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In Book V of Ovid's mock-epic Metamorphoses, Athis is a young demigod of outstanding beauty from India, son of Limnaee, a nymph of the Ganges.
Athis was follower of Phineus. During a quarrel between Perseus and Phineus, Perseus killed Athis, who was preparing to shoot his bow, with a log that had been smoldering in the middle of the altar. The Assyrian Lycabas, who Ovid says is Athis' closest friend or, most probably, his lover, wept for his fallen companion, and attempted to avenge him, shooting an arrow at Perseus from Athis's bow. However, Perseus avoided the arrow, and Lycabas, too, fell.
Classical scholar Alison Keith suggests that Athis' death was modelled on Corynaeus' killing of Ebysus after throwing a burning firebrand at him taken from an altar, in Vergil's Aeneid.
- ^ "Metamorphoses (Kline) 5, the Ovid Collection, Univ. of Virginia E-Text Center". ovid.lib.virginia.edu. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
- ^ Keith, Alison M. (2002). "Ovid on Vergilian War Narrative". Vergilius. The Vergilian Society. 48: 114–115. ISSN 0506-7294. JSTOR 41587270. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
- Publius Ovidius Naso, Metamorphoses translated by Brookes More (1859-1942). Boston, Cornhill Publishing Co. 1922. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Publius Ovidius Naso, Metamorphoses. Hugo Magnus. Gotha (Germany). Friedr. Andr. Perthes. 1892. Latin text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Media related to Athis (mythology) at Wikimedia Commons