Cyane dissolves in tears, an engraving (1581) by Virgil Solis to illustrate Ovid's tale

In Roman mythology, Cyane /ˈsəˌn/ (Κυανῆ Kuanē̂ "dark blue" in Greek) was a nymph who tried to prevent Dis from abducting Proserpina, her playmate. Upon failure, she dissolved away in tears and melted into her pool.[1]


In the eternal realm of Greek mythology, Kyane, or Cyane (Italian Ciane) was a nymph or, more precisely, a naiad, a freshwater nymphs. Cyane, after witnessing Hades's abduction of Persephone and trying to prevent it, was turned to liquid by Hades.[2]

In the ancient Greek world the nymph represented a particular aspect of nature. Arethusa, a naiad like Kyane, is associated with a spring and pool in Syracuse (Siracusa); Kyane is said to dwell in a river bearing her name in southeastern Sicily.[3] She had as a partner the river god Anapos (or Anapis).[4][5] She cited their love as an example of consensual relationship while trying to convince Hades not to take Persephone by force.[6]

Appropriately, the Classical Greek kyanos meant "blue-green" (hence the English cyan) and alludes to the water of lakes and streams.[7]

Popular cultureEdit

In the popular TV series Xena: Warrior Princess, Cyane is a recurring name of prominent Amazon warriors, each considered the worthy successor of the former one: five different Cyanes (from different times) are shown in "Xenaverse", played respectively by Victoria Pratt as "Cyane III", Selma Blair as "Cyane I", Shelley Edwards as "Cyane IV" and Morgan Reese Fairhead as "Cyane V". "Cyane II" appears in Young Hercules series, played by Katrina Browne. There are probably some other Cyanes between "Cyane I" and "Cyane II", but they are not shown in the series. All shown Cyanes are powerful and charismatic, but "Cyane IV" is somewhat aphoristic, and "Cyane V" overly polite and shy. The first Cyane came from the future: she taught Amazons to tame horses and (in a strange time loop) gave them the name "Amazons".

A powerful person, "Cyane III" defeated both Xena (in a physical battle) and Alti (in a spiritual battle). She was trusting of Xena and even offered to let her join the tribe. Xena betrayed Cyane when Alti "offered her a better deal". Alti wanted Cyane's blood, and after she drank it she kept Cyane's soul and the souls of all the Amazons in the land of the dead. She then used their power for herself and made it evil. The souls of the Amazons were trapped in the land of the dead until the reformed Xena killed Alti and found the Amazon's new holy word, Love.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 5. 407-464
  2. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 2. 3
  3. ^ "Kyane - Cyane - Ciane - Water nymph of Greek Sicily - Best of Sicily Magazine". Retrieved 2019-03-29.
  4. ^ Aelian, Historical Miscellany 2. 33
  5. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca 6. 129 ff
  6. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 5. 418-419
  7. ^ "Kyane - Cyane - Ciane - Water nymph of Greek Sicily - Best of Sicily Magazine". Retrieved 2019-03-29.

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