A Lacedaemonian, who is said to have gone to Athens, and in compliance with an oracle, to have caused his daughters to be sacrificed on the tomb of the Cyclops Geraestus, for the purpose of delivering the city from famine and the plague, under which it was suffering during the war with Minos. His daughters, who were sacrificed either to Athena or Persephone, were known in the Attic legends by the name of the Hyacinthides, which they derived from their father.

Some traditions make them the daughters of Erichthonius (2), and relate that they received their name from the village of Hyacinthus, where they were sacrificed at the time when Athens was attacked by the Eleusinians and Thracians, or Thebans.1

The names and numbers of the Hyacinthides differ in the different writers. The account of Apollodorus is confused: he mentions four, and represents them as married, although they were sacrificed as maidens, whence they are sometimes called simply αἱ πάρθενοι (hai parthenoi). Those traditions in which they are described as the daughters of Erichthonius (1) confound them with Agraulus, Herse, and Pandrosus,2 or with the Hyades.3



  1. Suidas, s.v. Παρθένοι; Demosthenes. Funeral Orations, p. 1397; Lycurgus. Against Leocrates, 24; Cicero. For Sextus Roscius of Ameria, 48; Hyginus. Fabulae, 46.
  2. Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, i, 211.
  3. Servius on Virgil's Aeneid i, 748.


  • Harpocrates, s.v.
  • Hyginus. Fabulae, 238.
  • Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 15.8.
  • 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.