A son of Deucalion and Pyrrha,1 or according to others an autochthon, who after having married Cranaë, the daughter of Cranaus, king of Attica, expelled his father-in-law from his kingdom and usurped his throne. He ruled for twelve years, and was then in turn expelled by Erichthonius.2 According to Eustathius,3 he was married to Chthonopatra, by whom he had a son, Physcius, the father of Locrus.

According to Stephanus Byzantius,4 however, Aetolus was a son and Physcus a grandson of Amphictyon. He was believed to have been the first who introduced the custom of mixing wine with water, and to have dedicated two altars to Dionysus Orthos and the nymphs.5

Dionysius of Halicarnassus,6 who calls him a son of Hellen, Pausanias,7 and others, regard Amphictyon as the founder of the amphictyony (ἀμφικτυονία, a league of neighbors) of Thermopylae, and in consequence of this belief a sanctuary of Amphictyon was built in the village of Anthela on the Asopus, which was the most ancient place of meeting of this amphictyony.8 But this belief is without any foundation, and arose from the ancients assigning the establishment of their institutions to some mythical hero.9




  • 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.