The mythical ancestor of the Pelasgians, a people in the Peloponnese and regarded by Herodotus the eldest inhabitants of Greece. Hesiod calls him a son of the soil. Pelasgus established the worship of the Dodonaean Zeus, Hephaestus, the Cabeiri, and other divinities.

There are different traditions regarding the origin and connection of Pelasgus.

  1. In Arcadia, he was either an Autochthon1 or a son of Zeus by Niobe. He is also mentioned as a son of Arestor, and to have immigrated into Arcadia, where he founded the town of Parrhasia.2
  2. In Argos, he is regarded as a son of Triopas and Sois, and a brother of Iasus, Agenor, and Xanthus, or a son of Phoroneus. He is said to have founded the city of Argos in the Peloponnese, to have taught the people agriculture, and to have received Demeter, on her wanderings, at Argos. When Danaus and his fifty daughters fled from Aegyptus, they were protected by Pelasgus. In Argos his tomb was shown in later times.3
  3. In Thessaly, Pelasgus is mentioned as the father of Chlorus, and as the grandfather of Haemon, or as the father of Haemon, and as the grandfather of Thessalus,4 or as a son of Poseidon and Larissa, and as the founder of the Thessalian Argos.5Larissa is also mentioned as his daughter.



  1. Pausanias. Description of Greece ii, 14.3; viii, 1.2.
  2. Scholiast on Euripides' Orestes, 1642; Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Parrhasia.
  3. Pausanias. Description of Greece i, 14.2; ii, 22.2; Scholiast on Euripides' Orestes, 920; Eustathius on Homer, p. 385.
  4. Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Aimonia; Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius iii, 1089.
  5. Eustathius on Homer, p. 321.


  • 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.