Telephus

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A Greek mythological figure, Telephos or Telephus (Greek: Τήλεφος, "far-shining"[1]) Telephos was one of the Heraclidae, the sons of Heracles, who were venerated as founders of cities. Telephos was by far the most famous of these heroes, and the various sites at which libations were offered to placate his spirit occasioned etiological myths of travels around the Greek mainland, in Magna Graecia and in Ionia. As with other heroes, a series of episodic epiphanies can be chronologically ordered and a rationalized "biography" synthesized.

Telephos was the son of Heracles and Auge, a priestess of Athena Alea at Tegea; he was the spouse of Laodice and the father of Eurypylus.

He was intended to be king of Tegea, but instead became the king of Mysia in Asia Minor. He was wounded by the Achaeans when they were coming to sack Troy and bring back Helen to Sparta.

Along with Hector, Helenus, Deiphobus, Aeneas, and Troilus he had accompanied Helen to Menelaus at Sparta, and so was one of the first of all the Trojans and their allies to behold the beauty of Helen.

Contents

Birth

Aleus, king in Tegea and father of Auge, had been told by an oracle that he would be overthrown by his grandson.[2] So, according to varying myths, he forced Auge to become a virginal priestess of Athena Alea, in which condition she was violated by Heracles. Although the infant Telephos was hidden in the temple, his cries revealed his presence and Aleus ordered the child exposed on Mt. Parthenion, the "mountain of the Virgin [Athena]". The child was suckled by a deer through the agency of Heracles. Alternatively, Aleus put Auge and the baby in a crate that was set adrift on the sea.[3] and washed up on the coast of Mysia in Asia Minor. Alternatively, Aleus exposed Telephos and sold Auge into slavery; she was thereby given as a gift to King Teuthras.

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