A son of Inachus and the Oceanid Melia or Archia, was a brother of Aegialeus and the ruler of the Peloponnese. He was married to the nymph Laodice, by whom he became the father of Niobe, Apis, and Car.1 Pausanias2 calls his wife Cerdo, and the Scholiast on Euripides calls his first wife Peitho, and her children Aegialeus and Apia, and the second Europa, who was the mother of Niobe. According to Hellanicus3 he had three sons, Pelasgus (2), Iasus, and Agenor, who, after their father's death, distributed the kingdom of Argos among themselves.

Phoroneus is said to have been the first who offered sacrifices to Hera at Argos, and to have united the people, who until then had lived in scattered habitations, into a city which was called after him ἄστυ Φορωνικόν (asty Phorōnikon).4 He is further said to have discovered the use of fire;5 his tomb was shown at Argos, where funeral sacrifices were offered to him.6

The patronymic Phoroneides is sometimes used for Argives in general, but especially to designate Amphiaraus and Adrastus.7



  1. Hyginus. Fabulae, 143; Scholiast on Euripides' Orestes, 920; Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library ii, 1.1; Pausanias. Description of Greece i, 39.4.
  2. Description of Greece ii, 21.1.
  3. ap. Eustathius on Homer, p. 385.
  4. Pausanias. Description of Greece ii, 15, in fin.; Hyginus. Fabulae, 274.
  5. Pausanias. Description of Greece ii, 19.5.
  6. ibid. ii, 20.3.
  7. ibid. vii, 17.3; Theocritus, xxv, 200.


  • 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.