Peleus

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In Greek mythology, Pēleus (Greek: Πηλεύς) was a hero whose myth was already known to the hearers of Homer in the late 8th century BCE.[1] Peleus was the son of Aeacus, king of the island of Aegina,[2] and Endeïs, the oread of Mount Pelion in Thessaly;[3] he was the father of Achilles. He and his brother Telamon were friends of Heracles, serving in his expedition against the Amazons, his war against King Laomedon, and with him in the quest for the Golden Fleece. Though there were no further kings in Aegina, the kings of Epirus claimed descent from Peleus in the historic period.[4]

Contents

Life myth

Peleus and Telamon, his brother, killed their half-brother, Phocus, perhaps in a hunting accident and certainly in an unthinking moment,[5] and fled Aegina to escape punishment. In Phthia, Peleus was purified by Eurytion and married Antigone, Eurytion's daughter. Eurytion receives the barest mention among the Argonauts, where Peleus and Telamon are also present, "yet not together, nor from one place, for they dwelt far apart and distant from Aigina;"[6] but Peleus accidentally killed Eurytion during the hunt for the Calydonian Boar and fled from Phthia.

Peleus was purified of the murder of Eurytion in Iolcus by Acastus. Astydameia, Acastus' wife, fell in love with Peleus but he scorned her. Bitter, she sent a messenger to Antigone to tell her that Peleus was to marry Acastus' daughter; Antigone hanged herself.

Astydameia then told Acastus that Peleus had tried to rape her. Acastus took Peleus on a hunting trip and hid his sword, then abandoned him right before a group of centaurs attacked. Chiron, the wise centaur, or, according another source, Hermes returned Peleus' sword with magical powers and Peleus managed to escape.[7] He pillaged Iolcus and dismembered Astydameia, then marched his army between the rended limbs.

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