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Ixion was a character in Greek mythology. He was king of the Lapiths and committed what was supposedly the first murder before attempting to seduce Hera, for which he was condemned to suffer for all eternity.


Ixion was the son of the god Ares, or the Lapith patriot Antion, or the Trojan commander Leonteus. He married Dia, daughter of Deioneus, and promised Deioneus a valuable present as the bride-price. Ixion did not pay the bride-price however, and his father-in-law stole his horses in revenge. Ixion pretended to have no hard feelings and invited Deioneus to a banquet, where he killed his father-in-law by burning him alive. This made him the first man to commit murder in history.

The god Zeus took pity on Ixion, who had been driven insane by his murder of Deioneus, and invited him to Mount Olympus to dine with the gods. However, Ixion lusted after Zeus's wife Hera and Zeus created a cloud-nymph named Nephele in her likeness. Ixion and Nephele then slept together, creating a race of centaurs known as the Ixionidae.

Ixion was expelled from Olympus and then killed by a thunderbolt from Zeus. As he was a murderer, he was condemned to be tied to a perpetually-spinning fiery wheel for all eternity.