A son of the Nemean king Lycurgus, and Eurydice. His real name was Opheltes, which was said to have been changed into Archemorus, that is, "the Forerunner of death," on the following occasion. When the Seven heroes on their expedition against Thebes stopped at Nemea to take in water, the nurse of the child Opheltes, Hypsipyle, while showing the way to the Seven, left the child alone. In the meantime, the child was killed by a dragon, and buried by the Seven. But as Amphiaraus saw in this accident an omen boding destruction to him and his companions, they called the child Archemorus, and instituted the Nemean games in honor of him.

Pausanias mentions that he was killed in a grove of cypress trees around the temple of Nemean Zeus and that it is also the location of Opheltes' grave.



  • Pausanias. Description of Greece ii, 15.2-3.
  • Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 6.4.
  • 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.