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Listed 40 sub titles with search on: Mythology for destination: "ORCHOMENOS Archaeological site VIOTIA".

Mythology (40)

Historic figures


Son of Minyas, king of Orchomenus in Boeotia.

Gods & demigods

Aphrodite Acidalia

Acidalia a surname of Venus (Virg. Aen. i. 720), which according to Servius was derived from the well Acidalius near Orchomenos, in which Venus used to bathe with the Graces; others connect the name with the Greek akides, i. e. cares or troubles.

Dionysus Agrionius

Agrionius (Agrionios), a surname of Dionysus, under which he was worshipped at Orchomenus in Boeotia, and from which his festival Agrionia in that place derived its name.


Andreus & Euippe

Andreus; son of the river Peneius, was the first to settle here, and after him the land Andreis was named. Euippe; daughter of Leucon, wife of Andreus.

Andreus, a son of the river-god Peneius in Arcadia, from whom the district about Orchomenos in Boeotia was called Andreis (Paus. ix. 34.5). In another passage (x. 13.3) Pausanias speaks of Andreus (it is, however, uncertain whether he means the same man as the former) as the person who first colonized Andros. According to Diodorus (v. 79) Andreus was one of the generals of Rhadamanthys, from whom he received the island afterwards called Andros as a present. Stephanus of Byzantium, Conon (41), and Ovid (Met. xiv. 639), call this first colonizer of Andros, Andrus and not Andreus.

Athamas & Nephele, Ino & Themisto

Athamas; son of Aeolus, rules over Boeotia, settles on Mt. Laphystius, dwells in Athamantian plain. Ino; daughter of Cadmus, second wife of Athamas, plots death of Phrixus and causes famine at Orchomenus, plots against her stepchildren, leaps with her son Melicertes into sea, becomes a sea-goddess called Leucothoe, nurses Dionysus in cave at Brasiae, rears Dionysus as a girl, festival, place sacred to her, sanctuary and oracle, sacrifices offered to her annually, shrine, water of Ino, driven mad by Hera, throws her son Melicertes into a boiling cauldron. brother of Sisyphus, husband of Ino, marries Themisto, father of Leucon, of Phrixus, and of Ptous driven mad by Hera, hunts and kills his son Learchus as a deer, purposes to sacrifice Phrixus and Helle, lays hands on his son Melicertes.

Athamas, a son of Aeolus and Enarete, the daughter of Deimachus. He was thus a brother of Cretheus, Sisyphus, Salmoneus, &c. (Apollod. i. 7.3). At the command of Hera, Athamas married Nephele, by whom he became the father of Phrixus and Helle. But he was secretly in love with the mortal Ino, the daughter of Cadmus, by whom he begot Learchus and Melicertes, and Nephele, on discovering that Ino had a greater hold on his affections than herself, disappeared in her anger. Misfortunes and ruin now came upon the house of Athamas, for Nephele, who had returned to the gods, demanded that Athamas should be sacrificed as an atonement to her. Ino, who hated the children of Nephele and endeavoured to destroy them, caused a famine by her artifices, and when Athamas sent messengers to Delphi to consult the oracle about the means of averting famine, Ino bribed them, and the oracle they brought back declared, that Phrixus must be sacrificed. When the people demanded compliance with the oracle, Nephele rescued Phrixus and Helle upon the ram with the golden fleece, and carried them to Colchis. Athamas and Ino drew upon themselves the anger of Hera also, the cause of which is not the same in all accounts (Apollod. iii. 4.3; Hygin. Fab. 2). Athamas was seized by madness (comp. Cic. Tusc. iii. 5, in Pison. 20), and in this state he killed his own son, Learchus, and Ino threw herself with Melicertes into the sea. Athamas, as the murderer of his son, was obliged to flee from Boeotia. He consulted the oracle where he should settle. The answer was, that he should settle where he should be treated hospitably by wild beasts. After long wanderings, he at last came to a place where wolves were devouring sheep. On perceiving him, they ran away, leaving their prey behind. Athamas recognized the place alluded to in the oracle, settled there, and called the country Athamania, after his own name. He then married Themisto, who bore him several sons (Apollod. i. 9.1, &c.; Htygin. Fab. 1-5).
  The accounts about Athamas, especially in their details, differ much in the different writers, and it seems that the Thessalian and Orchomenian traditions are here interwoven with one another. According to Pausanias (ix. 34.4), Athamas wished to sacrifice Phrixus at the foot of the Boeotian mountain Laphystius, on the altar dedicated to Zeus Laphystius, a circumstance which suggests some connexion of the mythus with the worship of Zeus Laphystius.
  There are two other mythical personages of this name, the one a grandson of the former, who led a colony of Minyans to Teos (Paus. vii. 3.3; Steph. Byz. s. v. Teos), and the other a son of Oenopion, the Cretan, who had emigrated to Chios (Paus. vii. 4.6).

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

Nephele. Wife of Athamas, mother of Phrixus and Helle, rescues Phrixus from the altar and gives him and Helle a ram with a golden fleece.

Themisto. The third wife of Athamas (q.v.), who married her under the impression that his wife Ino was dead. When he heard, however, that Ino was living as a votary of Dionysus, in the ravines of Parnassus, he secretly sent for her. Themisto, on hearing this, determined, in revenge, to kill Ino's children, and ordered a slave, who had lately come to the house, to dress her children in white and Ino's in black, so that she might be able to distinguish them in the night. But the slave, who was Ino herself, suspecting the evil intention, exchanged the clothes. Themisto, in consequence, killed her own children, and, on becoming aware of her mistake, slew herself also.

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


Ino, a daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, and the wife of Athamas, who married her in addition to his proper wife Nephele, but according to some, not till after the death of Nephele. After her death and apotheosis, Ino was called Leucothea. The common story about her is related under Athamas, but there are great variations in the traditions respecting her, which probably arose from the fact of the story having been made great use of by the Greek poets, especially the dramatists, among whose lost tragedies we find the titles of Athamas, Ino, and Phrixus. It here remains for us to mention the principal traditions about the latter period of her life and her apotheosis. After the supposed death of Ino, and after his flight from Boeotia, Athamas married Themisto; but when he was informed that Ino was still living as a Bacchant in the valleys of Mount Parnassus, he secretly sent for her. Themisto, on hearing this, resolved to kill the children of Ino. With this object in view, she ordered one of her slaves at night to cover her own children with white, and those of Ino with black garments, that she might know the devoted children, and distinguish them from her own. But the slave who received this command was Ino herself in disguise, who changed the garments in such a manner as to lead Themisto to kill her own children. When Themisto discovered the mistake, she hung herself. Other traditions state that Athamas, when Hera visited him and Ino with madness for having brought up Dionysus, killed Learchus, one of his sons by Ino, and when he was on the point of killing also the other, Melicertes, Ino fled with him across the white plain in Megaris, and threw herself with the boy (or, according to Eurip. Med. 1289, with her two sons) into the sea. Melicertes is stated in some traditions to have previously died in a cauldron filled with boiling water (Eustath. ad Hom.; Plut. Sympos. v. 3; Ov. Met. iv. 505, 520, &c.; Tzetz, ad Lycoph. 229). According to Plutarch (Quaest. Rom. 13), Ino killed her own son, as she had become mad from jealousy of an Aetolian slave, of the name of Antiphera, and Plutarch recognized an allusion to that story in a ceremony observed at Rome in the temple of Matuta, who was identified with Leucothea; for no female slave was allowed to enter the temple of Matuta at her festival, with the exception of one, who received a box on the ears from the matrons that were present. Hyginus (Fab. 2; comp. Paus. ii. 44.11) states, that Athamas surrendered Ino and her son Melicertes to Phrixus to be killed, because she herself had attempted to kill Phrixus. But when Phrixus was on the point of committing the crime, Dionysus enveloped him in darkness and thus saved Ino. Athamas, who was thrown by Zeus into a state of madness, killed Learchus; and Ino, who leaped into the sea, was raised to the rank of a divinity, by the desire of Dionysus. Others relate that Leucothea placed Dionysus with herself among the gods (Plut. de Frat. Am. in fin.). According to a Megarian tradition, the body of Ino was washed on the coast of Megara, where she was found and buried by two virgins; and it is further said that there she received the name of Leucothea. (Paus. i. 42.8)

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

Haliartus & Coronus

Sons of Thersander. Haliartus; Son of Thersander, founds Haliartus. Coronus; Son of Thersander, founds Coronea.


Son of Phrixus.


Son of Ares and Chryse, king of Andreis (the Boeotian Orchomenus), greatest warrior of his age, father of Coronis, comes to Peloponnese with his daughter, slain by Lycus and Nycteus.


Erginus, (Erginos), a son of Clymenus and Buzyge or Budeia, was king of Orchomenos. After Clymenus was killed by Perieres at the festival of the Onchestian Poseidon, Erginus, his eldest son, who succeeded him as king, undertook to avenge the death of his father. He marched against Thebes, and surpassing the enemy in the number of his horsemen, he killed many Thebans, and compelled them to a treaty, in which they bound themselves to pay him for twenty years an annual tribute of 100 oxen. Heracles once met the heralds of Erginus, who were going to demand the usual tribute: he cut off their ears and noses, tied their hands behind their backs, and thus sent them to Erginus, saying that this was his tribute. Erginus now undertook a second expedition against Thebes, but was defeated and slain by Heracles, whom Athena had provided with arms. (Apollod. ii. 4.11; Diod. iv. 10; Strab. ix.; Eustath. ad Hom.; Eurip. Here. fur. 220; Theocrit. xvi. 105.) Pausanias (ix. 37.2, &c.), who agrees with the other writers in the first part of the mythus, states, that Erginus made peace with Heracles, and devoted all his energy to the promotion of the prosperity of his kingdom. In this manner Erginus arrived at an advanced age without having either wife or children: but, as he did not wish any longer to live alone, he consulted the Delphic oracle, which advised him to take a youthful wife. This he did, and became by her the father of Trophonius and Agamedes, or, according to Eustathius (l.c.) of Azeus. Erginus is also mentioned among the Argonauts, and is said to have succeeded Tiphys as helmsman. (Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 185, ii. 896.) When the Argonauts took part in the funeral games which Hypsipyle celebrated at Lemnos in honour of her father Thoas, Erginus also contended for a prize; but he was ridiculed by the Lemnian women, because, though still young, he had grey hair. However, he conquered the sons of Boreas in the foot-race. (Pind. Ol. iv. 29, &c., with the Schol.) Later traditions represent our Erginus as a Milesian and a son of Poseidon. (Apollon. Rhod. i. 185, &c.; Orph. Argon. 150 ; Apollod. i. 9.16; Hygin. Fab. 14; comp. Miuller, Orchom., 2nd edit.)

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

Erginus. Son of Clymenus, king of Orchomenus in Boeotia, defeated by Herakles: Paus. 9.17.2, Apollod. 2.4.11


Son of Sisyphus, receives land from Eteocles, succeeds to kingdom of Orchomenus, his daughters.


Clymenus, a son of Presbon and king of Orchomenos, who was married to Minya. (Paus. ix. 37.1, &c.; Apollod. ii. 4.11; Hygin. Fab. 14.) There are several other mythical personages of this name. (Hygin. Fab. 154; Paus. ii. 35.3; Ov. Met. v. 98)

Ancient myths

Phrixus, (Phrixos). A son of Athamas and Nephele and brother of Helle. In consequence of the intrigues of his stepmother, Ino, he was to be sacrificed to Zeus; but Nephele rescued her two children, who rode away through the air upon the ram with the golden fleece, the gift of Hermes. Between Sigeum and the Chersonesus, Helle fell into the sea which was called after her the Hellespont; but Phrixus arrived in safety in Colchis, the kingdom of Aeetes, who gave him his daughter Chalciope in marriage. Phrixus sacrificed the ram, which had carried him, to Zeus Phyxius or Laphystius, and gave its fleece to Aeetes, who fastened it to an oak-tree in the grove of Ares. This fleece was afterwards carried away by Iason and the Argonauts. By Chalciope Phrixus became the father of Argus, Melas, Phrontis, Cytisorus, and Presbon. Phrixus either died of old age in the kingdom of Aeetes, or was killed by Aeetes in consequence of an oracle, or returned to Orchomenus, in the country of the Minyans.

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

Helle, a daughter of Athainas and Nephele, and sister of Phrixus. (Apollod. i. 9.1; Apollon. Rhod. i. 927; Ov. Fast. iv. 909, Met. xi. 195.) When Phrixus was to be sacrificed, Nephele rescued her two children, who rode away through the air upon the ram with the golden fleece, the gift of Hermes, but, between Sigeium and the Chersonesus, Helle fell into the sea, which was hence called the sea of Helle (Hellespont; Aeschyl. Pers. 70, 875). Her tomb was shown near Pactya, on the Hellespont. (Herod. vii. 57)

Biadike, or, as some MSS. call her, Demodice, the wife of Creteus, who on account of her love for Phrixus meeting with no return, accused him before Athamas. Athamas therefore wanted to kill his son, but he was saved by Nephele. (Hygin. Poet. Astr. ii. 20; Schol. ad Pind. Pyth. iv. 288)

First ancestors


Son of Chryses, king of Orchomenus, builds treasury for his wealth, his grave.


Chryses, a son of Poseidon and Chrysogeneia, and father of Minyas. (Paus. ix. 36.3)

Ancient tribes


Paus., 9.34.10





Son of Athamas and Ino, killed by his father in a fit of madness.


Argus, the builder of the Argo, the ship of the Argonauts, was according to Apollodorus (ii. 9.1, 16), a son of Phrixus. Apollonius Rhodius (i. 112) calls him a son of Arestor, and others a son of Hestor or Polybus (Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 4, ad Lycophr. 883; Hygin. Fab. 14; Val. Flacc. i. 39, who calls him a Thespian). Argus, the son of Phrixus, was sent by Aeetes, his grandfather, after the death of Phrixus, to take possession of his inheritance in Greece. On his voyage thither he suffered shipwreck, was found by Jason in the island of Aretias, and carried back to Colchis (Apollon. Rhod. ii. 1095, &c.; Hygin. Fab. 21). Hyginus (Fab. 3) relates that after the death of Phrixus, Argus intended to flee with his brothers to Athamas.

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 son of Poseidon or Athamas and Themisto, was the father of Erythrus and Euippe. (Paus. vi. 21.7, ix. 34. 5; Hygin. Fab. 157; Apollod. i. 9.2.)

   Leucon. The son of Poseidon or Athamas and Themisto, and father of Erythrus and Evippe.

Agamedes and Trophonius

   Trophonius (Trophonios) and Agamedes (Agamedes). The sons of Erginus of Orchomenus, legendary heroes of architecture. Many important buildings were attributed to them, among others the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, that of Poseidon at Mantinea, the thalamos of Alcmene in Thebes, the treasuries of Augeas in Elis, and Hyrieus in Boeotian Hyria. In the last named they inserted one stone so cleverly that it could be easily removed from the outside and the treasure stolen by night. But on one occasion, when Agamedes was caught in the trap laid by Hyrieus to discover the thief, Trophonius, to save himself from being betrayed as his brother's accomplice, cut off the head of Agamedes. Being pursued, however, by the king, he was swallowed up in the earth at Lebadea, and by the command of Apollo a cult and an oracle were dedicated to him as Zeus Trophonius.
    The oracle was situated in a subterranean chamber, into which, after various preparatory rites, including the nocturnal sacrifice of a ram and the invocation of Agamedes, the inquirers descended to receive, under circumstances of a mysterious nature, a variety of revelations, which were afterwards taken down from their lips and duly interpreted. The descent into the cave, and the sights which there met the eye, were so awe-inspiring that the popular belief was that no one who visited the cave ever smiled again; and it was proverbially said of persons of grave and serious aspect that they had been in the cave of Trophonius--a phrase that has passed into modern literature as a classic allusion.
    According to another story the brothers, after the completion of the Delphic temple, asked Apollo for a reward, and he promised they should have on the seventh day the best thing that could be given to man; and on that day they both died a peaceful death.

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

Agamedes, a son of Stymphalus and great-grandson of Arcas (Paus. viii. 4.5, 5.3). He was father of Cercyon by Epicaste, who also brought to him a step-son, Trophonius, who was by some believed to be a son of Apollo. According to others, Agamedes was a son of Apolio and Epicaste, or of Zeus and Iocaste, and father of Trophonius. The most common story however is, that he was a son of Erginus, king of Orchomenus, and brother of Trophonius. These two brothers are said to have distinguished themselves as architects, especially in building temples and palaces. Among others, they built a temple of Apollo at Delphi, and a treasury of Hyrieus, king of Hyria in Bocotia (Paus. ix. 37.3; Strab. ix.). The scholiast on Aristophanes (Nub. 508) gives a somewhat different account from Charax, and makes them build the treasury for king Augeias. The story about this treasury in Pausanias bears a great resemblance to that which Herodotus (ii. 121) relates of the treasury of the Egyptian king Rhampsinitus. In the construction of the treasury of Hyrieus, Agamedes and Trophonius contrived to place one stone in such a manner, that it could be taken away outside, and thus formed an entrance to the treasury, without any body perceiving it. Agamedes and Trophonius now constantly robbed the treasury; and the king, seeing that locks and seals were uninjured while his treasures were constantly decreasing, set traps to catch the thief. Agamnedes was thus ensnared, and Trophonius cut off his head to avert the discovery. After this, Trophonius was immediately swallowed up by the earth. On this spot there was afterwards, in the grove of Lebadeia, the so-called cave of Agamedes with a column by the side of it. Here also was the oracle of Trophonius, and those who consulted it first offered a ram to Agamedes and invoked him (Paus. ix. 39.4). A tradition mentioned by Cicero (Tusc. Quaest. i. 47; comp. Plut. De consol. ad Apollon. 14), states that Agamedes and Trophonius, after having built the temple of Apollo at Delphi, prayed to the god to grant them in reward for their labour what was best for men. The god promised to do so on a certain day, and when the day came, the two brothers died. The question as to whether the story about the Egyptian treasury is derived from Greece, or whether the Greek story was an importation from Egypt, has been answered by modern scholars in both ways; but Muller has rendered it very probable that the tradition took its rise among the Minyans, was transferred from them to Augeias, and was known in Greece long before the reign of Psammitichus, during which the intercourse between the two countries was opened.

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


Eteocles (Eteokles), a son of Andreus and Evippe, or of Cephisus, who was said to have been the first that offered sacrifices to the Charites at Orchomenos, in Boeotia. (Paus. ix. 34.5, 35.1; Theocrit. xvi. 104; Schol. ad Pind. Ol. xiv. 1)



Alcathoe or Alcithoe (Alkathoe or Alkithoe), a daughter of Minyas, and sister of Leucippe and Arsippe. Instead of Arsippe, Aelian calls the latter Aristippa, and Plutarch Arsinoe. At the time when the worship of Dionysus was introduced into Boeotia, and while the other women and maidens were revelling and ranging over the mountains in Bacchic joy, these two sisters alone remained at home, devoting themselves to their usual occupations, and thus profaning the days sacred to the god. Dionysus punished them by changing them into bats, and their work into vines. (Ov. Met. iv. 1-140, 390-415.) Plutarch, Aelian, and Antoninus Liberalis, though with some differences in the detail, relate that Dionysus appeared to the sisters in the form of a maiden, and invited them to partake in the Dionysiac mysteries. When this request was not complied with, the god metamorphosed himself successively into a bull, a lion, and a panther, and the sisters were seized with madness. In this state they were eager to honour the god, and Leucippe, who was chosen by lot to offer a sacrifice to Dionysus, gave up her own son Hippasus to be torn to pieces. In extreme Bacchic frenzy the sisters now roamed over the mountains, until at last Hermes changed them into birds. Plutarch adds that down to his time the men of Orchomenos descended from that family were called psoloeis, that is, mourners, and the women oleiai or aioleiai, that is, the destroyers. In what manner the neglect of the Dionysiac worship on the part of Alcathoe and her sister was atoned for every year at the festival of the Agrionia.

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

Helara (Helare, Elare)

Helara (Helare), a daughter of Orchomenus, became by Zeus the mother of Tityus, hut the god, from fear of Hera, concealed her under the earth. (Apollod. i. 4.1; Apollon. Rhod. i. 762; Strab. ix.)

Elara, a daughter of Orchomenus or Minyas, who became by Zeus the mother of the giant Tityus; and Zeus, from fear of Hera, concealed her under the earth. (Apollod. i. 4.1 ; Apollon. Rhod. i. 762; Eustath. ad Hom.; Muller, Orchom., 2d. edit.)


Eurycleia, (Eurukleia). According to a Thessalian tradition, a daughter of Athamas and Themisto, and the wife of Melas, by whom she became the mother of Hyperes. (Schol. ad Pind. Pyth. iv. 221.)

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