A son of Aeacus by the Nereid Psamathe, and husband of Asteria, Asterodia or Asteropaea, by whom he became the father of Panopeus and Crisus.1

As Phocus surpassed his step-brothers Telamon and Peleus in warlike games and exercises, they being stirred up by their mother Endeïs, resolved to destroy him, and Telamon, or, according to others, Peleus killed him with a discus (some say with a spear during the chase). The brothers carefully concealed the deed, but it was nevertheless found out, and they were obliged to emigrate from Aegina.2 Psamathe afterwards took vengeance for the murder of her son, by sending a wolf among the flocks of Peleus, but she was prevailed upon by Thetis to change the animal into a stone.3 The tomb of Phocus was shown in Aegina.4

Phocus is said shortly before his death to have emigrated to Phocis, but to have soon returned to Aegina; but the country of Phocis, part of which was already called by his name, is said to have been extended by him. While in Phocis he concluded an intimate friendship with Iaseus, which was confirmed by the present of a seal-ring; and this scene was represented in the Lesche at Delphi.5 Panopeus and Crisus, the sons of Phocus, are likewise said to have emigrated to Phocis.6



  1. Hesiod. Theogony, 1094; Pindar. Nemean Odes v, 23; Tzetzes on Lycophron, 53, 939; Scholiast on Euripides' Orestes, 33.
  2. Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 12.6; Pausanias. Description of Greece ii, 29.7; Plutarch. Parallela Minora, 25.
  3. Tzetzes on Lycophron, 901; Antoninus Liberalis, 38.
  4. Pausanias. Description of Greece ii, 29.7.
  5. ii, 29.2 ff.; x, 1.1, 30.2.
  6. ibid. ii, 29.2.


  • 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.