Sarpedon was a son of Zeus and Europa, and brother to Minos and Rhadamanthys. He was raised by King Asterion and then banished by Minos, and sought refuge with his uncle, King Cilix. Sarpedon conquered the Milyans, and ruled over them; his kingdom was named Lycia, after his successor, Lycus, son of Pandion II.
In another version, Minos, Sarpedon and Rhadamanthus quarreled over a beautiful boy they were all in love with, by the name of Miletus, son of Apollo and Areia. The youth however preferred Sarpedon, so Minos in revenge went to war and conquered the whole island. Sarpedon and his lover escaped to Lycia, where Miletus founded the city that bore his name. Other mythographers claimed that the beloved youth's name was Atymnios, and that he was the son of Zeus and Cassiopeia.(Apollodorus III.1.2)
Bernard Sergent claims that the story is a late invention in that the theme of competition for a beloved youth is not in keeping with the Cretan pederastic tradition, and there is no record of this Miletus prior to the second century BC.