A son of Arcisius and Chalcomedusa, and husband of Anticleia, by whom he became the father of Odysseus and Ctimene.1 It should, however, be remembered that, according to others, Odysseus was the son of Sisyphus.2

In his youth Laërtes had conquered Nericum, a coast town in Cephalenia,3 and he is also said to have taken part in the Calydonian hunt, and in the expedition of the Argonauts.4 At the time when Odysseus returned from Troy, Laërtes lived in rural retirement, and was occupied with agricultural pursuits, and an old female slave attended to his wants;5 but, after the departure of Telemachus, he was so overpowered by his grief, that he gave up his rustic pursuits.6

After the murder of the suitors, Odysseus visited him, and led him back to his house, and Athena made him young again, so that soon after he was able to take part in the fight against the approaching Ithacans.



  1. Homer. Odyssey iv, 755; xii, 85; xv, 362; xvi, 118; Eustathius on Homer, p. 1791.
  2. Hyginus. Fabulae, 201; Scholiast on Sophocles' Philoctetes, 417.
  3. Homer. Odyssey xxiv, 376.
  4. Hyginus. Fabulae, 173; Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 9.16.
  5. Odyssey i, 189.
  6. ibid. xvi, 138.
  7. ibid. xxiv, 204-370, 497.


  • 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.