In Greek mythology, Epaphus (Ancient Greek: Ἔπαφος), also called Apis, was the son of Zeus and Io. He was also a king of Egypt.

The name/word Epaphus means "Touch". This refers to the manner in which he was conceived, by the touch of Zeus' hand. He was born in Euboea (Herodotus, Strabo) or, according to others, in Egypt, on the river Nile, after the long wanderings of his mother. He was then concealed by the Curetes, by the request of Hera, but Io sought and afterward found him in Syria.

Epaphus is regarded in the myths as the founder of Memphis, Egypt. With his wife, Memphis (or according to others, Cassiopeia), he had one daughter, Libya. Another of his daughters bore the name of Lysianassa.[1]

Epaphus also criticized Phaëton's heraldry, which prompted him to undertake his fateful journey in his father Phoebus' chariot of the sun. Belus, another mythological king of Egypt, is a grandson of Epaphus.

David Rohl identifies Epaphus with the Hyksos pharaoh Apophis.[2]


  1. Apollod. ii. 1. §§ 3, 4, 5. § 11; Gaius Julius Hyginus Fabulae 145, 149, 275; comp. Herod. iii. 27, 28. (cited by Schmitz)
  2. David Rohl: The Lords of Avaris. London, Arrow Books 2007

This article incorporates text by Leonhard Schmitz from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology by William Smith (1870).

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Epaphus. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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