A son of the Sicilian river god Crimisus and of a Trojan woman of the name of Egesta or Segesta,1 who according to Servius was sent by her father Hippotes or Ipsostratus to Sicily, that she might not be devoured by the monsters, which infested the territory of Troy, and which had been sent into the land, because the Trojans had refused to reward Poseidon and Apollo for having built the walls of their city. When Egesta arrived in Sicily, the river god Crimisus in the form of a bear or a dog begot by her a son Acestes, who was afterwards regarded as the hero who had founded the town of Segesta.2
The tradition of Acestes in Dionysius,3 who calls him Aegestus (Ἄιγεστος), is different, for according to him the grandfather of Aegestus quarreled with Laomedon, who slew him and gave his daughters to some merchants to convey them to a distant land. A noble Trojan however embarked with them, and married one of them in Sicily, where she subsequently gave birth to a son, Aegestus.
During the war against Troy Aegestus obtained permission from Priam to return and take part in the contest, and afterwards returned to Sicily, where Aeneas on his arrival was hospitably received by him and Elymus, and built for them the towns of Aegesta and Elyme. The account of Dionysius seems to be nothing but a rationalistic interpretation of the genuine legend.
Once in a trial of skill, Acestes discharged his arrow with such force that it caught fire (The Arrow of Acestes).
- Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.