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Euphemus, (Euphemos). Son of Poseidon and Europa, daughter of Tityus, husband of
Laonome, the sister of Heracles. His father conferred on him the gift of moving
so swiftly over the sea that his feet remained dry. He was originally one of the
Minyae of Panopeus in Phocis, but afterwards settled on the promontory of Taenarum
in Laconia, and took part in the Calydonian hunt and the expedition of the Argonauts.
When the Argonauts came to the lake of Triton, Triton gave Eumolpus a clod of
earth, and Medea prophesied that if he threw this into the entrance of the lower
world at Taenarum, his descendants of the tenth generation would be masters of
Libya. The clod, however, was lost in the island of Thera, and his descendants
were compelled to hold possession of this island, from which at length, in the
seventeenth generation, Battus came forth and founded Cyrene in Libya.
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
- Perseus: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)
Euphemus, (Euphemos), a son of Poseidon by Europe, the daughter of Tityus, or
by Mecionice or Oris, a daughter of Orion or Eurotas. (Schol. ad Pind. Pyth. iv.
15; Tzetz. Chil. ii. 43.) According to the one account he was an inhabitant of
Panopeus on the Cephissus in Phocis, and according to the other of Hyria in Boeotia,
and afterwards lived at Taenarus. By a Lemnian woman, Malicha, Malache, or Lamache,
he became the father of Leucophanes (Schol. ad Pind. Pyth. iv. 455; Tzetz. ad
Lycoph. 886); but he was married to Laonome, the sister of Heracles. Euphemus
was one of the Calydonian hunters, and the helmsman of the vessel of the Argonauts,
and, by a power which his father had granted to him, he could walk on the sea
just as on firm ground. (Apollon. Rhod. i. 182.) He is mentioned also as the ancestor
of Battus, the founder of Cyrene, and the following story at once connects him
with that colony. When the Argonauts carried their ship through Libya to the coast
of the Mediterranean, Triton, who would not let them pass without shewing them
some act of friendship, offered them a clod of Libyan earth. None of the Argonauts
would accept it; but Euphemus did, and with the clod of earth he received for
his descendants the right to rule over Libya. Euphemus was to throw the piece
of earth into one of the chasms of Taenaron in Peloponnesus, and his descendants,
in the fourth generation, were to go to Libya and take it into cultivation. When,
however, the Argonauts passed the island of Calliste, or Thera, that clod of earth
by accident fell into the sea, and was carried by the waves to the coast of the
island. The colonization of Libya was now to proceed from Thera, and although
still by the descendants of Euphemus, yet not till the seventeenth generation
after the Argonauts. The seventeenth descendant of Euphemus was Battus of Thera.
(Pind. Pyth. iv. 1, &c.; Apollon. Rhod. ii. 562; Hygin. Fab. 14, 173; Herod. iv.
150.) According to Apollonius Rhodius (iv. 1755), the island of Thera itself had
arisen from the clod of earth, which Euphemus purposely threw into the sea. Euphemus
was represented on the chest of Cypselus as victor, with a chariot and two horses.
(Paus. v. 17.4.) There are two other mythical personages of this name. (Anton.
Lib. 8; Hom. Il. ii. 846.)
This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
- A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology (ed. William Smith)