, Kephalos) is a name, used both for the hero-figure in Greek mythology and carried as a theophoric name by historical persons.
The word kephalos is Greek for "head", perhaps used here because Cephalus was the founding "head" of a great family that includes Odysseus.
It could be that Cephalus means the head of the Sun who kills (evaporates) Procris (dew) with his unerring ray or 'javelin'.
Cephalus was one of the lovers of the dawn goddess Eos.
Sumptuous sacrifices for Cephalus and for Procris are required in the inscribed sacred calendar of Thorikos in southern Attica, dating perhaps to the 430s BCE and published from the stone in 1983. The resistant Cephalus and Eos became lovers, and she bore him a son named Phaethon (not to be confused with the son of the sun-god Helios).
Some sources also give Tithonos and Hesperus as children of Cephalus and Eos.
In returning and reconciling, Procris brought two magical gifts, an inerrant javelin that never missed its mark, and a hunting hound, Laelaps that always caught its prey.The hound met its end chasing a fox (the Teumessian vixen) which could not be caught; both fox and the hound were turned into stone.But the javelin continued to be used by Cephalus, who was an avid hunter.Procris then conceived doubts about her husband, who left his bride at the bridal chamber Procris became convinced that he was serenading a lover. Cephalus, hearing a stirring in the brush and thinking the noise came from an animal, threw the never-erring javelin in the direction of the sound – and Procris was impaled.As she lay dying in his arms, she told him "On our wedding vows, please never marry Eos".Cephalus was distraught at the death of his beloved Procris, and went into exile.The primary literary source for the story is the poet Pherecydes of Athens, preserved in a quoted fragment (Pherecydes Fr.34) in the so-called "Mythographus Homericus"; a papyrus (PBerolinensis 13282) representing a parallel text based on the same source confirms the details.Cephalus helped Amphitryon of Mycenae in a war against the Taphians and Teleboans.He was awarded with the island of Samos, which thereafter came to be known as Cephallenia.The people who lived on Cephallenia and nearby islands came to be known as Cephallenians.