Eurytus

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In Greek mythology, Eurytus is the name of numerous characters.

Contents

The king

King Eurytus, Erytus (Ἔρυτος), or Eurytos (Εὔρυτος) of Oechalia (Οἰχαλίᾱ – Oikhalíā), Thessaly, was the son of Melaneus and either Stratonice or Oechalia.

He married Antiope, daughter of Pylo and had these children: Iphitus, Clytius, Toxeus, Deioneus, Molion, Didaeon, and a very beautiful daughter, Iole. A late legend also attributes Eurytus as the father of Dryope, by his first wife.

Eurytus' grandfather was Apollo, the archer-god, and was also a famed archer. Eurytus has been noted by some as the one who taught Heracles the art of archery.

According to Homer, Eurytus became so proud of his archery skills that he challenged Apollo. The god killed Eurytus for his presumption, and Eurytus' bow was passed to Iphitus, who later gave the bow to his friend Odysseus. It was this bow that Odysseus used to kill the Suitors who had wanted to take his wife, Penelope.

A more familiar version Eurytus' death involves a feud with Heracles. Eurytus promised the hand of his daughter Iole to whoever who could defeat him and his sons in an archery contest. Heracles won the archery contest, but Eurytus reneged on his promise, fearing that Heracles would go mad and kill any children he had with Iole, just as he has slew the children he had with Megara.

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