Cetus (mythology)

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In ancient Greek, the word ketos (Greek: Κῆτος, Kētos, plural cetea Greek: κήτεα) - Latinized as cetus - denotes a large fish, a whale, or a sea monster.[1] The sea monsters slain by Perseus and Heracles were each referred to as a cetus by ancient sources.[2] The term cetacean originates from cetus. In Greek art, cetea were depicted as serpentine fish. The name of the mythological figure Ceto is derived from ketos. The name of the constellation Cetus also derives from this word.

In the Bible

In Jonah 2:1 (1:17 in English translation), the Hebrew text reads dag gadol (דג גדול), which literally means "great fish." The Septuagint translates this phrase into Greek as mega ketos (μέγα κῆτος). The term ketos alone means "huge fish," and in Greek mythology the term was closely associated with sea monsters. Jerome later translated this phrase as piscis grandis in his Latin Vulgate. However, he translated the Greek word kētos as cetus in Matthew 12:40.

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