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Libya (mythology)

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Herodotus world map-en

Ancient map from Herodotus showing the area of Libya in north Africa, circa 450 BCE.

Libya (from greek: Λιβύη) is the name given to both a region of North Africa (Ancient Libya) and a daughter of Epaphus, King of Egypt, in both Greek and Roman mythology.

Greek mythology

In Greek mythology, Libya, like Ethiopia or Scythia was one of the mythic outlands that encircled the familiar Greek world of the Hellenes and their "foreign" neighbors.

Personified as an individual, Libya was the daughter of Epaphus — King of Egypt and the son of Zeus and Io— and Memphis. Libya was ravished by the god Poseidon to whom she bore twin sons, Belus and Agenor. Some sources name a third son, named Lelex.

Roman mythology

In Roman mythology, Libya was the daughter of Epaphus, King of Egypt, and his wife Cassiopeia. She married Neptune, a foreigner of much power whose real name is unknown. Libya and Neptune had a son called Busiris, who became a brutal tyrant of Upper Egypt.[1]

The territory that she ruled, Ancient Libya, and the country of modern day Libya are named after her.[2]


  1. Virginia Brown's translation of Giovanni Boccaccio’s Famous Women, pp. 24-25; Harvard University Press 2001; ISBN 0-674-01130-9
  2. Id., p. 25


  • Isidore, Etymologiae xiv.4.1, 5.1
  • Augustine, De civitate dei xviii.12
  • Lactantius Placidus, Commentarii in Sattii Thebaida iv.737
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Libya (mythology). The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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