Usage Greek Mythology
Other Forms FormsAēdon, Aedona
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Contributor Contrib.LMS on 10/14/2007
Derived from Greek ἀηδών (aēdōn) "songstress" or from Greek ἀηδονίς (aēdonis) "nightingale". Also compare Greek ἀοιδή (aoidē) meaning "song". This was the name of a legendary queen of Thebes who plotted to kill her rival Niobe's son, but killed her own son accidentally. In grief, she was transformed by the gods into the first nightingale, a bird that still haunts the night with its mournful cry. Similarly, in the Homeric legend Aëdon was the wife of Zethus and mother of Itylus, whom she slew by mistake; Zeus transformed her into a nightingale, which nightly laments its murdered child.