A son of Melaneus and Stratonice,1 was king of Oechalia, probably the Thessalian town of this name.2 He was a skillful archer and married to Antioche, by whom he became the father of Iole, Iphitus, Molion or Deïon, Clytius, and Toxeus.3 He was proud of his skill in using the bow, and is even said to have instructed Heracles in his art.4 He offered his daughter Iole as prize to him who should conquer him and his sons in shooting with the bow. Heracles won the prize, but Eurytus and his sons, with the exception of Iphitus, refused to give up Iole because they feared lest he should kill the children he might have by her.5 Heracles accordingly marched against Oechalia with an army: he took the place and killed Eurytus and his sons.6 According to a tradition in Athenaeus7 he put them to death because they had demanded a tribute from the Euboeans. According to the Homeric poems, on the other hand, Eurytus was killed by Apollo whom he presumed to rival in using the bow.8
The remains of the body of Eurytus were believed to be preserved in the Carnasian grove; and in the Messenian Oechalia sacrifices were offered to him every year.9
- Scholiast on Sophocles' Trachiniae, 268.
- Müller. Die Dorier ii, 11.1.
- Diodorus Siculus. Historical Library iv, 37.
- Theocritis, xxiv, 105; Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library ii, 4.9; Sophocles, l.c.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library ii, 6.1.
- ibid. ii, 7.7.
- xii, p. 461.
- Odyssey viii, 226.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece iv, 3.6, 27.4, 33.5.
- 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.