Epaphus, the Touch of Zeus

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(Egypt, Libya)

Epaphus was the father of Libya.

Io, beloved of Zeus, was transformed into a cow; to escape the wrath of jealous Hera, she wandered the earth, finding safety on the banks of the Nile. She resumed her human form and gave birth to a son, Epaphus, or the “Touch of Zeus.” Hera transferred her hatred to this son and ordered him hidden away by the Curetes so that Io could not find him. Zeus killed the Curetes, and Io continued her search for her son. She found him in Syria, being reared by the wife of the king of Byblos, and she brought him back with her to Egypt. He became a man, succeeded his adoptive father Telegonus as ruler, married Memphis, daughter of the river god Nile, and fathered a daughter, Libya, who gave her name to Egypt's neighboring country.

Subjects: Religion.

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