Helike (mythology)

For the ancient Greek city, see Helike. For the moon of Jupiter, see Helike (moon).

In Greek mythology, Helike (/ˈhɛlk/; Greek: Ἑλίκη, pronounced [heˈlikɛː], modern Greek pronunciation: [eˈlici]) was a name of several women. One was a nymph and one was a Queen of Chios.

List of Helikes

Zeus’ nurse

Helike nurtured god Zeus in his infancy on Crete.[1]

Her name suggests that she was a "willow-nymph", just as there were oak-tree nymphs and ash-nymphs (Dryads and Meliae).

It is likely that she is the same as Ide.

Ursa Major

Helike was in antiquity a common proper name for the constellation Ursa Major.[2]


Queen Helike was a wife of King Oenopion of Chios and their children were:

Wife of Ion

This Helike was a wife of a man called Ion and mother of woman called Bura.

Ion built the city and named it after his wife. They were wed by Selinus.


  1. Aratus, Phaenomena 27
  2. Aratus, Phaenomena, translation by A. W. Mair, G. R. Loeb
  3. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7. 4. 8
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