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Mythology (10)

Ancient myths

Ulysses - Callidice & Polypoetes

KICHYROS (Ancient city) EPIRUS
And (Ulysses) after sacrificing to Hades, and Persephone, and Tiresias, he journeyed on foot through Epirus, and came to the Thesprotians, and having offered sacrifice according to the directions of the soothsayer Tiresias, he propitiated Poseidon (1). But Callidice, who was then queen of the Thesprotians, urged him to stay and offered him the kingdom; and she had by him a son Polypoetes. And having married Callidice, he reigned over the Thesprotians, and defeated in battle the neighboring peoples who attacked him. But when Callidice died he handed over the kingdom to his son and repaired to Ithaca, and there he found Poliporthes, whom Penelope had borne to him(2)
(1) Tiresias had warned Ulysses that, after slaying the suitors, he must journey inland till he came to a country where men knew not the sea, and where a wayfarer would mistake for a winnowing-fan the oar which Ulysses was carrying on his shoulder. There Ulysses was to sacrifice a ram, a bull, and a boar to Poseidon, the god whom he had offended. See Hom. Od. 11.119-131. But the journey itself and the sacrifice are not recorded by Homer...
This and the remaining part of Apollodorus are probably drawn from the epic poem Telegony, a work by Eugammon of Cyrene, of which a short abstract by Proclus has been preserved. See Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. G. Kinkel, pp. 57ff. The author of the abstract informs us that after the death and burial of the suitors ?Ulysses sacrificed to the nymphs and sailed to Elis to inspect the herds. And he was entertained by Polyxenus and received a present of a bowl. And after that followed the episodes of Trophonius, and Agamedes, and Augeas. Then he sailed home to Ithaca and offered the sacrifices prescribed by Tiresias. And after these things he went to the Thesprotians and married Callidice, queen of the Thesprotians. Then the Thesprotians made war on the Brygians, under the leadership of Ulysses. There Ares put Ulysses and his people to flight, and Athena engaged him in battle; but Apollo reconciled them. And after Callidice's death, Polypoetes, son of Ulysses, succeeded to the kingdom, and Ulysses himself went to Ithaca.
(2) Compare Paus. 8.12.6, from whom we learn that the birth of this son Poliporthes or Ptoliporthes, as Pausanias calls him, was mentioned in the epic poem Thesprotis.

Commentary on Homer, Odyssey. book 11, line 134
... And this so completely falls in with the later legends about the death of Odysseus, that it seems impossible to reject the view that we have in this prophecy of Teiresias a post-Homeric interpolation. So Lauer, (Hom. Quaest. p. 50) speaking of the whole passage, says, ?tantum abest ut poetae sit eiusdem qui fabulam de Ulixe patriam appetente composuerit, ut nonnisi ea potuerit aetate exoriri, qua, cum fabula illa de Telegono conformata esset, hanc rhapsodi studerent cum illa de Ulixis erroribus coniungere.? Now, the Cyclic Epic called ?Telegonia? was ascribed by Proclus and the general tradition of the ancients to Eugammon of Cyrene (566 B.C.); but he is said to have pirated his poem from a ?Thesprotis,? written several centuries earlier by the mythic poet Musaeus. The plot of the Telegonia, (and, we may suppose, of the Thesprotis) makes Odysseus come into Thesprotia, and espouse Callidice, the queen of that country. This will account for the view that the Thesprotians are intended by the men, hoi ouk isasi thalassan--a strange description of a people possessing a considerable coastline. On the death of Callidice (the story proceeds) Odysseus returns to Ithaca. About the same time, Telegonus, son of Odysseus by Circe, wandering in search of his father, lands on Ithaca and ravages the coast, and Odysseus attacking the invaders falls by the hand of his son. Later forms of the story, however, are careful to introduce the fact that death must come to Odysseus ?out of the sea;? and this is interwoven with the story about Telegonus, the son being represented as having wounded his father with a spear tipped with the bone of a sea-fish, called trugon. This legend must have formed the plot of a lost play of Sophocles called Odusseus akanthoplex, and Parthenius (Erot. 3) quotes from the Eurualos of the same poet the line trotheis akanthei trugonos thalassias. In the Psuchagogoi of Aeschylus, the story reappears in a most absurd form, erodios (a heron) gar hupsothen potomenos.

Neoptolemus & Andromache

Neoptolemus . . . on his return to Scyros, he was cast by storm on the coast of Ephyra in Epeirus, where Andromache gave birth to Molossus, to whom the Molossian kings traced their descent (Pind. Nem. iv. 82, vii. 54). Others lastly say that he went to Epeirus of his own accord, because he would or could not return to Phthia in Thessaly (Paus. i. 11.1; Virg. Aen. iii. 333; Justin. xvii. 3).

Theseus & Peirithous prisoners at Cichyrus

The accounts of the end of Theseus are many and inconsistent. They say he was kept a prisoner until Heracles restored him to the light of day, but the most plausible account I have heard is this. Theseus invaded Thesprotia to carry off the wife of the Thesprotian king, and in this way lost the greater part of his army, and both he and Peirithous (he too was taking part in the expedition, being eager for the marriage) were taken captive. The Thesprotian king kept them prisoners at Cichyrus. Among the sights of Thesprotia are a sanctuary of Zeus at Dodona and an oak sacred to the god. Near Cichyrus is a lake called Acherusia, and a river called Acheron. There is also Cocytus, a most unlovely stream. I believe it was because Homer had seen these places that he made bold to describe in his poems the regions of Hades, and gave to the rivers there the names of those in Thesprotia. While Theseus was thus kept in bonds, the sons of Tyndareus marched against Aphidna, captured it and restored Menestheus to the kingdom. (Paus. 1.17.4-5)


Some, however, say that descendants of Antiphus and Pheidippus, the sons of Thessalus the son of Heracles, invaded the country (Thessalia) from Thesprotian Ephyra and named it after Thessalus, their own ancestor. (Strabo 9.5.23)



Son of Odysseus and Callidice, queen of the Thesprotians


Tlepolemus (Tlepolemos). A son of Heracles by Astyoche, the daughter of Phylas (Hom. Il. ii. 658; Apollod. ii. 7.6, 8; Philostr. Her. ii. 14), or by Astydameia, the daughter of Amyntor, king of the Dolopians in Thessaly (Pind. Ol. vii. 41). Tlepolemus was king of Argos, but after slaying his uncle Licymnius, he was obliged to take to flight, and in conformity with the command of an oracle, settled in Rhodes, where he built the towns of Lindos, Ialysos and Cameiros, and from whence he joined the Greeks in the Trojan war with nine ships. (Hom. Il. ii. 653; Apollod. ii. 8. 2.) At Troy he was slain by Sarpedon (Il. v. 627; Diod. iv. 58, v. 59). His wife Philozoe instituted funeral games in commemoration of his death (Tzetz. ad Lyc. 911).

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


Aidoneus & Persephone

Aidoneus. A mythical king of the Molossians, in Epeirus, who is represented as the husband of Persephone, and father of Core. After Theseus, with the assistance of Peirithous, had carried off Helen, and concealed her at Aphidnae, he went with Peirithous to Epeirus to procure for him as a reward Core, the daughter of Aidoneus. This king thinking the two strangers were well-meaning suitors, offered the hand of his daughter to Peirithous, on condition that he should fight and conquer his dog, which bore the name of Cerberus. But when Aidoneus discovered that they had come with the intention of carrying off his daughter, he had Peirithous killed by Cerberus, and kept Theseus in captivity, who was afterwards released at the request of Heracles (Plut. Thes. 31, 35). Eusebius (Chron. p. 27) calls the wife of Aidoneus, a daughter of queen Demeter, with whom he had eloped. It is clear that the story about Aidoneus is nothing but the sacred legend of the rape of Persephone, dressed up in the form of a history, and is undoubtedly the work of a late interpreter, or rather destroyer of genuine ancient myths.

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

Then he himself (Theseus), to return the service of Peirithous, journeyed with him to Epirus, in quest of the daughter of Aidoneus the king of the Molossians. This man called his wife Phersephone, his daughter Cora, and his dog Cerberus, with which beast he ordered that all suitors of his daughter should fight, promising her to him that should overcome it. However, when he learned that Peirithous and his friend were come not to woo, but to steal away his daughter, he seized them both. Peirithous he put out of the way at once by means of the dog, but Theseus he kept in close confinement.


Pheres. A son of Jason and Medeia. (Apollod. i. 9. § 28; Paus. ii. 3. § 6.)

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