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Biographies (5)


Pherecydes of Leros

There is no writer more frequently cited by the Scholiasts, and none with whom our poet more often agrees, than Pherecydes of Leros, one of the most celebrated of the early logographers. His chief work was a mythological history in ten books entitled Archaiologiai, Historiai, or Autochthones. The opening book was a Theogonia, and then followed a description of the heroic age. The legend of the Argonauts and the history of Jason came probably in the sixth and seventh books. Apollonius acquired from Pherecydes not merely details connected with the Argonauts, but also historical and geographical notices which he worked into his poem.

One of the best known of the Greek logographi, and a contemporary of Hellanicus and Herodotus. His chief work was a mythological history in ten books, beginning with the genealogy of the gods, and passing on to an account of the Heroic Age and of the origins of the great families of his own time.

Long before Pindar, Archilochus had related how Heracles overcame the tauriform suitor , and won the fair maiden; how, after their marriage, Heracles and Deianeira dwelt with Oeneus at Calydon, until they were obliged to leave the country, because Heracles had accidentally slain the king's cupbearer; and how, at the river Evenus, the Centaur Nessus offered insult to the young wife, and was slain by her husband . It may be added that the prose mythographer Pherecydes (circ. 480 B.C.) had told the story of Deianeira . His birthplace was the island of Leros, near Miletus; but his home was at Athens, and his work, it can hardly be doubted, was known to Sophocles.


Demodocus, (Demodokos) of Leros, the author of four epigrams in the Greek Anthology, containing bitter attacks upon the Chians, Cappadocians, and Cilicians. (Brunck, Anal. ii. 56 ; Jacobs, ii. 56, xiii. 698.) He is mentioned by Aristotle. (Ethic. Nicom. vii. 9.)

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