An ancient Thracian bard, the son of Philammon and the nymph Argiope. Thamyris, because of his many victories, had become so conceited that he challenged the Muses themselves to a harp-playing contest. For his impudence he was deprived of both his sight and his art. The water of Balyra is said to have got its name from Thamyris throwing (ballein) his lyre away after his blinding.

Apollodorus1 describes Thamyris as the first male to love other males, and that he fell in love with Hyacinthus.


At the Lesche at Delphi, Thamyris was depicted sitting near Pelias. He has lost the sight of his eyes; his attitude is one of utter dejection; his hair and beard are long; at his feet lies thrown a lyre with its horns and strings broken.2



  1. Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 3.3.
  2. Pausanias. Description of Greece ix, 30.8.


  • Euripides. Rhesus, 925.
  • Homer. Iliad ii, 595 ff.
  • Pausanias. Description of Greece iv, 33.3; x, 7.2.
  • Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 3.3.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.