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In Greek mythology, Endymion was a handsome Aeolian shepherd or hunter, or, in the version Pausanias knew, a king, who ruled Elis in Asia Minor; Endymion was the son, perhaps with Aethlius or with Zeus himself, of the nymph Calyce. He was born in Thessaly but led a band of Aeolians and founded Elis. Apollonius of Rhodes (Argonautica 4.57ff) is one of the many poets (compare Plato, Phaedo, sect. 72) who tell how Selene, the Titan goddess of the moon, loved the mortal, who was so beautiful that she asked Endymion's father Zeus to grant him eternal youth so he would never leave her. Alternatively, Selene loved so much how Endymion looked when he was asleep in the cave on Mount Latmos, near Miletus, in Caria; she entreated with Zeus that he might remain that way. Either way, Zeus blessed him by putting him into an eternal sleep. Every night, Selene visited him where he slept. Selene and Endymion had fifty daughters called the Menae. 

The mytheme of Endymion being not dead but endlessly asleep, which was proverbial ensured that bas-reliefs of Endymion and Selene were popular subjects for sarcophagi in Late Antiquity, when after-death existence began to be a heightened concern. The Louvre example, found at Saint-M?dard d'Eyrans, France, (illustration, left) is one of this class. 

The dithyrambic poet Licymnus of Chios tells a different tale[2], in which Hypnos, the god of sleep, is the one who is in love with the boy's beauty, and grants him open-eyed sleep, the better to enjoy the sight of his face. 

Endymion also had a son named Aetolus, the King of Elis. Later, he ruled Aetolia, which was named after him. Endymion had another son, Epeius, who won his father's kingdom by beating his brothers in a race. 
Gallo-Roman "Endymion" sarcophagus, early 3rd century (Louvre)Pliny the Elder mentions Endymion as the first human to observe the movements of the moon, which (according to Pliny) accounts for Endymion's love. (See Pliny's Naturalis Historia Book II.IV.43.) 

Some believe that he was the personification of sleep, or the sunset (most likely the last one as his name means "to dive in" [Greek en in, and duein dive), which would imply a representation of that sort. Latin writers explained the name from somnum ei inductum, the "sleep put upon him" (Graves, 1960, 64.b.note 2). 

The myth of Endymion was never easily transferred to ever-chaste Artemis, the Olympian associated with the Moon. In the Renaissance, the revived moon gooddess was Diana, and the myth was attached to her. 

그리스 신화에 나오는 인물로 대부분의 삶을 영면(永眠)으로 보냈던 미소년. 

엔디미온의 출생에 대해서는 자료나 이야기마다 다르지만 원래는 엘리스의 왕이었다는 것이 일반적인 설로 인정되고 있다. 한 전설에 따르면 제우스가 엔디미온에게 원하는 것을 들어주겠다고 했는데, 이때 엔디미온은 영원한 젊음을 간직하려고 영면을 택했다고 한다. 또다른 전설에 따르면 엔디미온의 영면은 그가 감히 제우스의 아내인 헤라와 사랑에 빠졌기 때문에 제우스로부터 받은 벌이라고도 한다. 어떻든 그는 달의 여신인 셀레네에게 사랑을 받았다고 하며, 여신은 매일 밤 카리아의 라트모스 언덕의 동굴에서 자고 있는 그를 찾았고 그의 딸을 50명이나 낳았다. 흔히 셀레네가 누구의 방해도 받지 않고 엔디미온의 아름다움을 즐기려고 그를 잠들게 했다고 한다. 

존 키츠는 장시 〈엔디미온 Endymion〉(1818)에서 엔디미온을 디아나 여신의 연인인 목동으로 그리고 있다. 영웅 2행연구(二行連句)로 씌어진 이 시는 처음 발표되었을 때 〈블랙우즈 매거진 Blackwood's Magazine〉과 〈쿼털리 리뷰 Quarterly Review〉로부터 신랄한 비판을 받았으나, 지금은 뛰어난 서정적 구절들로 인해 높은 평가를 받고 있다. "아름다운 것은 영원한 기쁨"(A thing of beauty is a joy for ever)이라는 이 시의 첫 구절은 매우 유명하다.