A son of Amyntor by Cleobule or Hippodamia, was king of the Dolopes, and took part not only in the Calydonian hunt,1 but being a friend of Peleus, he accompanied Achilles on his expedition against Troy.2 His father Amyntor neglected his legitimate wife, and attached himself to a mistress, but the former desired her son to dishonor her rival. Phoenix yielded to the request of his mother, and Amyntor, who discovered it, cursed him, and prayed that he might never be blessed with any offspring.

Phoenix now desired to quit his father's house, but his relations compelled him to remain. At last, however, he fled to Peleus, who received him kindly, made him the ruler of the country of the Dolopes, on the frontiers of Phthia, and entrusted to him his son Achilles, whom he was to educate.3

According to another tradition, Phoenix did not dishonor his father's mistress (Phthia or Clytia), but she merely accused him of having made improper overtures to her, in consequence of which his father put out his eyes. But Peleus took him to Chiron, who restored to him his sight.4

Phoenix moreover is said to have called the son of Achilles Neoptolemus, after Lycomedes had called him Pyrrhus.5 Neoptolemus was believed to have buried Phoenix at Eion in Macedonia or at Trachis in Thessaly.6

It must further be observed, that Phoenix is one of the mythical beings to whom the ancients ascribed the invention of the alphabet.7



  1. Tzetzes on Lycophron, 421; Eustathius on Homer, p. 762; Hyginus. Fabulae, 173; Ovid. Metamorphoses viii, 307.
  2. Hyginus. Fabulae, 257; Ovid. Heroides iii, 27; Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 13.8.
  3. Homer. Iliad ix, 447 ff.
  4. Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 13.8.
  5. Pausanias. Description of Greece x, 26.1.
  6. Tzetzes on Lycophron, 417; Strabo. Geography ix, p. 428.
  7. Tzetzes. Chiliades xii, 68.


  • 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.