Celaphus, is the son of Hermes and Hersa in ancient Greek Hellenistic mythology. The jealous sister of Hersa Aglavra, standing between the lovers Hermes and Hersa. According to legend, Hermes turned her into a stone, and Cephalus married Procris, but the goddess of the dawn, Eos, fell in love with Cephalus. She abducted him while hunting, and according to one version, Cephalus did not betray and maintain his relationship with Procris, but in another version – he was born Phaeton, Titon and Hesper from their relationship, the goddess of the dawn.

Procris is the daughter of the Athenian king Erechtheus (the myth of Erechtheus here), the sister of Oritia and the wife of Cephalus. The goddess of the dawn, when she kidnapped Cephalus, tried to convince him that Procris would not be so faithful to him, so there was no point in him not giving in to her caresses. Cephalus refused, Eos became angry and transformed him to test his wife. Cephalus in the form of another man with a gold necklace offered Procris to sleep with him, she accepted and then Cephalus regained his appearance. Out of shame, Procris escaped and became Artemis’ companion.

Myth of Cephalus and Procris

Cephalus was the son of the god Hermes and Cecrops’ daughter Hersa. He was famous all over Greece for his wonderful beauty, he was also famous as a tireless hunter. In the morning, just before sunrise, he left his palace and his young wife Procris and went hunting in Mount Himet. Once the pink-fingered goddess of the dawn Eos saw the beautiful Cephalus, grabbed him and carried him away from Athens, to the very edge of the earth. Cephalus loved only Procris, he only thought of her, and her name never left his mouth. Detached from his wife, he mourned and begged the goddess Eos to let him return to Athens. Eos became angry and said to Cephalus:

“All right, go back to Procris, as long as you’ve complained about your fate! But whenever, you will regret that Procris is your wife, you will even regret that you knew her! Oh, I predict that will happen!”

Eos freed Cephalus. At the farewell, she persuaded him to test his wife’s fidelity. The goddess changed the appearance of Cephalus and he returned unrecognizable to anyone in Athens. By cunning, Cephalus broke into his home and found his wife in deep sorrow. And in her grief, Procris was beautiful. Cephalus spoke to his wife and tried for a long time to persuade her to forget her husband, to leave him and become his wife. Procris did not understand that this was her husband. For a long time she did not want to listen to the stranger and kept repeating:

“I only love Cephalus and I will remain faithful to him. Wherever he is, alive or dead, I will remain faithful to him forever!”

But in the end, Cephalus shook her with rich gifts. And she was ready to give in to his pleas. Then, accepting his true image. Cephalus shouted:

“Infidel! I am your husband, Cephalus! I myself am a witness to your infidelity!”

Procris did not answer a word to her husband. Bowing her head low in shame, she left the home of Cephalus and retreated to the forested mountains. There she became the companion of the goddess Artemis. From the goddess Procris she received as a gift a wonderful spear, which always hit the target and only returned to the one who threw it, and the dog Lylap, from which no wild animal could be saved.

Cephalus was not able to live long in separation from Procris. He searched for his wife in the woods and persuaded her to return. Procris returned to her husband and they lived happily ever after. Procris gave her husband the wonderful spear and the dog Lylap, and her husband, as before, went hunting before dawn. Alone, unaccompanied, he hunted Cephalus, he didn’t need helpers, because he carried the wonderful spear and took the dog Lailap with him. Once Cephalus had been hunting since early morning; at noon, when the unbearable heat came, he began to seek refuge in the shade. Cephalus walked slowly and sang to himself:

“Oh, sweet coolness, come to me soon! Blow on my exposed breasts! Rather, come closer to me, cool, full of care, and disperse the terrible heat! Oh, heavenly, you are my joy, you revive me and give me strength! Oh, let me take in your sweet breath!”

An Athenian heard Cephalus singing and, not understanding the meaning of his song, told Procris that he had heard her husband summoning a nymph, Coolness, to the forest. Procris was sad; she thought that Cephalus no longer loved her, that he had forgotten her for another. Once, when Cephalus was hunting, Procris secretly went to the forest and, hiding in the thick bushes, waited for her husband to come. Behold, Cephalus appeared among the trees. He sang aloud:

“Oh, full of cool caress, come and drive away my fatigue!”

Suddenly Cephalus stopped, a heavy sigh. Cephalus listened, but everything in the forest was quiet; not a leaf flickers in the midday heat. Cephalus sang again:

“Come quickly to me, desired cool!”

Those words barely sounded, and something rumbled softly in the bushes. Cephalus, thinking that some wild animal was hiding in them, threw his infallible spear into the bushes. Cried Procris, wounded in the chest. Cephalus recognized her voice. He ran to the bushes and found his wife in them. Her whole breasts were covered in blood; the terrible wound was deadly. Cephalus hurried to bandage Procris’ wound, but it was all in vain. Procris dies. Before she died, she told her husband:

“Oh, Cephalus, I swear by the sanctity of our marriages, by the gods of Olympus, and by the underground gods to whom I go now; I swear to you in my love, do not allow the one you just called to enter our home!”

From the words of the dying Procris, Cephalus understood what had deceived her. He hurries to explain to Procris her mistake. Procris loses strength, death obscures her eyes; with a gentle smile on Cephalus, she dies in his arms. At the last kiss, her soul flew to the dark realm of Hades.

Cephalus remained inconsolable for a long time. As a man who committed murder, he left his native Athens and retired to the seven-door Thebes. Here he helped Amphitryon in the pursuit of the elusive Tauthesian fox. She was sent by Poseidon to punish the Thebans. Each month, a boy was sacrificed to the fox in order to somehow appease her rage. Cephalus let his dog Lylap run after the fox. Lylap would have chased the fox forever if the thunderer Zeus had not turned both the fox and Lylap into two stones. After the hunt for the Tautasian fox, Cephalus took part in Amphitryon’s war against the teleboys and, thanks to his bravery, gained power over the island of Cephalenia (Kefalenia), so named after him; there he lived until his death.

Exposed according to the tragedy of Sophocles “Philoctetes”

Death of Procris,  Piero di Cosimo 14861510