In This Chapter

The early mythical history of Argos

Authored by: Robin Hard

The Routledge Handbook of Greek Mythology

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  December  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138652606
eBook ISBN: 9781315624136
Adobe ISBN:


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Chapter 10 begins with the mythical history of Argos and the Inachid family, which came to rule in Thebes and Crete. It is explained how that family was founded by Phoroneus, a son of the Argive river-god Inachos, and how Io, a close descendant of his, wandered away to Egypt to become the ancestor of the three main branches of the family. The rest concentrates on the Argive branch descended from Danaos, who left Egypt with his fifty daughters, the Danaids, to become king of Argos. The myths of his daughters and descendants are examined, including the warring twins Proitos and Acrisios, and how their feud caused the land to be divided; and the myths of some notable figures who were received by Proitos, namely Bellerophon and the seer Melampous and his brother Bias, are discussed. The third part is devoted to Perseus, recounting how he was set adrift with his mother Danae to Seriphos, how the king of Seriphos sent him to fetch the Gorgon’s head, how he rescued Andromeda from a sea-monster, and established himself in Argos to found Mycenae. The chapter concludes with the mythology of Perseus’ descendants, explaining how Heracles was born in exile in Thebes while his cousin Eurystheus came to rule Mycenae.

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