Biston was the son of Ares and Pyrene or Calliope in Greek mythology, a brother of the warlike Cycnus. Biston built the city of Bistonia on the shores of Lake Bistonis in Thrace. He also introduced the Thracian practice of tattooing both men and women with eye-like patterns as a magical fetish, in response to an oracle which guaranteed victory against the neighbouring Edonians tribe if so adorned (cf. Stephanus of Byzantium s.v. Bistonia). The Thracian Bistonians were famous for their warlike nature and cult of Ares whom they worshipped in the form of an upright standing sword.