The punishment of Ixion (second century AD). Enc. Britt.: son either of the god Ares or of Phlegyas, king of the Lapiths in Thessaly. He murdered his father-in-law and could find no one to purify him until Zeus did so and admitted him as a guest to Olympus. Ixion abused his pardon by trying to seduce Zeus's wife Hera. Zeus substituted for her a cloud, by which Ixion became the father of the Centaurs. Zeus, to punish him, bound him on a fiery wheel, which rolled unceasingly through the air or, according to another tradition, in the underworld.A plausible explanation of the myth connects it with the ancient practice of carrying a blazing revolving wheel through fields that needed the heat of the sun; thus the legend might possibly have been invented to explain the custom.