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The Oath River

The Sisters of Styx
Styx in The Iliad [reference]
Styx in The Odyssey [reference]
Other Text References
Immortals Index
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Styx is one of the daughters of Okeanos [Ocean] and Tethys which means that she is an Okeanid. She and her sisters are only a small portion of the three thousand daughters of Okeanos and Tethys but they were the first born and are called a Holy Company ... Styx is the oldest and most eminent of her sisters.

When Zeus, his brothers and sisters were fighting to gain control of all creation, their primary rivals were the haughty Titans. The war with the Titans was a long and bitter struggle but after ten years, Zeus and the Olympians finally won. During the war, Zeus promised that any Immortal who fought on his side would retain their power and position and those without power or position under Kronos would be rewarded justly. Styx, with her children, were the first to stand with Zeus ... for that reason, Styx is preeminent amongst the Immortals. A tenth part of the waters of Okeanos are allotted to Styx.

Styx and Pallas have four children ... Zelos, Nike, Bia and Kratos. Zelos is Rivalry, Nike is Victory, Kratos is Strength and Bia is Force. Styx’s children are forever honored by Zeus and make their home wherever Zeus resides.

Although she is called The Oath River, Styx is actually an Okeanid. The Okeanids and the Rivers are of the same parents but the Okeanids are said to be a Race Apart or a Holy Company. Zeus gave the Okeanids, Apollon and the Rivers the special obligation of having the young in their keeping. Styx is also called The Hateful because she is the body of water in the Underworld over which the souls of the dead are ferried by Charon and by which the Immortals swear their most solemn oaths.

Styx resides near the halls of Hades and Persephone ... she lives apart from the other Immortals in a glorious house with a stone roof supported by silver columns. The messenger goddess Iris is the only Immortal to enter Styx’s home. When a dispute erupts on Mount Olympos, Zeus sends wind-footed Iris to Styx for a pitcher of water. Any Immortal who pours the waters of Styx, and swears an oath, is solemnly bound to tell only the truth. The punishment for breaking such an oath is one year without ambrosia, nectar or AIR! If that’s not enough, for nine additional years, the oath-breaker is not allowed to attend the festivals or share the company of the other Immortals.

According to the historian Herodotus, Styx came to the surface of the earth in the town of Nonakris which is in Arkadia near the town of Pheneus. Styx manifested herself as a small stream trickling from a rock into a pool and surrounded by a dry wall.

The Sisters of Styx

Theogony, lines 346-361

Admete Αδμητη line 349
Akaste Ακαση line 356
Amphiro Αμφιρω line 360
Asia Ασιη line 359
Dione Διωνη line 353
Doris Δωρις line 350
Elektra Ηλεκτρα line 349
Eudora Ευδωρη line 360
Europa Ευρωπη line 357
Eurynome Ευρυνομη line 358
Galaxaura Γαλαξαυρη line 353
Hippo Ιππω line 351
Ianeira Ιανειρα line 356
Ianthe Ιανθη line 349
Idyia Ιδυια line 352
Kallirhoe Καλλιροη line 351
Kalypso Καλυψω line 359
Kerkeis Κερκηις line 355
Klymene Κλυμενη line 351
Klytie Κλυτιη line 352
Kryseis Χρυσηις line 359
Melobosis Μηλοβοσις line 354
Menestho Μενεσθω line 357
Metis Μητις line 358
Okyroe Ὠκυρόη line 360
Ourania Ουρανιη line 350
Pasithoe Πασιθοη line 352
Peitho Πειθω line 349
Perse Περσηις line 356
Petraie Πετραιη line 357
Plexaura Πληξαυρα line 353
Plouto Πλουτω line 355
Polydora Πολυδωρη line 354
Prymno Πρυμνω line 350
Rhodeia Ροδεια line 351
Telesto Τελεστω line 358
Thoe Θοη line 354
Tyche Τυχη line 360
Xanthe Ξανθη line 356
Zeuxo Ζευξω line 352

Styx in the Iliad

[from four different translations]

Richmond Lattimore

Loeb Classical Library

Robert Fagles

Robert Fitzgerald

Styx in the Odyssey

[from four different translations]

Richmond Lattimore

Loeb Classical Library

Robert Fagles

Robert Fitzgerald

Other Text References


Hymn to Demeter II

Hymn to Delian Apollon III

Hymn to Hermes IV

The Argonautika by Apollonius Rhodius

The Histories by Herodotus

Description of Greece by Pausanias

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