Leto

In Greek mythology, Leto /ˈlt/ (Greek: Λητώ Lētṓ; Λατώ, Lātṓ in Doric Greek) is the daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe, the sister of Asteria. She is the mother of Apollo and Artemis.[1]

Leto
Goddess of motherhood
Leto with the infants Apollo and Artemis, by Francesco Pozzi (1824)
AbodeDelos
SymbolVeil, dates, palm tree, rooster, wolf, gryphon, weasel
Personal information
ParentsCoeus and Phoebe
SiblingsAsteria
ConsortZeus
ChildrenApollo and Artemis
Roman equivalentLatona

The island of Kos is claimed to be her birthplace. However, Diodorus Siculus in Historic Library states clearly that Leto was born in Hyperborea and not in Kos.[2] In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins,[3] Apollo and Artemis, which Leto conceived after her hidden beauty accidentally caught the eye of Zeus. Classical Greek myths record little about Leto other than her pregnancy and search for a place where she could give birth to Apollo and Artemis, since Hera in her jealousy caused all lands to shun her. She eventually found an island that was not attached to the ocean floor, therefore it was not considered land and she could give birth.[4] Once Apollo and Artemis are grown, Leto withdraws, to remain a dim[5] and benevolent matronly figure upon Olympus, her part already played.

In Roman mythology, Leto's Roman equivalent is Latona, a Latinization of her name, influenced by Etruscan Letun.[6]