Mythology & Beliefs
Endymion in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
（Ἐνδυμίων), a youth distinguished for his beauty, and
renowned in ancient story by the perpetual sleep in which he
spent his life. Some traditions about Endymion refer us to
Elis, and others to Caria, and others again are a
combination of the two. According to the first set of
legends, he was a son of Aethlius and Calyce,or of Zeus and
Calyce, and succeeded Aethlius in the kingdom of Elis.
(Paus. 5.1.2.) Others again say that he expelled Clymenus
from the kingdom of Elis, and introduced into the country
Aeolian settlers from Thessaly. (Apollod. 1.7.5, &c. ; Paus.
5.8.1.) Conon (Narrat 14) calls him a son of Zeus and
Protogencia, and Hyginus (Hyg. Fab. 271) a son of Aetolus.
He is said to have been married to Asterodia, Chromia,
Hyperippe, Neis, or Iphianassa; and Aetolus, Paeon, Epeius.
Eurydice, and Naxus are called his children. He was,
however, especially beloved by Selene, by whom he had fifty
daughters. (Paus. 5.1.2.) He caused his sons to engage in
the race-course at Olympia, and promised to the victor the
succession in his kingdom, and Epeius conquered his
brothers, and succeeded Endymion as king of Elis. He was
believed to be buried at Olympia, which also contained a
statue of his in the treasury of the Metapontians. (Paus.
6.19.8, 20.6.) According to a tradition, believed at
Heracleia in Caria, Endymion had come from Elis to mount
Latmus in Caria, whence he is called the Latmian (Latmius ;
Paus. 5.1.4; Ov. Ars Am. 3.83, Trist. 2.299). He is
described by the poets either as a king, a shepherd, or a
hunter (Theocrit. 3.49, 20.37 with the Scholiast), and while
he was slumbering in a cave of mount Latmus, Selene came
down to him, kissed, and lay by his side. (Comp. Apollon.
4.57.) There also he had, in later times, a sanctuary, and
his tomb was shewn in a cave of mount Latmus. (Paus. 5.1.4 ;
Strab. xiv. p.636.) His eternal sleep on Latmus is assigned
to different causes in ancient story. Some said that Zeus
had granted him a request, and that Endymion begged for
immortality, eternal sleep, and everlasting youth (Apollod.
1.7.5.); others relate that he was received among the gods
of Olympus, but as he there fell in love with Hera, Zeus, in
his anger, punished him by throwing him into eternal sleep
on mount Latmus. (Schol. ad Theocrit. 3.49.) Others, lastly,
state that Selene, charmed with his surpassing beauty, sent
him to sleep, that she might be able to kiss him without
being observed by him. (Cic. Tuscul. 1.38.) The stories of
the fair sleeper, Endymion, the darling of Selene, are
unquestionably poetical fictions, in which sleep is
personified. His name and all his attributes confirm this
opinion : Endymion signifies a being that gently comes over
one ; he is called a king, because he has power over all
living creatures; a shepherd, because he slumbered in the
cool caves of mount Latmus, that is, " the mount of
oblivion." Nothing can be more beautiful, lastly, than the
notion, that he is kissed by the soft rays of the moon.
(Comp. Plat. Phaed. p. 72. b; Ov. Am. 1.13. 43.) There is a
beautiful statue of a sleeping Endymion in the British
Museum. - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and
mythology, William Smith, Ed.
Endymion in Wikipedia
In Greek mythology, Endymion (Ancient Greek: Ἐνδυμίων,
gen.: Ἐνδυμίωνος or Ενδυμίωνας) could have been a handsome
Aeolian shepherd or hunter, or even a king who ruled and was
said to reside at Olympia in Elis, but he was also said to
reside and was venerated on Mount Latmus in Caria, on the west
coast of Asia Minor.
There is confusion over the true location of Endymion, as some
sources suppose that one was, or was related to, the prince of
Elis, and the other was a shepherd from Caria- or, a later
suggestion, an astronomer: Pliny the Elder mentions
Endymion as the first human to observe the movements of the
moon, which (according to Pliny) accounts for Endymion's love.
As such, there have been two attributed sites of Endymion's
burial: The citizens of Heracleia ad Latmo claimed that
Endymion's tomb was on Mount Latmus, while the Eleans declared
that it was at Olympia....