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Ixion

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This article is about the Greek myth. For the trans-Neptunian object, see 28978 Ixion


In Greek mythology, Ixion was one of the Lapiths, a king of Thessaly, and a son of Phlegyas. Pirithous was his son. He married Dia, a daughter of Deioneus and promised his father-in-law a valuable present. However, he did not pay the bride price, so Deioneus stole some of Ixion's horses in retaliation. Ixion concealed his resentment and invited his father-in-law to a feast at Larissa. When Deioneus arrived, Ixion pushed him into a bed of burning coals and wood. The neighboring princes were so offended by this act of treachery (and violation of Xenia) that they refused to perform the rituals that would cleanse Ixion of his guilt. Thereafter, Ixion lived as an outlaw and shunned. By killing his father-in-law, Ixion was reckoned the first man guilty of kin slaying in Greek mythology. That alone would warrant him a terrible punishment.

However, Zeus had pity on Ixion and brought him to Olympus and introduced him at the table of the gods. Instead of being grateful, Ixion grew lustful for Hera, Zeus's wife. Hera was willing to be with Ixion, but Zeus found out about the attempt (either because Hera told him or because of his own efforts). Zeus made a cloud in the shape of Hera, which became known as Nephele, and tricked Ixion into coupling with it. From the union of Ixion and the cloud came the race of centaurs (hence their being called Ixionidae). Ixion was expelled from Olympus and blasted with a thunderbolt. Zeus ordered Hermes to bind Ixion to a wheel that was always spinning. Therefore, Ixion is bound to a burning wheel for all eternity in Tartarus. The story of Ixion is told by Diodorus, Pindar, Virgil in Georgics 4 and Aeneid 6, and by Ovid in Metamorphoses 12.el:Ιξίων Ixion sl:Iksion de:Ixion (Mythologie) nl:Ixion (mythologie)

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