Caeneus (new) In Greek mythology, a Lapith chieftain who was born a girl, Caenis, daughter of the Thessalian king Elatus and Hippea, and later transformed into a man. He was the father of Coronus and the brother of Polyphemus and Ischys. As a girl, Caeneus was very beautiful and caught the eye of Poseidon, who raped her. The god then offered to grant her any wish. She chose to be turned into a man so she could not be raped again. The god granted her request. Caeneus then became the leader of the Lapiths. When the Lapiths and centaurs had their great battle at the wedding of Peirithous and Hippodameia, Caeneus killed several of the foe. However, he offended Zeus and was beaten on the head with fir trees or else buried beneath a pile of them. Ovid’s Metamorphoses (book 12) says Caeneus was finally changed into a bird.


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante