (Plato, Laws 660e).

Cinyras 1's promise

At the time of the Trojan War, Cinyras 1 was visited by Menelaus, Odysseus, and the herald Talthybius. Coming to Cyprus, this trio tried to persuade him to join the allies. It was then that Cinyras 1 made a present of a corselet to be sent to Agamemnon, swearing that he would send fifty ships against Troy. However, he is remembered for having sent only one, which was commanded by the son of Mygdalion (otherwise unknown); the rest he moulded out of earth, launching them into the sea. In this strange manner he fulfilled his promise, which many would consider a mockery, but the reason could be that at the time, Dido's father King Belus 2 was attacking Cyprus, perhaps forcing Cinyras 1 to keep all his military resources at home.

Incest, Death, and Oracle

Cinyras 1 is said to have consorted with his daughter Smyrna (see Adonis), killing himself when he realised what he had done. But concerning his son Adonis (if he was indeed his father, and whoever Adonis' mother was), Cinyras 1 once received an oracle that read:

"O Cinyras, king of the Cyprians ... the son that is born to you is fairest and most admirable of all men, yet two divinities shall destroy him." (Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 10.457).

For they say that besides Aphrodite, also Dionysus 2 was in love with him.

Another with identical name: Cinyras 2 was an ally of Aeneas in Italy, and leader of the Ligurians (Vir.Aen.10.185).



Mates (three versions)



Sandocus & Pharnace

unknown & Paphos

Sandocus migrated from Syria to Cilicia in southern Asia Minor, where he founded a city Celenderis. Sandocus was son of Antynous 1, son of Phaethon 1, who was ravished by Aphrodite.
Pharnace was daughter of Megassares, king of Hyria, perhaps the Hyria in Boeotia.
Paphos was daughter of Pygmalion 1

a) Metharme

Metharme is daughter of Pygmalion 1.




Orsedice, Braesia, and Laogore were induced by Aphrodite's wrath to become prostitutes. They cohabited with foreigners and died in Egypt.



Laodice 1

Laodice 1 married King Elatus 2 of Arcadia; their children are: Stymphalus 1, Pereus, Ischys, Aepytus 3, and Cyllen.

b) Smyrna

For Smyrna see Adonis.

c) Cenchreis


Cenchreis boasted that her daughter Smyrna excelled Aphrodite in beauty. That is why Aphrodite, punishing Cenchreis, made Smyrna to fall in love with his own father (who some say it was Thias and not Cinyras 1).

Genealogical Charts

Names in this chart: Actaeus 1, Admete 2, Adonis, Agapenor, Aglaurus 1, Aleus, Alexander 2, Amphidamas 1, Ancaeus 1, Antimache, Aphrodite, Arcas 1, Astynous 1, Atalanta, Auge 2, Braesia, Callisto, Cecrops 1, Cephalus 2, Cepheus 2, Cinyras 1, Cleophyle, Clymene 3, Elatus 2, Eos, Epochus, Eurybius 2, Eurypylus 6, Eurystheus, Everes 2, Heracles 1, Hermes, Herse 2, Hyperion 1, Iasus 1, Iotis, Iphimedon, Laodice 1, Laogore, Lycurgus 2, Megassares, Melanion, Mentor 2, Metharme, Minyas, Neaera 3, Orsedice, Oxyporus, Parthenopaeus, Parthenope 1, Pereus, Perimedes 1, Phaethon 1, Pharnace, Promachus 1, Pygmalion 1, Sandocus, Sterope 4, Stymphalus 1, Telephus, Thia, Tithonus 2, Zeus.

Related sections Adonis 

Apd.3.9.1, 3.14.3; Apd.Ep.3.9; Hom.Il.11.20; Hyg.Fab.58, 242, 248, 251, 270, 271, 275; Ov.Met.10.294-559, 10.708-739; Pin.Nem.8.18; Pla.Laws 660e.