Pygmalion pĭgmālˈyən [key]. 1 In Greek mythology, king of Cyprus. He fell in love with a beautiful statue of a woman. When he prayed to Aphrodite for a wife like it, the goddess brought the statue to life and Pygmalion married her. In one version of the legend, the statue becomes Aphrodite; another states that Pygmalion sculpted the statue himself and that after coming to life it was called Galatea. 2 In Vergil's Aeneid, king of Tyre. He was the brother of Dido and killed her husband, Sychaeus, to get his riches.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Folklore and Mythology