The daughter of King Eurytus of Oechalia. He had promised the hand of his daughter as a prize to him who should vanquish himself and his sons in archery. Heracles went to Oechalia, and though he proved himself better than them at archery, he did not get the bride, for Eurytus and the others refused because they feared that, if he got children, Heracles would again kill his offspring. Only Iphitus, the elder of Eurytus' sons, agreed that Iole should be given to Heracles.

At Trachi Heracles mustered an army to attack Oechalia, wishing to punish Eurytus, and was joined by Arcadians, Melians from Trachis, and Epicnemidian Locrians. In the ensuing battle he slew Eurytus and his sons and took the city. After burying those of his own side who had fallen, to wit, Hippasus, son of Ceyx, and Argius and Melas, the sons of Licymnius, he pillaged the city and took Iole captive.

When Deianeira learned about Iole, and fearing that he might love his new concubine more than herself, she remembers the words of Nessus. She takes the centaur's blood and smears it on a fine garment, which Lichas brings to Heracles. The hero puts on the shirt and the poisonous blood eats into his flesh like acid and he dies.

According to some writers, she was a half-sister of Dryope.1



  1. Antoninus Liberalis, 32; Ovid. Metamorphoses ix, 325 ff.


  • Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library ii, 6.1, 7.7.