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Ocnus by J.Ligozzi.jpg

In Greek and Roman mythology, Ocnus /ˈɒknəs/ or Bianor /bˈnər/ was a son of Manto and Tiberinus, king of Alba Longa. He founded modern Mantua in honor of his mother.[1] Alternatively, he was the son or brother of Auletes and founded Felsina (modern Bologna[2]), Perusia or Cesena.[3]

Ocnus is thus a character or allegorical deity which personifies hesitation, frustration, delay and the wasting of time, thus symbolising the vicissitudes of human life consumed in unsuccessful efforts,[1] he was condemned to spend eternity in the netherworld, weaving a rope of straw. As depicted in the picture by Polygnotos, standing behind him is his donkey which eats the rope as fast as it is made.[4]


  1. ^ a b Abril Cultural (1973). Editora Victor CivitaDicionário de Mitologia Greco-Romana (in Portuguese). Editora Victor Civita. p. 134. OCLC 45781956.
  2. ^ Virgil X, 198
  3. ^ Serv. ad Virg. Ed. ix. 60, Aen. x. 198.
  4. ^ The picture by Polygnotos, University of Washington website

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "Ocnus". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.