The son of Polymnestus of the island of Thera. Following the advice of the oracle of Delphi, he settled in Libya and founded Cyrene (631 BCE). He became its first king, and the ancestor of the dynasty of the Battiades. His descendants, named alternately Battus and Arcesilaus, ruled Cyrene for eight generations.1 He is a descendant of Euphemus, a son of Poseidon.

According to Justin,2 his original name was Aristaeus.



  1. Catullus, vii.
  2. Justin, xiii, 7.


  • Aken, Dr. A.R.A. van. (1961). Elseviers Mythologische Encyclopedie. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Bartelink, Dr. G.J.M. (1988). Prisma van de mythologie. Utrecht: Het Spectrum.