A son of Teleon and Zeuxippe. Others call his father Pandion or Amycus. He is renowned as an Athenian shepherd, plowman, warrior, and an Argonaut.1 After the death of Pandion, he obtained the office of priest of Athena and the Erechtheian Poseidon. The Attic family of the Butadae or Etcobutadae derived their origin from him, and in the Erechtheum on the Acropolis there was an altar dedicated to Butes, and the walls were decorated with paintings representing scenes from the history of the family of the Butadae.2

The Argonaut Butes is also called a son of Poseidon;3 and it is said, that when the Argonauts passed by the Sirens, Orpheus commenced a song to counteract the influence of the Sirens, but that Butes alone leaped into the sea. Aphrodite, however, saved him, and carried him to Lilybaeum, where she became by him the mother of Eryx.4 Diodorus,5 on the other hand, regards this Butes as one of the native kings of Sicily.



  1. Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 9.16, 25; iii, 14.8, 15.1.
  2. Pausanias. Description of Greece i, 26.6; Harpocrates, Hesychius s.v.; Orphic. Argonautica, 138; C. Valerius Flaccus. Argonautica i, 394; Hyginus. Fabulae, 14.
  3. Eustathius on Homer, p. xiii, 43.
  4. Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 9.25; Servius on Virgil's Aeneid i, 574; v, 24.
  5. Historical Library iv, 83.


  • 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.