Callisto (mythology)

Kallisto (Greek Καλλιστώ, " the fairest ", lat Callisto ) was in Greek and Roman mythology, a nymph from the environment of hunting and nature goddess Artemis ( Roman Diana ). She was a mistress of Zeus ( Roman Jupiter), was of Hera ( Roman Juno ) is transformed into a bear and later transferred as a constellation in the firmament.


Callisto is the daughter of King Lycaon of Arcadia. The most common presentation of their saga originates from the Roman poet Ovid 's Metamorphoses and is in his Latin as:

Callisto tries to hide her pregnancy suffered, but is exposed at the bath from the other nymphs and subsequently disowned by Artemis. After the birth of her son Arkas, later ancestor of the Arcadians, they will be transformed by Zeus ' wife, Hera, out of jealousy into a bear. As Callisto after fifteen years of her son Arkas, which is now hunter, meets, she wants to hug him, but this kill the supposedly wild animal. Zeus intervenes and puts Callisto as the constellation of the Great Bear and the Little Bear Arkas than in the sky. Hera obtained at Okeanos, after all, that the two constellations should never dive into the refreshing waters; therefore they become circumpolar constellations.

Representation in art

Fine Arts

  • Diana and Callisto by Titian, 1556-59
  • The bath of Diana and Actaeon and Callisto by Rembrandt, 1634


  • La Calisto by Francesco Cavalli, 1651
  • Like Callisto to a Star in Heaven by Trivium, 2008

Callisto are named after

  • → Callisto ( moon ), a moon of Jupiter
  • → (204 ) Kallisto, an asteroid