Dryas

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Dryas ("oak") is the name of nine characters in Greek mythology

1. Dryas was the father of King Lycurgus, king of the Edoni in Thrace; "Shepherd of the People", Nestor calls him (Iliad i.263). He was killed when his son went insane [1] and mistook him for a mature trunk of ivy, a plant holy to the god Dionysus, whose cult Lycurgus was attempting to extirpate.

Resisting the arrival of the god, Lycurgus had pursued all of Dionysus' followers, the Maenads, with an ox-goad and imprisoned them [2]; Dionysus was forced to flee to the undersea grotto of Thetis the sea nymph. Homer (Iliad vi) says that Zeus struck him blind— Dryas, the oak, is sacred to Zeus. The compiler of Bibliotheke (iii.5.i) says that Dionysus drove Lycurgus insane. In his madness, Lycurgus pruned the corpse of Dryas of its nose, ears, fingers and toes: the land of Thrace dried up in horror. An oracle predicted that the land would stay dry and barren as long as Lycurgus was alive, so his people had him torn apart by wild horses. With Lycurgus dead, Dionysus lifted the curse. [3]

In Iliad i, Nestor numbers Dryas among an earlier generation of heroes of his youth, "the strongest men that Earth has bred, the strongest men against the strongest enemies, a savage mountain-dwelling tribe whom they utterly destroyed." No trace of such an oral tradition, which Homer's listeners would have recognized in Nestor's allusion, survived in literary epic.

2. Dryas, father of Lycurgus.

3. Dryas, the son of Ares or of Iapetus. He was involved in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar and fought with the Lapiths against the Centaurs. His brother, Tereus, falsely believing that he was plotting to kill his son, murdered him.[4]

4. Dryas the seer, father of Municus.

5. Dryas, one of the suitors of Pallane. He was killed by Clitus, who then went on to marry Pallane.

6. Dryas, father of Amphilochus.

7. Dryas, one of the sons of Aegyptus and Polyxo. He married (and was murdered by) Hecabe or Eurydice, daughter of Danaus and the naiad Caliadne, daughter of Nilus and Polyxo's sister. [5]

8. Dryas, a chieftain from Tanagra he brought 1000 archers with him to defend Thebes against the Seven Against Thebes. He died in battle, felled by an unknown hand. [6]

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