The Atlantids, the Asopids and the Arcadian Royal Family

Authored by: Robin Hard

The Routledge Handbook of Greek Mythology

Print publication date:  June  2008
Online publication date:  October  2003

Print ISBN: 9780415186360
eBook ISBN: 9780203446331
Adobe ISBN: 9781134664061


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Three major heroic families remain to be considered, the Atlantids, who were descended from the seven daughters of Atlas, the Asopids, who were descended from the many daughters of the Peloponnesian river-god Asopos, and finally the Arcadian royal family. As in the case of the Pelopids, the first two families are of especial interest in relation to the origin and ancestral background of leading figures in the Trojan War. The family of Helen at Sparta and the family of Priam and Paris at Troy were brought together into the same genealogical system as two different branches of the Atlantid family (along with the Pelopids indeed, through a female line); and in the posthomeric tradition at least, the two greatest warriors in the Greek expeditionary force, Achilles and Aias (Ajax), were bracketed together as cousins of common Asopid descent. Both families were quite extensive, however, and will be considered in their full extent. The daughters of Atlas are also of some interest in their own right in their common nature as the Pleiades. The Arcadian royal family, which was descended from Pelasgos, the earthborn first man of that mountainous region, was rather similar in character to the Athenian royal family in so far as few of its members played any major role in heroic saga and it was primarily associated with a distinctive body of local legend.

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