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Listed 100 (total found 2418) sub titles with search on: Mythology  for wider area of: "GREECE Country EUROPE" .

Mythology (2418)



Alalkomenes, a Boeotian autochthon, who was believed to have given the name to the Boeotian Alalcomenae, to have brought up Athena, who was born there, and to have been the first who introduced her worship. (Paus. ix. 33. Β§ 4.) According to Plutarch (De Dacdal. Fragm. 5), he advised Zeus to have a figure of oak-wood dressed in bridal attire, and carried about amidst hymeneal songs, in order to change the anger of Hera into jealousy. The name of the wife of Alalcomenes was Athenas and that of his son, Glaucopus, both of which refer to the goddess Athena. (Steph. Byz. s. v. Alalkomenion; Paus. ix. 3. Β§ 3; )

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited April 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Pelasgus & Cellene

The Arcadians say that Pelasgus was the first inhabitant of this land. It is natural to suppose that others accompanied Pelasgus, and that he was not by himself; for otherwise he would have been a king without any subjects to rule over. However, in stature and in prowess, in beauty and in wisdom, Pelasgus excelled his fellows, and for this reason, I think, he was chosen to be king by them. Asius the poet says of him: "The godlike Pelasgus on the wooded mountains Black earth gave up, that the race of mortals might exist".
Pelasgus on becoming king invented huts that humans should not shiver, or be soaked by rain, or oppressed by heat. Moreover; he it was who first thought of coats of sheep-skins, such as poor folk still wear in Euboea and Phocis. He too it was who checked the habit of eating green leaves, grasses, and roots always inedible and sometimes poisonous. But he introduced as food the nuts of trees, not those of all trees but only the acorns of the edible oak. Some people have followed this diet so closely since the time of Pelasgus that even the Pythian priestess, when she forbade the Lacedaemonians to touch the land of the Arcadians, uttered the following verses: "In Arcadia are many men who eat acorns, Who will prevent you; though I do not grudge it you".
It is said that it was in the reign of Pelasgus that the land was called Pelasgia. (Paus. 8.1.4)

This extract is from: Pausanias. Description of Greece (ed. W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., & H.A. Ormerod, 1918). Cited April 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

   Pelasgus, (Pelasgos). The mythical ancestor of the Pelasgi, by some regarded as sprung from the earth, but by others described as the son of Zeus; or of Phoroneus, or of Poseidon and Larissa.

Cyllene (Kullene), a nymph, who became the mother of Lycaon by Pelasgus. (Apollod. iii. 8.1). According to others, she was the wife of Lycaon. (Dionys. Hal. A. R. i. 13.)

Pheneos or Pheneus

FENEOS (Ancient city) FENEOS
An aboriginal of Arcadia.

Lelex & Cleocharia

Lelex: A son of the soil, an aboriginal, first king of Laconia, rules the Leleges, the people called Leleges after him, shrine of Lelex at Sparta.
Cleocharia: A Naiad nymph, wife of Lelex.
Myles, king of Lacedaemon, invented a mill
Eurotas, father of Sparta
Polycaon, marries Messene, daughter of Triopas. Establishes himself in Messenia
Therapne, city Therapne named after her
Commentary: Megarians say that Lelex arrived from Egypt and became king, and that in his reign the tribe Leleges received its name.

Lelex. One of the original inhabitants of Laconia which was called after him, its first king, Lelegia. He was married to the Naiad Cleochareia, by whom he became the father of Myles, Polycaon, and Eurotas. He had a heroum at Sparta. (Apollod. iii 10.3; Paus. iii. 1.1. 12.4, iv. 1.2). Some call his wife Peridia, and his children Myles, Polyclon, Bomolochus, and Therapne; while Eurotas is represented as a son of Myles and a grandson of Lelex (Schol. ad Eurip. Orest. 615). In other traditions, again, Lelex is described as a son of Spartus, and as the father of Amyclas (Steph. Byz. s. v. Lakedaimon).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


An ancient race, frequently mentioned with the Pelasgians as the prehistoric inhabitants of Greece. The Leleges were described as a warlike and migratory race, who first took possession of the coasts and the islands of Greece, and afterwards penetrated into the interior. Piracy was probably their chief occupation; and they are represented as the ancestors of the Teleboans and the Taphians, who were notorious for their piracies. The name of the Leleges was derived by the Greeks from an ancestor, Lelex, who is called king of either Megaris or Lacedaemon (Pausan. iii. 1, 1). They must be regarded as a branch of the great Indo-Germanic race, who became gradually incorporated with the Hellenes, and thus ceased to exist as an independent people. They are spoken of as inhabiting Acarnania and Aetolia, and afterwards Phocis, Locris, Boeotia, Megaris, Elis, and Laconia, which last was originally called Lelegia; also (in Asia Minor) Ionia, the southern part of the Troad, and Caria ( Herod.i. 171).

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Apr 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Conteporary of Lelex, hiw shrine at Sparta (Paus. 3.12.5)


PATRAI (Ancient city) ACHAIA
An aboriginal of land of Patrae, taught by Triptolemus to sow.


PLATEES (Ancient city) VIOTIA
The Plataeans were originally, in my opinion, sprung from the soil


An aboriginal, gives his name to Aegialus, builds Aegialea in plain.

Ogygus, Ogygean gates

THIVES (Ancient city) VIOTIA
An aboriginal, king of the Ectenians, father of Alalcomenia and of Eleusis. Epithet of Thebes, gate of Thebes.

Ogyges (Oguges) or Ogygus. Son of Boeotus, and the first ruler of Thebes, which was called after him Ogygia. In his reign a great deluge is said to have occurred. The name of Ogyges is also connected with Attic story, for in Attica an Ogygian flood is likewise mentioned. He was said to be the father of the Athenian hero Eleusis. From Ogyges the Thebans are called by the poets Ogygidae, and Ogygius is used in the sense of Theban.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Ancient myths

The adventures of Ulisses, The Sirens


Heracles & Achelous

It was this silt (brought down by the Achelous) which in early times caused the country called Paracheloitis, which the river overflows, to be a subject of dispute, since it was always confusing the designated boundaries between the Acarnanians and the Aetolians; for they would decide the dispute by arms, since they had no arbitrators, and the more powerful of the two would win the victory; and this is the cause of the fabrication of a certain myth, telling how Heracles defeated Achelous and, as the prize of his victory, won the hand of Deianeira, the daughter of Oeneus, whom Sophocles represents as speaking as follows: For my suitor was a river-god, I mean Achelous, who would demand me of my father in three shapes, coming now as a bull in bodily form, now as a gleaming serpent in coils, now with trunk of man and front of ox.

The horn of Amaltheia

Some writers add to the myth, saying that this was the horn of Amaltheia, which Heracles broke off from Achelous and gave to Oeneus as a wedding gift. Others, conjecturing the truth from the myths, say that the Achelous, like the other rivers, was called "like a bull" from the roaring of its waters, and also from the the bendings of its streams, which were called Horns, and "like a serpent" because of its length and windings, and "with front of ox" for the same reason that he was called "bull-faced"; and that Heracles, who in general was inclined to deeds of kindness, but especially for Oeneus, since he was to ally himself with him by marriage, regulated the irregular flow of the river by means of embankments and channels, and thus rendered a considerable part of Paracheloitis dry, all to please Oeneus; and that this was the horn of Amaltheia.

The Akhili of Achilles

ACHILI (Settlement) SKYROS
  Achilles’ mother, goddess Thetis, heard about a prophecy which said that her son would be killed in the Trojan War. Apart form all the other precautions that she took in order to prevent fate, she disguised Achilles as a woman, gave him the name "Pyrrha" (blonde) and hid him at Lykomedes’ palace. Achilles and the king’s daughter, Deidamia couldn't help falling in love. The result of their love was their son Pyrrhos (blond), whose descendant, Olympiada, gave birth to Alexander the Great. But Achilles didn’t escape his destiny. A fortuneteller revealed Achilles’ hideout and the Greeks sent Ulysses to bring him from Skyros in order to lead the war in Troy and bring back the beautiful Helen. The ingenious Ulysses got into Lycomedes’ court disguised as a merchant. In his basket he had jewels and weapons. Women chose the jewels, but Achilles chose a sword which revealed his male nature and was caught out. So he set off to the Trojan War and his heroic death from Akhili: The little haven of Skyros, which takes its name form Achilles, and every Skyrian today shows it to tourists with pride.
This text (extract) is cited July 2003 from the Municipality of Skyros tourist pamphlet.

Poseidon and Helius (Sun)

A legend of the Corinthians about their land is not peculiar to them, for I believe that the Athenians were the first to relate a similar story to glorify Attica. The Corinthians say that Poseidon had a dispute with Helius (Sun) about the land, and that Briareos arbitrated between them, assigning to Poseidon the Isthmus and the parts adjoining, and giving to Helius the height above the city.

Alpheus and Arethusa

There is another legend about the Alpheius. They say that there was a hunter called Alpheius, who fell in love with Arethusa, who was herself a huntress. Arethusa, unwilling to marry crossed, they say, to the island opposite Syracuse called Ortygia, and there turned from a woman to a spring. Alpheius too was changed by his love into the river. This account of Ortygia. But that the Alpheius passes through the sea and mingles his waters with the spring at this place I cannot disbelieve, as I know that the god at Delphi confirms the story. For this reason, therefore, because the water of the Alpheius mingles with the Arethusa, I am convinced that the legend arose of the river's love-affair.

Lophis river

ALIARTOS (Ancient city) VIOTIA
River near Haliartus, slain by his father.


AMYKLES (Ancient sanctuary) SPARTI
   Son of King Amyclas, of Amyclae in Laconia, and of Diomedes. He was beloved for his beauty by Apollo and Zephyrus. As Apollo was one day teaching the boy how to play at quoits, on the banks of the river Eurotas, the wind-god in his jealousy drove the quoit with such violence against the head of Hyacinthus that the blow killed him. From his blood Apollo caused a flower of the same name to spring up, with the exclamation of woe, AI, AI, marked upon its petals. (See Aiax.) Hyacinthus, like Adonis, is a personification of vegetation, which flourishes in the spring-time, but is scorched and killed by the glowing heat of the summer sun, which is symbolized by the quoit or discus.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Hyacinthus (Hyacinthos). The youngest son of the Spartan king Amyclas and Diomede (Apollod. iii. 10.3; Paus. iii. 1.3, 19.4), but according to others a son of Pierus and Clio, or of Oebalus or Eurotas (Lucian, Dial. Deor. 14; Hygin. Fab. 271). He was a youth of extraordinary beauty, and beloved by Thamyris and Apollo, who unintentionally killed him during a game of discus (Apollod. i. 3.3). Some traditions relate that he was beloved also by Boreas or Zephrus, who, from jealousy of Apollo, drove the discus of the god against the head of the youth, and thus killed him (Lucian, l. c; Serv. ad Virg. Eelog. iii. 63; Philostr. Imag. i.24; Ov. Met. x. 184). From the blood of Hyacinthus there sprang the flower of the same name (hyacinth), on the leaves of which there appeared the exclamation of woe AI, AI, or the letter U, being the initial of Huakinthos. According to other traditions, the hyacinth (on the leaves of which, howeve those characters do not appear) sprang from the blood of Ajax (Schol. ad Theocrit. x. 28; comp. Ov. Met. xiii. 395, who combines both legends; Plin. H. N. xxi. 28). Hyacinthus was worshipped at Amyclae as a hero, and a great festival, Hyacinthia, was celebrated in his honour. (Dict. of Ant. s. r.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited April 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Daughters of Hyacinth, slain by the Athenians: Aegleis, Antheis.

Glaucus and Skylla


Glaucus (Glaukos). A sea deity, probably only another form of Poseidon, whose son he is, according to some accounts. Like the marine gods in general, he had the gift of prophecy; and we find him appearing to the Argonauts, and to Menelaus, and telling them what had happened, or what was to happen. In later times sailors were continually making reports of his soothsaying. Some said that he dwelt with the Nereides at Delos, where he gave responses to all who sought them. According to others, he visited each year all the isles and coasts, with a train of monsters of the deep (ketea), and, unseen, foretold in the Aeolic dialect all kinds of evil. The fishermen watched for his approach, and endeavoured by fastings, prayer, and fumigations to avert the ruin with which his prophecy menaced the fruits and cattle. At times he was seen among the waves, and his body appeared covered with mussels, seaweed, and stones. He was heard evermore to lament his fate in not being able to die. This last circumstance refers to the common legendary history of Glaucus. He was a fisherman, it is said, of Anthedon, in Boeotia. Observing one day the fish which he had caught and thrown on the grass to bite it, and then to jump into the sea, his curiosity incited him to taste it also. Immediately on his doing so he followed their example, and thus became a sea-god. Another account made him to have obtained his immortality by tasting the grass, which had revived a hare he had run down in Aetolia. He was also said to have built and steered the Argo, and to have been made a god of the sea by Zeus during the voyage. An account of the story of his love for Scylla will be found under Scylla.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Glaucus. Of Anthedon in Boeotia, a fisherman, who had the good luck to eat a part of the divine herb which Cronos had sown, and which made Glaucus immortal. (Athen. vii. c. 48; Claud. de Nupt. Mar. x. 158.) His parentage is different in the different traditions, which are enumerated by Athenaeus; some called his father Copeus, others Polybus, the husband of Euboea, and others again Anthedon or Poseidon. He was further said to have been a clever diver, to have built the ship Argo, and to have accompanied the Argonauts as their steersman. In the sea-fight of Jason against the Tyrrhenians, Glaucus alone remained unhurt; he sank to the bottom of the sea, where he was visible to none save to Jason. From this moment he became a marine deity, and was of service to the Argonauts. The story of his sinking or leaping into the sea was variously modified in the different traditions. (Bekker, Anecdot.; Schol. ad Plat. de Leg. x.) There was a belief in Greece that once in every year Glaucus visited all the coasts and islands, accompanied by marine monsters, and gave his prophecies. (Paus. ix. 22.6.) Fishermen and sailors paid particular reverence to him, and watched his oracles, which were believed to be very trustworthy. The story of his various loves seems to have been a favourite subject with the ancient poets, and many of his l06e adventures are related by various writers. The place of his abode varies in the different traditions, but Aristotle stated that he dwelt in Delos, where, in conjunction with the nymphs, he gave oracles; for his prophetic power was said by some to be even greater than that of Apollo, who is called his disciple in it. (Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 1310; Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 753; Eustath. ad Hom.; Ov. Met. xiii. 904, &c.; Serv. ad. Virg. Georg. i. 437, Aen. iii. 420, v. 832, vi. 36; Strab.) A representation of Glaucus is described by Philostratus (Imag i. 15): he was seen as a man whose hair and beard were dripping with water, with bristly eye-brows, his breast covered with sea-weeds, and the lower part of the body ending in the tail of a fish. (For further descriptions of his appearance, see Nonn. Dionys. xiii. 73, xxxv. 73, xxxix. 99; Schol. ad Eurip. Orest. 318, 364 ; Stat. Silv. iii. 2, 36, Theb. vii. 335, &c.; Vell. Pat. ii. 83.) This deified Glaucus was likewise chosen by the Greek poets as the subject of dramatic compositions (Welcker, Die Aeschyl. Trilogie, Nachtrag), and we know from Velleius Paterculus that the mimus Plancus represented this marine daemon on the stage.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Danaids, the 50 daughters of Danaus

ARGOS (Ancient city) ARGOLIS
  Reigning over the Egyptians Epaphus married Memphis, daughter of Nile, founded and named the city of Memphis after her, and begat a daughter Libya, after whom the region of Libya was called. Libya had by Poseidon twin sons, Agenor and Belus. Agenor departed to Phoenicia and reigned there, and there he became the ancestor of the great stock; hence we shall defer our account of him. But Belus remained in Egypt, reigned over the country, and married Anchinoe, daughter of Nile, by whom he had twin sons, Egyptus and Danaus, but according to Euripides, he had also Cepheus and Phineus. Danaus was settled by Belus in Libya, and Egyptus in Arabia; but Egyptus subjugated the country of the Melampods and named it Egypt < after himself>. Both had children by many wives; Egyptus had fifty sons, and Danaus fifty daughters. As they afterwards quarrelled concerning the kingdom, Danaus feared the sons of Egyptus, and by the advice of Athena he built a ship, being the first to do so, and having put his daughters on board he fled. And touching at Rhodes he set up the image of Lindian Athena. Thence he came to Argos and the reigning king Gelanor surrendered the kingdom to him;< and having made himself master of the country he named the inhabitants Danai after himself>. But the country being waterless, because Poseidon had dried up even the springs out of anger at Inachus for testifying that the land belonged to Hera, Danaus sent his daughters to draw water. One of them, Amymone, in her search for water threw a dart at a deer and hit a sleeping satyr, and he, starting up, desired to force her; but Poseidon appearing on the scene, the satyr fled, and Amymone lay with Poseidon, and he revealed to her the springs at Lerna.
  But the sons of Egyptus came to Argos, and exhorted Danaus to lay aside his enmity, and begged to marry his daughters. Now Danaus distrusted their professions and bore them a grudge on account of his exile; nevertheless he consented to the marriage and allotted the damsels among them. First, they picked out Hypermnestra as the eldest to be the wife of Lynceus, and Gorgophone to be the wife of Proteus; for Lynceus and Proteus had been borne to Egyptus by a woman of royal blood, Argyphia; but of the rest Busiris, Enceladus, Lycus, and Daiphron obtained by lot the daughters that had been borne to Danaus by Europe, to wit, Automate, Amymone, Agave, and Scaea. These daughters were borne to Danaus by a queen; but Gorgophone and Hypermnestra were borne to him by Elephantis. And Istrus got Hippodamia; Chalcodon got Rhodia; Agenor got Cleopatra; Chaetus got Asteria; Diocorystes got Hippodamia; Alces got Glauce; Alcmenor got Hippomedusa; Hippothous got Gorge; Euchenor got Iphimedusa; Hippolytus got Rhode. These ten sons were begotten on an Arabian woman; but the maidens were begotten on Hamadryad nymphs, some being daughters of Atlantia, and others of Phoebe. Agaptolemus got Pirene; Cercetes got Dorium; Eurydamas got Phartis; Aegius got Mnestra; Argius got Evippe; Archelaus got Anaxibia; Menemachus got Nelo. These seven sons were begotten on a Phoenician woman, and the maidens on an Ethiopian woman. The sons of Egyptus by Tyria got as their wives, without drawing lots, the daughters of Danaus by Memphis in virtue of the similarity of their names; thus Clitus got Clite; Sthenelus got Sthenele; Chrysippus got Chrysippe. The twelve sons of Egyptus by the Naiad nymph Caliadne cast lots for the daughters of Danaus by the Naiad nymph Polyxo: the sons were Eurylochus, Phantes, Peristhenes, Hermus, Dryas, Potamon, Cisseus, Lixus, Imbrus, Bromius, Polyctor, Chthonius; and the damsels were Autonoe, Theano, Electra, Cleopatra, Eurydice, Glaucippe, Anthelia, Cleodore, Evippe, Erato, Stygne, Bryce. The sons of Egyptus by Gorgo, cast lots for the daughters of Danaus by Pieria, and Periphas got Actaea, Oeneus got Podarce, Egyptus got Dioxippe, Menalces got Adite, Lampus got Ocypete, Idmon got Pylarge. The youngest sons of Egyptus were these: Idas got Hippodice; Daiphron got Adiante ( the mother who bore these damsels was Herse); Pandion got Callidice; Arbelus got Oeme; Hyperbius got Celaeno; Hippocorystes got Hyperippe; the mother of these men was Hephaestine, and the mother of these damsels was Crino.
  When they had got their brides by lot, Danaus made a feast and gave his daughters daggers; and they slew their bridegrooms as they slept, all but Hypermnestra; for she saved Lynceus because he had respected her virginity: wherefore Danaus shut her up and kept her under ward. But the rest of the daugters of Danaus buried the heads of their bridegrooms in Lerna and paid funeral honors to their bodies in front of the city; and Athena and Hermes purified them at the command of Zeus. Danaus afterwards united Hypermnestra to Lynceus; and bestowed his other daughters on the victors in an athletic contest.
  Amymone had a son Nauplius by Poseidon. This Nauplius lived to a great age, and sailing the sea he used by beacon lights to lure to death such as he fell in with. It came to pass, therefore, that he himself died by that very death. But before his death he married a wife; according to the tragic poets, she was Clymene, daughter of Catreus; but according to the author of The Returns,(1) she was Philyra; and according to Cercops she was Hesione. By her he had Palamedes, Oeax, and Nausimedon.
1. Nostoi, an epic poem describing the return of the Homeric heroes from Troy.

This extract is from: Apollodorus, Library and Epitome (ed. Sir James George Frazer, 1921). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

Danaides, the fifty daughters of Danaus, whose names are given by Apollodorus (ii. 1.5) and Hyginus (Fab. 170), though they are not the same in both lists. They were betrothed to the fifty sons of Aegyptus, but were compelled by their father to promise him to kill their husbands, in the first night, with the swords which he gave them. They fulfilled their promise, and cut off the heads of their husbands with the exception of Hypermnestra alone, who was married to Lynceus, and who spared his life (Pind. Nem. x. 7). According to some accounts, Amymone and Berbyce also did not kill their husbands (Schol. ad find. Pyth. ix. 200; Eustath. ad Dionys. Perieg. 805). Hypermnestra was punished by her father with imprisonment, but was afterwards restored to her husband Lynceus. The Danaides buried the corpses of their victims, and were purified from their crime by Hermes and Athena at the command of Zeus. Danaus afterwards found it difficult to obtain husbands for his daughters, and he invited men to public contests, in which his daughters were given as prizes to the victors (Pind. Ryth. ix. 117). Pindar mentions only forty-eight Danaides as having obtained husbands in this manner, for Hypermnestra and Amymone are not included, since the former was already married to Lynceus and the latter to Poseidon. Pausanias (vii. 1.3. Comp. iii. 12.2; Herod. ii. 98) mentions, that Automate and Scaea were married to Architeles and Archander, the sons of Achaeus. According to the Scholiast on Euripides (Hecub. 886), the Danaides were killed by Lynceus together with their father. Notwithstanding their purification mentioned in the earlier writers, later poets relate that the Danaides were punished for their crime in Hades by being compelled everlastingly to pour water into a vessel full of holes (Ov. Met. iv. 462, Heroid. xiv.; Horat. Carm. iii. 11. 25; Tibull. i. 3. 79; Hygin. Fab. 168; Serv. ad Aen. x. 497). Strabo (viii. p. 371 ) and others relate, that Danaus or the Danaides provided Argos with water, and for this reason four of the latter were worshipped at Argos as divinities; and this may possibly be the foundation of the story about the punishment of the Danaides. Ovid calls them by the name of the Belides, from their grandfather, Belus; and Herodotus (ii. 171), following the titles of the Egyptians, says, that they brought the mysteries of Demeter Thesmophoros from Egypt to Peloponnesus, and that the Pelasgian women there learned the mysteries from them.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited April 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Pdysadeia (Danaid)

Pdysadeia (Phusadeia), a daughter of Danaus, from whom the well of Physadeia near Argos, was believed to have derived its name. (Callim. Hymn. in Pall. 47)

Io (Isis)

Io. The beautiful daughter of Inachus, and the first priestess of Here at Argos. As Zeus loved her, she was changed by the jealousy of Here into a white heifer, and Argus of the hundred eyes was appointed to watch her. When Hermes, at the command of Zeus, had killed Argus, Here maddened the heifer by sending a gad-fly which perpetually pursued her. Io thus wandered through the continents of Europe and Asia, by land and by sea. Each of the different straits she swam across was named after her Bosporus, or Ox-ford. At last in Egypt she recovered her original shape, and bore Epaphus to Zeus. Libya, the daughter of Epaphus, became by Poseidon the mother of Belus, who in turn was father of Aegyptus, Danaus, Cepheus, and Phineus. The Greek legend of Io's going to Egypt is probably to be explained by her having been identified with the Egyptian goddess Isis, who is always represented with cow's horns. Io ("the wanderer") is generally explained as a moon-goddess wandering in the starry heavens, symbolized by Argus of the hundred eyes; her transformation into a horned heifer representing the crescent moon.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited April 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Io. The traditions about this heroine are so manifold, that it is impossible to give any goneral view of them without some classification we shall therefore give first the principal local traditions, next the wanderings of Io, as they are described by later writers, and lastly mention the various attempts to explain the stories about her.

Local traditions  The place to which the legends of lo belong, and where she was closely connected with the worship of Zeus and Hera, is Argos. The chronological tables of the priestesses of Hera at Argos placed Io at the head of the list of priestesses, under the name of Callirhoe, or Callithyia (Preller, de Hellan. Lesb. p. 40). She is commonly described as a daughter of Inachus, the founder of the worship of Hera at Argos, and by others as a daughter of Iasus or Peiren. Zeus loved Io, but on account of Hera's jealousy, he metamorphosed her into a white cow. Hera thereupon asked and obtained the cow from Zeus, and placed her under the care of Argus Panoptes, who tied her to an olive tree in the grove of Hera at Mycenae. But Hermes was commissioned by Zens to deliver Io, and carry her off. Hermes being guided by a bird (hierax, pikon), who was Zeus himself (Suid. s. v. Io), slew Argus with a stone. Hera then sent a gad-fly which tormented Io, and persecuted her through the whole earth, until at length she found rest on the banks of the Nile (Apollod. ii. 1.2; Hygin. Fab. 145; comp. Virg. Georg. iii. 148, & c.). This is the common story, which appears to be very ancient, since Homer constantly applies the epithet of Argeiphontes (the siaver of Argus) to Hermes. But there are some slight modifications of the story in the different writers. Some, for example, place the scene of the murder of Argus at Nemea (Lucian, Dial. Deor. 3; Etymol. Mag. s. v. Aphesios). Ovid (Met. i. 722) relates that Hermes first sent Argus to sleep by the sweetness of his music on the flute, and that he then cut off the head of Argus, whose eyes Hera transferred to the tail of the peacock, her favourite bird (Comp. Moschus, Idyll. ii. 59). A peculiar mournfill festival was celebrated in honour of Io at Argos, and although we have no distinct statement that she was worshipped in the historical ages of Greece, still it is not improbable that she was (Suid. l. c.; Palaephat. p. 43; Strab. xiv.). There are indeed other places, besides Argos, where we meet with the legends of Io, but they must be regarded as importations from Argos, either through colonies sent by the latter city, or they were transplanted with the worship of Hera, the Argive goddess. We may mention Euboea, which probably derived its name from the cow Io, and where the spot was shown on which Io was believed to have been killed, as well as the cave in which she had given birth to Epaphus (Strab vii.; Steph. Byz. l. s. Argoura; Etymol. Mag. s. v. Euboia). Another place is Byzantium, in the foundation of which Argive colonists had taken part, and where the Bosporus derived its name, from the cow Io having swam across it. From the Thracian Bosporus the story then spread to the Cimmerian Bosporus and Panticapaeum. Tarsus and Antioch likewise had monuments to prove that Io had been in their neighbourhood, and that they were colonies of Argos. Io was further said to have been at Joppa and in Aethiopia, together with Perseus and Medusa (Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 835, &c.); but it was more especially the Greeks residing in Egypt, who maintained that Io had been in Egypt, where she was said to have given birth to Epaphus, and to have introduced the worship of Isis, while Epaphus became the founder of a family from which sprang Danaus, who subsequently returned to Argos. This part of the story seems to have arisen from certain resemblances of religious notions, which subsequently even gave rise to the identification of Io and Isis. Herodotus (i. l, & c., ii. 41) tells us that Isis was represented like the Greek Io, in the form of a woman, with cows' horns.

The wanderings of Io. The idea of Io having wandered about after her metamorphosis appears to have been as ancient as the mythus respecting her, but those wanderings were extended and poetically embellished in proportion as geographical knowledge increased. The most important passage is in the Prometheus of Aeschylus (705, & c.), although it is almost impossible to reconcile the poet's description with ancient geography, so far as we know it. From Argos Io first went to Molossis and the neighbourhood of Dodona, and from thence to the sea, which derived from her the name of the Ionian. After many wanderings through the unknown regions of the north, she arrived in the place where Prometheus was fastened to a rock. As the Titan prescribes to her the course she has yet to take, it is of importance to ascertain the spot at which he begins to describe her course; but the expressions of Aeschylus are so vague, that it is a hopeless attempt to determine that spot. According to the extant play, it is somewhere in European Scythia, perhaps to the north of the river Istrus; but in the last play of the Trilogy, as well as in other accounts, the Caucasus is mentioned as the place where the Titan endured his tortures, and it remains again uncertain in what part of the Caucasus we have to conceive the suffering Titan. It seems to be the most probable supposition, that Aeschylus himself did not form a clear and distinct notion of the wanderings he describes, for how little he cared about geographical accuracy is evident from the fact, that in the Supplices (548, & c.) he describes the wanderings of Io in a very diffent manner from that adopted in the Prometheus. If, however, we place Prometheus somewhere in the north of Europe, the course he prescribes may be conceived in the following manner. Io has first to wander towards the east, through unknown countries, to the Scythian nomades (north of Olbia), whom, however, she is to avoid, by travelling through their country along the sea-coast; she is then to have on her left the Chalybes, against whom she must likewise be on her guard. These Chalybes are probably the Cimmerians, who formerly inhabited the Crimea and the adjacent part of Scythia, and afterwards the country about Sinope. From thence she is to arrive on the river Hybristes (the Don or Cuban), which she is to follow up to its sources, in the highest parts of Mount Caucasus, in order there to cross it. Thence she is to proceed southward, where she is to meet the Amazons (who at that time are conceived to live in Colchis, afterwards in Themiscyra, on the river Thermodon), who are to conduct her to the place where the Salmydessian rock endangers all navigation. This latter point is so clear an allusion to the coast north of the mouth of the Bosporus, that we must suppose that Aeschylus meant to describe Io as crossing the Thracian Bosporus from Asia into Europe. From thence he leads her to the Cimmerian Bosporus, which is to receive its name from her, and across the palus Maeotis. In this manner she would in part touch upon the same countries which she had traversed before. After this she is to leave Europe and go to Asia, according to which the poet must here make the Maeotis the boundary between Europe and Asia, whereas elsewhere he makes the Phasis the boundary. The description of the wanderings of Io is taken up again at verse 788. She is told that after crossing the water separating the two continents, she is to arrive in the hot countries situated under the rising sun. At this point in the description there is a gap, and the last passage probably described her further progress through Asia. Io then has again to cross a sea,after which she is to come to the Gorgonaean plains of Cisthenes (which, according to the scholiast, is a town of Aethiopia or Libya), and to meet the Graeae and Gorgones. The sea here mentioned is probably the so-called Indian Bosporus (Steph. Byz. s. v. Bosporos; Eustath. ad Dionys. Perieg. 143), where the extremities of Asia and Libya, India and Aethiopia, were conceived to be close to each other, and where some writers place the Gorgones (Schol. ad Pind. Pyth. x. 72). The mention, in the verses following, of the griffins and Arimaspae, who are generally assigned to northern regions, creates some difficulty, though the poet may have mentioned them without meaning to place them in the south, but only for the purpose of connecting the misfortunes of Io with the best-known monsters. From the Indian Bosporus, Io is to arrive in the country of the black people, dwelling around the well of the sun, on the river Aethiops, that is, the upper part of the Nile or the Niger. She is to follow the course of that river, until she comes to the cataracts of the Nile, which river she is again to follow down to the Delta, where delivery awaits her (Comp. Eurip. Iphig. Taur. 382, & c.; Apollod. ii. 1.3; Hygin. Fab. 145).
  The mythus of Io is one of the most ancient, and at the same time one of the most difficult to explain. The ancients believed Io to be the moon, and there is a distinct tradition that the Argives called the moon Io (Eustath. ad Dionys. Perieg. 92; Suid. and IIesych. s. v. Io). This opinion has also been adopted by some modern critics, who at the same time see in this mythus a confirmation of the belief in an ancient connection between the religions of Greece and Egypt (Buttmann, Mytholog. vol. ii. p. 179, & c.; Welcker, Die Aeschyl. Trilog. p. 127, & c.; Schwenk, Etymol. Mythol. Andeutungen, p. 62, & c.; Mytholog. der Griech. p. 52, & c. ; Klausen, in the Rhein. Museum, vol. iii. p. 293, & c.; Voelcker, Mythol Geogr. der Griech. u. Rom. vol. i). That Io is identical with the moon cannot be doubted (comp. Eurip. Phoen, 1123; Macrob. Sat. i. 19), and the various things related of her refer to the phases and phenomena of the moon, and are intimately connected with the worship of Zeus and Hera at Argos. Her connection with Egypt seems to be an invention of later times, and was probably suggested by the resemblance which was found to exist between the Argive Io and the Egyptian Isis.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited April 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

  The Persian learned men say that the Phoenicians ... they came to Argos, which was at that time preeminent in every way among the people of what is now called Hellas. The Phoenicians came to Argos, and set out their cargo. On the fifth or sixth day after their arrival, when their wares were almost all sold, many women came to the shore and among them especially the daughter of the king, whose name was Io (according to Persians and Greeks alike), the daughter of Inachus. As these stood about the stern of the ship bargaining for the wares they liked, the Phoenicians incited one another to set upon them. Most of the women escaped: Io and others were seized and thrown into the ship, which then sailed away for Egypt. In this way, the Persians say (and not as the Greeks), was how Io came to Egypt, and this, according to them, was the first wrong that was done. Next, according to their story, some Greeks (they cannot say who) landed at Tyre in Phoenicia and carried off the king's daughter Europa. These Greeks must, I suppose, have been Cretans. So far, then, the account between them was balanced Such is the Persian account...
... But the Phoenicians do not tell the same story about Io as the Persians. They say that they did not carry her off to Egypt by force. She had intercourse in Argos with the captain of the ship. Then, finding herself pregnant, she was ashamed to have her parents know it, and so, lest they discover her condition, she sailed away with the Phoenicians of her own accord.

This extract is from: Herodotus. The Histories (ed. A. D. Godley, 1920), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

Phoronis, a surname of Io, being according to some a descendant, and according to others a sister of Phoroneus. (Ov. Met. i. 668 ; Hygin. Fab. 145.)

Inachia (Inachis, Inacheie, Inachione), frequently occur as surnames of Io, the daughter of Inachus. (Virg. Georg. iii. 153; Ov. Fast. iii. 658, Met. ix. 686; Aeschyl. Prom. 591; Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 254.) Epaphus, a grandson of Inachus, bears the same surname (Ov. Met. i. 753); and so also Perseus, merely because he was born at Argos, the city of Inachus. (Ov. Met. iv. 719.)

The Story of Io

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Argus Panopte

Argus, surnamed Panoptes. His parentage is stated differently, and his father is called Agenor, Arestor, Inachus, or Argus, whereas some accounts described him as an Autochthon (Apollod. ii. 1, 2; Ov. Met. i. 264). He derived his surname, Panoptes, the all-seeing, from his possessing a hundred eyes, some of which were always awake. He was of superhuman strength, and after he had slain a fierce bull which ravaged Arcadia, a Satyr who robbed and violated persons, the serpent Echidna, which rendered the roads unsafe, and the murderers of Apis, who was according to some accounts his father, Hera appointed him guardian of the cow into which Io had been metamorphosed (Comp. Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 1151, 1213). Zeus commissioned Hermes to carry off the cow, and Hermes accomplished the task, according to some accounts, by stoning Argus to death, or according to others, by sending him to sleep by the sweetness of his play on the flute and then cutting off his head. Hera transplanted his eyes to the tail of the peacock, her favourite bird (Aeschyl. Prom.; Apollod. Ov. ll. cc).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited April 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Ismene. A daughter of Asopus and Metope, and wife of Argus, by whom she became the mother of Iasus and Io. (Apoiiod. ii. 1 Β 3.)

Falx (drepanon)

Falx dim. Falcula (harpe, kopis, drepanon, poet. drepane, dim. drepanion), a sickle; a scythe; a pruning-knife, or pruning-hook; a bill; a falchion; a halbert.
  As culter denoted a knife with one straight edge, falx signified any similar instrument, the single edge of which was curved. (Drepanon eukampes, Hom. Od. xviii. 368; curvae falces, Verg. Georg. i. 508; curvamine falcis aenae, Ovid, Met. vii. 227; adunca falce, xiv. 628.) By additional epithets the various uses of the falx were indicated, and its corresponding varieties in form and size. Thus the sickle, because it was used by reapers, was called falx messoria; the scythe, which was employed in mowing hay, was called falx fenaria; the pruning-knife and the bill, on account of their use in dressing vines, as well as in hedging and in cutting off the shoots and branches of trees, were distinguished by the appellation of falx putatoria, vinitoria, arboraria, or silvatica (Cato, de Re Rust. 10, 11; Pallad. i. 43; Colum. iv. 25), or by the diminutive falcula (Colum. xii. 18)....
...The edge of the falx was often toothed or serrated (harpen karcharodonta, Hesiod, Theog. 175, 179; denticulata, Colum. de Re Rust. ii. 21). The indispensable process of sharpening these instruments (harpen charassemenai, Hesiod, Op. 573; harpen eukampe neothegea, Apoll. Rhod. iii. 1387) was effected by whetstones which the Romans obtained from Crete and other distant places, with the addition of oil or water which the mower (fenisex) carried in a horn upon his thigh (Plin. H. N. xviii.261).
  Numerous as were the uses to which the falx was applied in agriculture and horticulture, its employment in battle was almost equally varied, though not so frequent. The Geloni were noted for its use (Claudian, de Laud. Stil. i. 110). It was the weapon with which Jupiter wounded Typhon (Apollod. i. 6); with which Hercules slew the Lernaean Hydra (Eurip. Ion, 192); and with which Mercury cut off the head of Argus (falcato ense, Ovid, Met. i. 717; harpen Cyllenida, Lucan ix.661-667). Perseus, having received the same weapon from Mercury, or, according to other authorities, from Vulcan, used it to decapitate Medusa and to slay the sea-monster (Apollod. ii. 4; Eratosth. Cataster. 22; Ovid, Met. iv. 666, 720, 727, v. 69; Anth. Pal. xi. 52). From the passages now referred to, we may conclude that the falchion was a weapon of the most remote antiquity; that it was girt like a dagger upon the waist; that it was held in the hand by a short hilt; and that, as it was in fact a dagger or sharp-pointed blade, with a proper falx projecting from one side, it was thrust into the flesh up to this lateral curvature (curvo tenus abdidit hamo). In the following woodcut, four examples are selected from works of ancient art to illustrate its form. One of the four cameos here copied represents Perseus with the falchion in his right hand, and the head of Medusa in his left. The two smaller figures are heads of Saturn with the falx in its original form; and the fourth cameo, representing the same divinity at full length, was probably engraved in Italy at a later period than the others, but early enough to prove that the scythe was in use among the Romans, while it illustrates the adaptation of the symbols of Saturn (Kronos: senex falcifer, Ovid, Fast. v. 627; Ibis, 216) for the purpose of personifying Time (Chronos).
  If we imagine the weapon which has now been described to be attached to the end of a pole, it would assume the form and be applicable to all the purposes of the modern halbert. Such must have been the asseres falcati used by the Romans at the siege of Ambracia (Liv. xxxviii. 5; cf. Caes. B. G. vii. 22, 86; Q. Curt. iv. 19). Sometimes the iron head was so large as to be fastened, instead of the ram's head, to a wooden beam, and worked by men under a testudo (Veget. iv. 14).
Lastly, the Assyrians, the Persians, the Medes, and the Syrians in Asia (Xen. Cyrop. vi. 1, § 30, 2,7; Anab. i. 8,10;--Diod. ii. 5, xvii. 53; Polyb. v. 53; Q. Curt. iv. 9, 12, 13; Gell. v. 5; 2 Mace. xiii. 2; Veget. iii. 24; Liv. xxxvii. 41), and the Gauls and Britons in Europe, made themselves formidable on the field of battle by the use of chariots with scythes, fixed at right angles (eis plagion) to the axle and turned downwards; or inserted parallel to the axle into the felly of the wheel, so as to revolve, when the chariot was put in motion, with more than thrice the velocity of the chariot itself; and sometimes also projecting from the extremities of the axle.

Hymen, Hymenaeus

Hymen or Hymeneus (Hgmen or Hgmenaios), the god of marriage, was conceived as a handsome youth, and invoked in the hymeneal or bridal song. The names originally designated the bridal song itself, which was subsequently personified. The first trace of this personification occurs in Euripides (Troad. 31 1), or perhaps in Sappho ( Fragm. 73, p. 80, ed. Neue). The poetical origin of the god Hymen or Hymenaeus is also implied in the fact of his being described as the son of Apollo and a Muse, either Calliope, Urania, or Terpsichore. (Catull. lxi. 2; Nonn. Dionys. xxxiii. 67; Schol. Vatic. ad Eurip. Rhes. 895, ed. Dindorf; Schol. ad Pind. Pyth. iv. 313; Alciphron, Epist. i. 13; Tzetz. Chil. xiii. 599.) Hence he is mentioned along with the sons of the Muses, Linus and Ialemus, and with Orpheus. Others describe him only as the favourite of Apollo or Thamyris, and call him a son of Magnes and Calliope, or of Dionysus and Aphrodite. (Suid. s. v. Thamurris; Anton. Lib. 23; Serv. ad Aen. iv. 127, ad Virg. Eclog. viii. 30.)
  The ancient traditions, instead of regarding the god as a personification of the hymeneal song, speak of him as originally a mortal, respecting whom various legends were related. According to an Argive tradition, Hymenaeus was a youth of Argos, who, while sailing along the coast of Attica, delivered a number of Attic maidens from the violence of some Pelasgian pirates, and was afterwards praised by them in their bridal songs, which were called, after him, hymeneal songs (Eustath. ad Horn. p. 1157).
  The Attic legends described him as a youth of such delicate beauty, that he might be taken for a girl. He fell in love with a maiden, who refused to listen to him; but in the disguise of a girl he followed her to Eleusis to the festival of Demeter. He, together with the other girls, was carried off by robbers into a distant and desolate country. On their landing, the robbers laid down to sleep, and were killed by Hymenaeus, who now returned to Athens, requesting the citizens to give him his beloved in marriage, if he restored to them the maidens who had been carried off by the robbers. His request was granted, and his marriage was extremely happy. For this reason he was invoked in the hymeneal songs (Serv. ad Aen. i. 655, ad Virg. Eclog. viii. 30).
  According to others he was a youth, and was killed by the breaking down of his house on his wedding-day whence he was afterwards invoked in bridal songs, in order to be propitiated (Serv. l. c.); and some related that at the wedding of Dionysus and Ariadne he sang the bridal hymn, but lost his voice (Serv. l. c.; comp. Scriptor Rerum Mythic. pp. 26, 148, 229; Ov. Met. ii. 683, who makes him a son of Argus and Perimele; Terent. Adelph. v. 7, 8.)
  According to the Orphic legends, the deceased Hymenaeus was called to life again by Asclepius (Apollod. iii. 10.3). He is represented in works of art as a youth, but taller and with a more serious expression than Eros, and carrying in his hand a bridal torch. (Hirt, Mythol. Bilderb. ii. p. 224.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited April 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Tantalus (Tantalos)

Tantalus (Tantalos) . . . All traditions agree in stating that he was a wealthy king, but while some call him king of Lydia. of Sipylus in Phrygia or Paphlagonia, others describe him as king of Argos or Corinth.


Broteas, the father of Tantalus, who had been married to Clytaemnestra before Agamemnon. The common account, however, is, that Thyestes was the father of this Tantalus. (Paus. ii. 22.4)


Chloris. A daughter of the Theban Amphion and Niobe. According to an Argive tradition, her original name was Meliboea, and she and her brother Amyclas were the only children of Niobe that were not killed by Apollo and Artemis. But the terror of Chloris at the death of her brothers and sisters was so great, that she turned perfectly white, and was therefore called Chloris. She and her brother built the temple of Leto at Argos, which contained a statue of Chloris also (Paus. ii. 21.10). According to an Olympian legend, she once gained the prize in the footrace during the festival of Hera at Olympia (Paus. v. 16.3). Apollodorus (iii. 5.6) and Hyginus (Fab. 10, 69) confound her with Chloris, the wife of Neleus.

Chloris. The wife of Zephyrus, and the goddess of flowers, so that she is identical with the Roman Flora. (Ov. Fast. v. 195.) There are two more mythical personages of the name of Chloris. (Hygin. Fab. 14; Anton. Lib. 9.)

Selemnus Argyra

ARGYRA (Ancient city) RIO

Argyra (Argura), the nymph of a well in Achaia, was in love with a beautiful shepherd-boy, Selemnus, and visited him frequently, but when his youthful beauty vanished, she forsook him. The boy now pined away with grief, and Aphrodite, moved to pity, changed him into the river Selemnus. There was a popular belief in Achaia, that if an unhappy lover bathed in the water of this river, he would forget the grief of his love. (Paus. vii. 23.2)

The battle of Amphiaraos' chariot

ARMA (Ancient city) TANAGRA
Harma (= chariot) was named after the chariot of the mythological hero Amphiaraos from Argos, that was destroyed in this area (Paus. 1,34,2, 9,19,4).

Agraulos (Aglaurus), Herse & Erichthonius

ATHENS (Ancient city) GREECE
Agraulos. Daughter of Cecrops and Agraulos, of whom various stories are told. Athene is said to have given Erichthonius in a chest to Agraulos and her sister Herse, with strict injunctions not to open it; but they disobeyed the command. Agraulos was subsequently punished by being changed into a stone by Hermes, because she attempted to prevent the god from entering the house of Herse, with whom he had fallen in love. Another legend relates that Agraulos threw herself down from the Acropolis because an oracle had declared that the Athenians would conquer if some one would sacrifice himself for his country. The Athenians in gratitude built her a temple on the Acropolis, in which the young Athenians, on receiving their first suit of armour, took an oath that they would always defend their country to the last.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Hercules' Labor 8: The Horses of Diomedes

AVDIRA (Ancient city) XANTHI
  After Hercules had captured the Cretan Bull, Eurystheus sent him to get the man-eating mares of Diomedes, the king of a Thracian tribe called the Bistones, and bring them back to him in Mycenae.
  According to Apollodorus, Hercules sailed with a band of volunteers across the Aegean to Bistonia. There he and his companions overpowered the grooms who were tending the horses, and drove them to the sea. But by the time he got there, the Bistones had realized what had happened, and they sent a band of soldiers to recapture the animals.
  To free himself to fight, Hercules entrusted the mares to a youth named Abderos.Unfortunately, the mares got the better of young Abderos and dragged him around until he was killed. Meanwhile Hercules fought the Bistones, killed Diomedes, and made the rest flee. In honor of the slain Abderos, Hercules founded the city of Abdera.
  The hero took the mares back to Eurystheus, but Eurystheus set them free. The mares wandered around until eventually they came to Mount Olympos, the home of the gods, where they were eaten by wild beasts.
  Euripides gives two different versions of the story, but both of them differ from Apollodorus's in that Hercules seems to be performing the labor alone, rather than with a band of followers. In one, Diomedes has the four horses harnessed to a chariot, and Hercules has to bring back the chariot as well as the horses. In the other, Hercules tames the horses from his own chariot:
"He mounted on a chariot and tamed with the bit the horses of Diomedes, that greedily champed their bloody food at gory mangers with unbridled jaws, devouring with hideous joy the flesh of men." (Euripides, Hercules, 380)

This text is cited July 2004 from Perseus Project URL bellow, which contains interesting hyperlinks

  The eighth labour he enjoined on him was to bring the mares of Diomedes the Thracian to Mycenae. Now this Diomedes was a son of Ares and Cyrene, and he was king of the Bistones, a very warlike Thracian people, and he owned man-eating mares. So Hercules sailed with a band of volunteers, and having overpowered the grooms who were in charge of the mangers, he drove the mares to the sea. When the Bistones in arms came to the rescue, he committed the mares to the guardianship of Abderus, who was a son of Hermes, a native of Opus in Locris, and a minion of Hercules; but the mares killed him by dragging him after them. But Hercules fought against the Bistones, slew Diomedes and compelled the rest to flee. And he founded a city Abdera beside the grave of Abderus who had been done to death, and bringing the mares he gave them to Eurystheus. But Eurystheus let them go, and they came to Mount Olympus, as it is called, and there they were destroyed by the wild beasts.
1. According to Diod. 4.13.4, Herakles killed the Thracian king Diomedes himself by exposing him to his own mares, which devoured him. Further, the historian tells us that when Herakles brought the mares to Eurystheus, the king dedicated them to Hera, and that their descendants existed down to the time of Alexander the Great.
2. From Philostratus we learn that athletic games were celebrated in honour of Abderus. They comprised boxing, wrestling, the pancratium, and all the other usual contests, with the exception of racing -no doubt because Abderus was said to have been killed by horses. We may compare the rule which excluded horses from the Arician grove, because horses were said to have killed Hippolytus, with whom Virbius, the traditionary founder of the sanctuary, was identified. See Verg. A. 7.761-780; Ovid, Fasti iii.265ff. When we remember that the Thracian king Lycurgus is said to have been killed by horses in order to restore the fertility of the land (see Apollod. 3.5.1), we may conjecture that the tradition of the man-eating mares of Diomedes, another Thracian king who is said to have been killed by horses, points to a custom of human sacrifice performed by means of horses, whether the victim was trampled to death by their hoofs or tied to their tails and rent asunder. If the sacrifice was offered, as the legend of Lycurgus suggests, for the sake of fertilizing the ground, the reason for thus tearing the victim to pieces may have been to scatter the precious life-giving fragments as widely and as quickly as possible over the barren earth.

This extract is from: Apollodorus, Library and Epitome (ed. Sir James George Frazer, 1921). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

Heracles. 8. The mares of the Thracian Diomedes. This Diomedes, king of the Bistones in Thrace, fed his horses with human flesh, and Eurystheus now ordered Heracles to fetch those animals to Mycenae. For this purpose, the hero took with him some companions. He made an unexpected attack on those who guarded the horses in their stables, took the animals, and conducted them to the sea coast. But here he was overtaken by the Bistones, and during the ensuing fight he entrusted the mares to his friend Abderus, a son of Hermes of Opus, who was eaten up by them; but Heracles defeated the Bistones, killed Diomedes, whose body he threw before the mares, built the town of Abdera, in honour of his unfortunate friend, and then returned to Mycenae, with the horses which had become tame after eating the flesh of their master. The horses were afterwards set free, and destroyed on Mount Olympus by wild beasts. (Apollod. ii. 5.8; Diod. iv. 15; Hygin. Fab. 30; Eurip. Alcest. 483, 493, Herc. Fur. 380, &c.; Gell. iii. 9; Ptolem. Heph. 5.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

The adventures of Ulysses, the Phaeacians


Procne & Philomela

DAVLIS (Ancient city) VIOTIA
Philomela: Daughter of Pandion, outraged by Tereus, changed into swallow. Procne: Daughter of Pandion by Zeuxippe, wife of Tereus, brings image of Athena from Athens to Daulis, kills her son Itys, and serves him up to Tereus, pursued by Tereus and turned into a nightingale, Procne and Philomela transformed into swallow and nightingale.


Son of Tereus and Procne, murdered by Procne and Philomela and served up by his mother to his father.

The Birth of Zeus

  Many ancient myths are associated with Crete. According to one, Gaia (Mother Earth)emerged from Chaos and bore Uranus as she slept. Uranus (the sky) fathered several children, among them the seven Titans. The last of them, Kronos, married his sister Rhea. It was prophesied by Mother Earth and Uranus that one of Kronos’ sons would dethrone him. Kronos swallowed the children whole that Rhea bore each year, among them were Estia, Dimitra, Hera, Hades and Poseidon. When Rhea bore Zeus, Mother Earth hid him in the Spileo Dicteon Andron on Lassithi Plateau of Crete. Kronos believed that he had swallowed Zeus, but, in fact, he had swallowed a stone given to him by Rhea to trick him and spare this son.
   Zeus was raised by the nymph Adrasteia, her sister Io, and the goat-nymph Amalthia. The Kuretes clashed their spears against their shields to conceal the noise of the wailing baby. Zeus was nursed by the shepherds of the Nida Plateau in the Psiloritis (Idi) Mountains and lived in a cave, Spileo Ideon Andron on the Nida Plateau. He then approached Rhea and with her help made Kronos drink an emetic poison mixed with a honeyed drink. Kronos vomited up the brothers and sisters of Zeus. Zeus led them in a war against the Titans, which they eventually won.
   The above myths were widely accepted by the ancient world. A truly Cretan variation presents Zeus as dying and being reborn every year. The head of the dead Zeus is seen in the shape of a hill (Youktas) behind Iraklion and it is visible from a long distance as one approaches the city. This myth about Zeus’ death is a continuation and reflection of the beliefs of the ancient Minoans concerning the fertility goddess, who died and was reborn every year.

This text is cited Sep 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

  (Zeus) wedded his sister Rhea; and since both Earth and Sky foretold him that he would be dethroned by his own son, he used to swallow his offspring at birth. His firstborn Hestia he swallowed, then Demeter and Hera, and after them Pluto and Poseidon. (1.1.5)
  Enraged at this, Rhea repaired to Crete, when she was big with Zeus, and brought him forth in a cave of Dicte. She gave him to the Curetes and to the nymphs Adrastia and Ida, daughters of Melisseus, to nurse. (1.1.6)
  So these nymphs fed the child on the milk of Amalthea; and the Curetes in arms guarded the babe in the cave, clashing their spears on their shields in order that Cronus might not hear the child's voice. But Rhea wrapped a stone in swaddling clothes and gave it to Cronus to swallow, as if it were the newborn child. (1.1.7)
  But when Zeus was full-grown, he took Metis, daughter of Ocean, to help him, and she gave Cronus a drug to swallow, which forced him to disgorge first the stone and then the children whom he had swallowed, and with their aid Zeus waged the war against Cronus and the Titans (1.1.8)
1.1.6. -
   According to Hesiod, Rhea gave birth to Zeus in Crete, and the infant god was hidden in a cave of Mount Aegeum (Hes. Th. 468-480). Diod. 5.70 mentions the legend that Zeus was born at Dicte in Crete, and that the god afterwards founded a city on the site. But according to Diodorus, or his authorities, the child was brought up in a cave on Mount Ida. The ancients were not agreed as to whether the infant god had been reared on Mount Ida or Mount Dicte. Apollodorus declares for Dicte, and he is supported by Verg. G. 4.153, Serv. Verg. A. 3.104, and the Vatican Mythographers (Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 34, 79, First Vatican Mythographer 104; Second Vatican Mythographer 16). On the other hand the claim of Mount Ida is favoured by Callimachus, Hymn i.51; Ovid Fasti 4.207; and Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. iv.784. The wavering of tradition on this point is indicated by Apollodorus, who, while he calls the mountain Dicte, names one of the god's nurses Ida
1.1.7. -
   As to the nurture of Zeus by the nymphs, see Callimachus, Hymn 1.46ff.; Diod. 5.70.2ff.; Ovid, Fasti v.111ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 139; Hyginus, Ast. ii.13; Serv. Verg. A. 3.104; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. iv.784; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 34, 79 (First Vatican Mythographer 104; Second Vatican Mythographer 16). According to Callimachus, Amalthea was a goat. Aratus also reported, if he did not believe, the story that the supreme god had been suckled by a goat (Strab. 8.7.5), and this would seem to have been the common opinion (Diod. 5.70.3; Hyginus, Ast. ii.13; Second Vatican Mythographer 16). According to one account, his nurse Amalthea hung him in his cradle on a tree ?in order that he might be found neither in heaven nor on earth nor in the sea? (Hyginus, Fab. 139). Melisseus, the father of his nurses Adrastia and Ida, is said to have been a Cretan king (Hyginus, Ast. ii.13); but his name is probably due to an attempt to rationalize the story that the infant Zeus was fed by bees. See Virgil, Geo. 1.149ff. with the note of Serv. Verg. G. 1.153; First Vatican Mythographer 104; Second Vatican Mythographer 16.
   As to the Curetes in their capacity of guardians of the infant Zeus, see Callimachus, Hymn i.52ff.; Strab. 10.3.11; Diod. 5.70, 2-4; Lucretius ii.633-639; Verg. G. 3.150ff.; Ovid, Fasti iv.207ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 139; Serv. Verg. A. 3.104; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. iv.784; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 34, 79 (First Vatican Mythographer 104; Second Vatican Mythographer 16). The story of the way in which they protected the divine infant from his inhuman parent by clashing their weapons may reflect a real custom, by the observance of which human parents endeavoured to guard their infants against the assaults of demons. See Folk-Lore in the Old Testament, iii.472ff.
   As to the trick by which Rhea saved Zeus from the maw of his father Cronus, see Hes. Th. 485ff.; Paus. 8.36.3; 9.2.7; 9.41.6; 10.24.6; Ovid, Fasti iv.199-206; Hyginus, Fab. 139; Serv. Verg. A. 3.104; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. iv.784; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 34, 79 (First Vatican Mythographer 104; Second Vatican Mythographer 16). The very stone which Cronus swallowed and afterwards spewed out was shown at Delphi down to the second century of our era; oil was daily poured on it, and on festival days unspun wool was laid on it (Paus. 10.24.6). We read that, on the birth of Zeus's elder brother Poseidon, his mother Rhea saved the baby in like manner by giving his father Cronus a foal to swallow, which the deity seems to have found more digestible than the stone, for he is not said to have spat it out again (Paus. 8.8.2). Phalaris, the notorious tyrant of Agrigentum, dedicated in the sanctuary of Lindian Athena in Rhodes a bowl which was enriched with a relief representing Cronus in the act of receiving his children at the hand of Rhea and swallowing them. An inscription on the bowl set forth that it was a present from the famous artist Daedalus to the Sicilian king Cocalus. These things we learn from a long inscription which was found in recent years at Lindus: it contains an inventory of the treasures preserved in the temple of Athena, together with historical notes upon them.

This extract is from: Apollodorus, Library and Epitome (ed. Sir James George Frazer, 1921). Cited Nov 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

  But Rhea was subject in love to Cronos and bore splendid children, Hestia, Demeter, and gold-shod Hera and strong Hades, pitiless in heart, who dwells under the earth, and the loud-crashing Earth-Shaker, and wise Zeus, father of gods and men, by whose thunder the wide earth is shaken. These great Cronos swallowed as each came forth from the womb to his mother's knees with this intent, that no other of the proud sons of Heaven should hold the kingly office amongst the deathless gods. For he learned from Earth and starry Heaven that he was destined to be overcome by his own son, strong though he was, through the contriving of great Zeus. Therefore he kept no blind outlook, but watched and swallowed down his children: and unceasing grief seized Rhea. But when she was about to bear Zeus, the father of gods and men, then she besought her own dear parents, Earth and starry Heaven, to devise some plan with her that the birth of her dear child might be concealed, and that retribution might overtake great, crafty Cronos for his own father and also for the children whom he had swallowed down. And they readily heard and obeyed their dear daughter, and told her all that was destined to happen touching Cronos the king and his stout-hearted son. So they sent her to Lyctus, to the rich land of Crete, when she was ready to bear great Zeus, the youngest of her children. Him did vast Earth receive from Rhea in wide Crete to nourish and to bring up. To that place came Earth carrying him swiftly through the black night to Lyctus first, and took him in her arms and hid him in a remote cave beneath the secret places of the holy earth on thick-wooded Mount Aegeum; but to the mightily ruling son of Heaven, the earlier king of the gods, she gave a great stone wrapped in swaddling clothes. Then he took it in his hands and thrust it down into his belly: wretch! he knew not in his heart that in place of the stone his son was left behind, unconquered and untroubled, and that he was soon to overcome him by force and might and drive him from his honors, himself to reign over the deathless gods.
  After that, the strength and glorious limbs of the prince increased quickly, and as the years rolled on, great Cronos the wily was beguiled by the deep suggestions of Earth, and brought up again his offspring, vanquished by the arts and might of his own son, and he vomited up first the stone which he had swallowed last. And Zeus set it fast in the wide-pathed earth at goodly Pytho under the glens of Parnassus, to be a sign thenceforth and a marvel to mortal men. And he set free from their deadly bonds the brothers of his father, sons of Heaven whom his father in his foolishness had bound. And they remembered to be grateful to him for his kindness, and gave him thunder and the glowing thunderbolt and lightning: for before that, huge Earth had hidden these. In them he trusts and rules over mortals and immortals.

This extract is from: Hesiod, Theogony. Cited Nov 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

Editor's information
More information for Zeus at Ancient Dodona, where the oldest sanctuary of the god. In Homer, besides Olympian (Il. 2.309, 24.140, Od. 1.60 etc.), he is also called Dodonaean and Pelasgian (Il. 16.233).

The most ancient Grecian oracle

DODONI (Ancient city) IOANNINA

The myth of the dove from Egypt's Thebes

Herodotus, The Histories 2.55 - 2.57 (ed. A. D. Godley) - Perseus Project

Thamyris' blindness

DORION (Prehistoric settlement) TRIFYLIA
A Thracian or Odrysian, dealt with in poem Minyad, son of Philammon and Argiope, a great minstrel, engages in a musical contest with the Muses, is beaten and blinded by them, wins prize for singing at Pythian games, boasts he can vanquish the Muses, loses his sight and is punished in hell, throws away his lyre.


DYMI (Ancient city) PATRA

The Fifth Labor of Heracles - The Augean Stables

EFYRA ILIAKI (Ancient city) ILIA
  For the fifth labor, Eurystheus ordered Hercules to clean up King Augeas' stables. Hercules knew this job would mean getting dirty and smelly, but sometimes even a hero has to do these things. Then Eurystheus made Hercules' task even harder: he had to clean up after the cattle of Augeas in a single day.
  For the fifth labor, Eurystheus ordered Hercules to clean up King Augeas' stables. Hercules knew this job would mean getting dirty and smelly, but sometimes even a hero has to do these things. Then Eurystheus made Hercules' task even harder: he had to clean up after the cattle of Augeas in a single day.
  Every night the cowherds, goatherds and shepherds drove the thousands of animals to the stables. Every night the cowherds, goatherds and shepherds drove the thousands of animals to the stables.
  Hercules went to King Augeas, and without telling anything about Eurystheus, said that he would clean out the stables in one day, if Augeas would give him a tenth of his fine cattle. Augeas couldn't believe his ears, but promised. Hercules brought Augeas's son along to watch. First the hero tore a big opening in the wall of the cattle-yard where the stables were. Then he made another opening in the wall on the opposite side of the yard.
Next, he dug wide trenches to two rivers which flowed nearby. He turned the course of the rivers into the yard. The rivers rushed through the stables, flushing them out, and all the mess flowed out the hole in the wall on other side of the yard.
   When Augeas learned that Eurystheus was behind all this, he would not pay Hercules his reward. Not only that, he denied that he had even promised to pay a reward. Augeas said that if Hercules didn't like it, he could take the matter to a judge to decide.
 The judge took his seat. Hercules called the son of Augeas to testify. The boy swore that his father had agreed to give Hercules a reward. The judge ruled that Hercules would have to be paid. In a rage, Augeas ordered both his own son and Hercules to leave his kingdom at once. So the boy went to the north country to live with his aunts, and Hercules headed back to Mycenae. But Eurystheus said that this labour didn't count, because Hercules was paid for having done the work.

This text is cited July 2004 from Perseus Project URL bellow, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Eleius had a son Augeas. This Augeas had so many cattle and flocks of goats that actually most of his land remained untilled because of the dung of the animals. Now he persuaded Heracles to cleanse for him the land from dung, either in return for a part of Elis or possibly for some other reward. Heracles accomplished this feat too, turning aside the stream of the Menius into the dung. But, because Heracles had accomplished his task by cunning, without toil, Augeas refused to give him his reward, and banished Phyleus, the elder of his two sons, for objecting that he was wronging a man who had been his benefactor.

Heracles. 5. The stables of Augeas. Eurystheus imposed upon Heracles the task of cleaning the stables of Augeas in one day. Augeas was king of Elis, and extremely rich in cattle. Heracles, without mentioning the command of Eurystheus, went to Augeas, offering in one day to clean his stables, if he would give him the tenth part of the cattle for his trouble, or, according to Pausanias (v. i.7) a part of his territory. Augeas, believing that Heracles could not possibly accomplish what he promised, agreed, and Heracles took Phyleus, the son of Augeas, as his witness, and then led the rivers Alpheius and Peneius through the stables, which were thus cleaned in the time fixed upon. But Augeas, who learned that Heracles had undertaken the work by the command of Eurystheus, refused the reward, denied his promise, and declared that he would have the matter decided by a judicial verdict. Phyleus then bore witness against his father, who exiled him from Elis. Eurystheus declared the work thus performed to be unlawful, because Heracles had stipulated with Augeas a payment for it. (Apollod. ii. 5.5; Theocrit. xxv. 88, &c.; Ptolem. Heph. 5; Athen. x.; Schol. ad Pind. Ol. xi. 42.) At a subsequent time Hferacles, to revenge the faithlessness of Augeas, marched with an army of Argives and Tirynthians against Augeas, but in a narrow defile in Elis he was taken by surprise by Cteatus and Eurytus, and lost a great number of his warriors. But afterwards Heracles slew Cteatus and Eurytus, invaded Elis, and killed Augeas and his sons. After this victory, Heracles marked out the sacred ground on which the Olympian games were to be celebrated, built altars, and instituted the Olympian festival and games. (Apollod. ii. 7.2; Paus. v. 1.7. 3.1, &c., 4.1; viii. 15.2; Pind. Ol. xi. 25, &c., comp. v. 5, iii. 13, &c.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Cercyon (Kerkuon). Son of Poseidon or of Hephaestus. A cruel tyrant at Eleusis, who put to death his daughter Alope and killed all strangers whom he overcame in wrestling. He was, in the end, conquered and slain by Theseus.


Alope. The daughter of the evil king Cercyon of Eleusis. She had an affair with Poseidon, who also was the father of Cercyon. This made Alope's father her stepson as well as Poseidon her grandfather.
  Alope was very beautiful. Because she feared her cruel father she had her son by Poseidon exposed. The baby was rescued by a mare who suckled him, and then he was discovered by shepherds.
  The baby wore expensive garments, and so the shepherds started to quarrel over who should take them. Finally they brought the case to king Cercyon, who understood what had happened, and again had the child exposed.
  Again the baby boy was suckled by a mare, and discovered by shepherds. These were kind men, and they raised the child and named him Hippothoon.
  Cercyon had Alope executed for what she had done, but Poseidon turned her into a fountain, which was named after her. On the road from Eleusis to Megara, where Alope had been killed, a monument in her honour was built. Cercyon was eventually killed by Theseus.

This text is cited Sept 2003 from the In2Greece URL below.

Alope, a daughter of Cercyon, who was beloved by Poseidon on account of her great beauty, and became by him the mother of a son, whom she exposed immediately after his birth. But a mare came and suckled the child until it was found by shepherds, who fell into a dispute as to who was to have the beautiful kingly attire of the boy. The case was brought before Cercyon, who, on recognising by the dress whose child the boy was, ordered Alope to be imprisoned in order to be put to death, and her child to be exposed again. The latter was fed and found in the same manner as before, and the shepherds called him Hippothous. The body of Alope was changed by Poseidon into a well, which bore the same name (Hygin. Fab. 187; Paus. i. 5.2; Aristoph. Av. 533). The town of Alope, in Thessaly, was believed to have derived its name from her (Pherecyd. ap. Steph. Byz. s. v. Alope, where, however, Philonides speaks of an Alope as a daughter of Actor.) There was a monument of Alope on the road from Eleusis to Megara, on the spot where she was believed to have been killed by her father (Paus. i. 39.3).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited July 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Cercyon (Kerkuon), a son of Poseidon by a daughter of Amphictyon, and accordingly a halfbrother of Triptolemus (Paus. i. 14.1). Others call him a son of Hephaestus (Hygin. Fab. 38). He came from Arcadia, and dwelt at Eleusis in Attica (Plut. Thes. 11; Ov. Met. vii. 439). He is notorious in ancient story for his cruelty towards his daughter Alope and all who refused to fight with him, but he was in the end conquered and slain by Theseus (Paus. i. 39.3). Another personage of the same name is mentioned by Pausanias (viii. 5.3).


Baubo (or Babo), a mythical woman of Eleusis, whom Hesychius calls the nurse of Demeter; but the common story runs thus : -on her wanderings in search of her daughter, Demeter came to Baubo, who received her hospitably, and offered her something to drink; but when the goddess, being too much under the influence of grief, refused to drink, Baubo made such a strange gesture, that the goddess smiled and accepted the draught (Clem. Alex. Cohort.). In the fragment of the Orphic hymn, which Clemens Alex. adds to this account, it is further related, that a boy of the name of Iacchus made an indecent gesture at the grief of Demeter. Arnobius (Adv. Gent) repeats the story of Baubo from Clemens, but without mentioning the boy Iacchus, who is otherwise unknown, and, if meant for Dionysus, is out of place here. The different stories concerning the reception of Demeter at Eleusis seem all to be inventions of later times, coined for the purpose of giving a mythical origin to the jokes in which the women used to indulge at the festival of this goddess.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited July 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


ERETRIA (Ancient city) EVIA
Fisherman of Eretria, finds bone of Pelops.

The Fourth Labor of Heracles -The Erymanthian Boar

There is also a legend that Heracles at the command of Eurystheus hunted by the side of the Erymanthus a boar that surpassed all others in size and in strength. The people of Cumae among the Opici say that the boar's tusks dedicated in their sanctuary of Apollo are those of the Erymanthian boar, but the saying is altogether improbable.

  For the fourth labor, Eurystheus ordered Hercules to bring him the Erymanthian boar alive. Now, a boar is a huge, wild pig with a bad temper, and tusks growing out of its mouth.
  This one was called the Erymanthian boar, because it lived on a mountain called Erymanthus. Every day the boar would come crashing down from his lair on the mountain, attacking men and animals all over the countryside, gouging them with its tusks, and destroying everything in its path...
  ...It wasn't too hard for Hercules to find the boar. He could hear the beast snorting and stomping as it rooted around for something to eat. Hercules chased the boar round and round the mountain, shouting as loud as he could. The boar, frightened and out of breath, hid in a thicket. Hercules poked his spear into the thicket and drove the exhausted animal into a deep patch of snow.
  Then he trapped the boar in a net, and carried it all the way to Mycenae. Eurystheus, again amazed and frightened by the hero's powers, hid in his partly buried bronze jar.

This extract is cited July 2004 from Perseus Project URL bellow, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Heracles. 4. The Erymanthian boar. This animal, which Heracles was ordered to bring alive, had descended from mount Erymanthus (according to others, from mount Lampe,) into Psophis. IIeracles chased him through the deep snow, and having thus worn him out, he caught him in a net, and carried him to Mycenae. (Apollod. ii. 5.4; Diod. iv. 12.) Other traditions place the hunt of the Erymanthian boar in Thessaly, and some even in Phrygia. (Eurip. Herc. Fur. 368; Hygin. Fab. 30.) It must be observed that this and subsequent labours of Heracles are connected with other subordinate ones, called Parerga, and the first of these parerga is the fight of Heracles with the Centaurs ; for it is said that in his pursuit of the boar he came to the centaur Pholus, who had received from Dionysus a cask of excellent wine. Heracles opened it, contrary to the wish of his host, and the delicious fragrance attracted the other centaurs, who besieged the grotto of Pholus. Heracles drove them away: they fled to the house of Cheiron, and Heracles, eager in his pursuit, wounded Cheiron, his old friend. Heracles was deeply grieved, and tried to save Cheiron; but in vain, for the wound was fatal. As, however, Cheiron was immortal, and could not die, he prayed to Zeus to take away his immortality, and give it to Prometheus. Thus Cheiron was delivered of his burning pain, and died. Pholus, too, was wounded by one of the arrows, which by accident fell on his foot and killed him. This fight with the centaurs gave rise to the establishment of mysteries, by which Demeter intended to purify the hero from the blood he had shed against his own will. (Apollod. ii. 5.4; Diod. iv. 14; Eurip. Herc. Fur. 364, &c.; Theocrit. vii. 150; Apollon. Rhod. i. 127; Paus. viii. 24.2; Ov. Met. ix. 192.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Heracles & Centaur Pholus

  On his way to hunt the Erymanthian boar, Hercules stopped to visit his friend Pholus, who was a centaur and lived in a cave near Mount Erymanthus. Everyone knows that centaur is a human from his head to his waist, and a horse for the rest of his body and his legs. Hercules was hungry and thirsty, so the kindly centaur cooked Hercules some meat in the fireplace, while he himself ate his meat raw.
  When Hercules asked for wine, Pholus said that he was afraid to open the wine jar, because it belonged to all the centaurs in common. But Hercules said not to worry, and opened it himself.
  Soon afterwards, the rest of the centaurs smelled the wine and came to Pholus's cave. They were angry that someone was drinking all of their wine. The first two who dared to enter were armed with rocks and fir trees.
  Hercules grabbed burning sticks from the fireplace and threw them at the centaurs, then went after them with his club.
  He shot arrows at the rest of them and chased after them for about twenty miles. The rest of the centaurs fled in different directions. One of the centaurs, Chiron, received a wound that no amount of medicine would heal...but what happened to Chiron is another story.
  While Hercules was gone, Pholus pulled an arrow from the body of one of the dead centaurs. He wondered that so little a thing could kill such a big creature. Suddenly, the arrow slipped from his hand. It fell onto his foot and killed him on the spot. So when Hercules returned, he found Pholus dead. He buried his centaur friend, and proceeded to hunt the boar.

This extract is cited July 2004 from Perseus Project URL bellow, which contains interesting hyperlinks


And there (at Evenus River) Nessus, it is said, who had been appointed ferryman, was killed by Heracles because he tried to violate Deianeira when he was ferrying her across the river.

   Nessus, (Nessos). A Centaur, who used to ferry travellers over the river Evenus. On attempting to outrage Deianira, the wife of Heracles, he was shot by the latter with one of his poisoned arrows. Upon this he presented Deianira with a portion of his poisoned blood, professedly to enable her to regain her husband's affections, should he prove false to her. A robe smeared with this blood proved fatal to Heracles.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Nessos : Various WebPages

The punishment by Apollo

FENEOS (Ancient city) FENEOS
The legend says that Heracles and Apollo had a fight, once, about the tripod of Delphi, which they both wanted. Heracles took the tripod to Pheneos and the inhabitants claim that Apollo punished them for receiving it by blocking the two cesspools and causing a flood.

The myth of Myrtilos, the Myrtoan Sea

Behind the temple is the grave of Myrtilus. He was the son of Hermes, and served as charioteer to Oenomaus. Whenever a man arrived to woo the daughter of Oenomaus, Myrtilus craftily drove on the mares, while Oenomaus on the course shot down the wooer when he came near. Myrtilus was in love with Hippodameia, but his courage failing him he shrank from the competition. At last, he proved a traitor to Oenomaus, being induced there to by an oath sworn by Pelops that he would let him be with Hippodameia for one night. So when reminded of his oath Pelops threw him out of the ship. The body of Myrtilus was cast ashore by the tide, the people of Pheneos buried it, and every year they sacrifice to him by night as to a hero. Pelops did not make a long coasting voyage. So the Sea of Myrto is not named after Myrtilus, as it begins at Euboea and reaches the Aegaean. I think that a probable account is given by the antiquarians of Euboea, who say that the sea is named after a woman called Myrto.

Lambrus & Galateia

FESTOS (Minoan settlement) HERAKLIO
Galateia. A daughter of Eurytius, and the wife of Lamprus. the son of Pandion, at Phaestus in Crete. Her husband, desirous of having a son, ordered her, if she should give birth to a daughter, to kill the infant. Galateia gave birth to a daughter, but, unable to comply with the cruel command of Lamprus, she was induced by dreams and soothsayers to bring up the child in the disguise of a boy, and under the name of Leucippus. When the maiden had thus grown up, Galateia, dreading the discovery of the secret and the anger of her husband, took refuge with her daughter in a temple of Leto, and prayed the goddess to change the girl into a youth. Leto granted the request, and hence the Phaestians offered up sacrifices to Leto Phytia (i. e. the creator), and celebrated a festival called ekdusia, in commemoration of the maiden having put off her female attire. (Anton. Lib. 17.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

The rape of Europe by Cretans

GORTYS (Ancient city) HERAKLIO
According to Persians story, some Greeks (they cannot say who) landed at Tyre in Phoenicia and carried off the king's daughter Europa. These Greeks must, I suppose, have been Cretans.


ICHALIA (Ancient city) EVIA

Cercopes (Kerkopes), droll and thievish gnomes who play a part in the story of Heracles. Their number is commonly stated to have been two, but their names are not the same in all accounts: -either Olus and Eurybatus, Sillus and Triballus, Passalus and Aclemon, Andulus and Atlantus, or Candulus and Atlas (Suidas, s. vv.; Schol. ad Lucian. Alex. 4; Tzetz. Chil. v. 75). Diodorus (iv. 31), however, speaks of a greater number of Cercopes. They are called sons of Theia, the daughter of Oceanus; they annoyed and robbed Heracles in his sleep, but they were taken prisoners by him, and either given to Omphale, or killed, or set free again (Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 91). The place in which they seem to have made their first appearance, was Thermopylae (Herod. vii. 216), but the comic poem Kerkopes, which bore the name of Homer, probably placed them at Oechalia in Euboea, whereas others transferred them to Lydia (Suid. s. v. Eurubatos), or the islands called Pithecusae, which derived their name from the Cercopes who were changed into monkeys by Zeus for having cunningly deceived him. (Ov. Met. xiv. 90, &c.; Pomp. Mela, ii. 7)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Editor's note: More about the muth at Ancient Cnosus

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