In Greek mythology, Iasion /ˈʒən/ (Ancient Greek: Ἰασίων, romanizedIasíōn[1]) or Iasus /ˈəsəs/ (Ancient Greek: Ἴασος, romanizedÍasos[2]), also called Eetion[3][4] /ˈɛʃən/ (Ancient Greek: Ἠετίων, romanizedĒetíōn), was the founder of the mystic rites on the island of Samothrace.

Founder of the Mystic rites
Other namesIasus, Eetion
Abode(1) Samothrace or
(2) Italy
Personal information
Parents(1) Zeus and Electra
(2) Corythus and Electra
(3) Ilithyius
Siblings(1) & (2) Dardanus, Harmonia
and (1) Emathion (possibly)
Consort(i) Demeter
(ii) Cybele
Children(i) Plutus and Philomelus
(ii) Corybas


According to the mythographer Apollodorus, Iasion is the son of the Pleiad Electra and Zeus, and the brother of Dardanus[5] and possibly Emathion.[6] Both Hellanicus and Diodorus Siculus repeat this parentage, adding Harmonia as his sister.[7] According to an Italian version of the genealogy, Iasion and Dardanus are both Electra's sons, and are both born in Italy, with Iasion fathered by Corythus and Dardanus by Zeus.[8] In Hyginus' Fabulae, Iasion is called the son of Ilithyius.[9]

With Demeter, Iasion was the father of Plutus, the god of wealth.[10] According to Hyginus' De Astronomica, Iasion was also the father of Philomelus,[11] while, according to Diodorus Siculus, he was the father of a son named Corybas with Cybele.[12]


At the marriage of Cadmus and Harmonia, Iasion was lured by Demeter away from the other revelers. They had intercourse as Demeter lay on her back in a freshly plowed furrow. When they rejoined the celebration, Zeus guessed what had happened because of the mud on Demeter's backside, and out of envy killed Iasion with a thunderbolt.[13][14] In one account, his death was caused by his impiety to the statue of Demeter instead.[15] Servius, in his commentary upon Virgil's Aeneid, states that Iasion was killed by his brother Dardanus,[16] whereas Hyginus attributes his death to horses.[17] Ovid, in contrast, says that Iasion lived to an old age as the husband of Demeter.[18]

Some versions of this myth conclude with Iasion and the agricultural hero Triptolemus then becoming the Gemini constellation.[19]


  1. ^ gen.: Ἰασίωνος
  2. ^ gen.: Ἰάσου
  3. ^ Hesiod, Catalogue of Women fr. 121 Most, pp. 206, 207 [= fr. 177 Merkelbach-West = P. Oxy. 1359 fr. 2 (Grenfell and Hunt, p. 53)].
  4. ^ Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1.916 with Hellanicus as the authority; Scholia on Euripides, Phoenissae 1129; Tzetzes on Lycophron, 219
  5. ^ Apollodorus, 3.12.1.
  6. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca 3.124
  7. ^ Fowler 2013, p. 552; Gantz, p. 215; Hard, p. 297; Hellanicus, fr. 23 Fowler, p. 163 [= Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, 1.916–18a (Wendel, p. 77)]; Diodorus Siculus, 5.48.2.
  8. ^ Grimal, s.v. Electra (2), p. 144; Smith, s.v. Electra (2); Gantz, p. 872 n. 4 to p. 561; Servius, Commentary on Virgil's Aeneid 3.167, 7.207, 10.719; Lactantius, Divine Institutes 1.23.
  9. ^ Smith, s.v. Iasion; Hyginus, Fabulae 270
  10. ^ Hansen, p. 147; Hesiod, Theogony 969–71; Diodorus Siculus, 5.77.1
  11. ^ Hyginus, De Astronomica 2.4.7
  12. ^ Diodorus Siculus, 5.49.2
  13. ^ Hesiod, Catalogue of Women fr. 121 Most, pp. 206, 207 [= fr. 177 Merkelbach-West = P. Oxy. 1359 fr. 2 (Grenfell and Hunt, p. 53)]; Apollodorus, 3.12.1; Hesiod, Theogony 969; Homer, Odyssey 5.125.
  14. ^ Shlain, Leonard (1998). The Alphabet Versus the Goddess. Viking Penguin. ISBN 0-14-019601-3.
  15. ^ Pseudo-Scymnos, Circuit de la terre 535 ff.
  16. ^ Smith s.v. Iasion; Servius, Commentary on Virgil's Aeneid 3.167.
  17. ^ Smith, s.v. Iasion; Hyginus, Fabulae 250
  18. ^ Smith, s.v. Iasion; Ovid, Metamorphoses 9.421.
  19. ^ Morritt, Robert D. (2010-04-16). Stones that Speak. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-4438-2176-6.